8 Reasons Why Mobile and Social Are the Future of Fundraising

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[Editor: This article is contributed by Jonathan Waddingham who is the social and labs product manager at the world's leading online platform for charity giving, JustGiving. He specialises in social media integration, digital strategy and online fundraising and is a regular contributor to JustGiving's blog, We Make Giving Social, which explores social giving.]

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Here at JustGiving, we’ve been monitoring the increasing power of mobile fundraising and its impact on social media since early 2012, when stats revealed huge growth in this area. There has been much excitement as we have now hit the inflection point of mobile internet users exceeding desktop users.

In this article, we share our latest insight and explore the trends and data that make social and mobile a non-negotiable part of any charity’s online fundraising strategy.

1. Facebook’s usage is increasingly mobile

It’s the world’s largest social network, and between April and June of 2013, more than 2.9 million active Hong Kong users visited Facebook on a daily basis. Of these users, a staggering 2.4 million (82.7 per cent) used their mobile device to visit the social network. Facebook also state that almost half of all Hong Kong citizens use Facebook daily, and that number continues to grow. This has massive implications in terms of making sure charity’s websites are being optimised not only for mobile, but also for use on social networks.

2. Facebook mobile shares have a higher value than desktop shares

Integrating fundraising and donations with Facebook’s timeline is an enhancement that can massively increase the amount of shares to a charity’s Facebook page, and consequently the number of donations. Interestingly, those shares are even more powerful when a mobile user sees them, as they are 3 times more likely to be shared than content viewed via a desktop device. This means mobile shares are more valuable to charities in terms of the potential of that wider reach to bring in more donations.

3. Sharing breeds sharers…and donors

Everyone wants more donors and our data shows us that donors who share are even more valuable. One in five donation shares result in another donation, and one in ten shares result in another share. So each sharer brings in not only more donations, but also more people and therefore more leads.

4. Mobile users share twice as much as desktop users

If donors who share are more valuable than those who don’t, then mobile users are the cream of the crop, as they share even more. This demonstrates how social and mobile are inextricably linked and highlights the importance of integrating social and mobile tools into your campaigns in order to increase the impact and their success.

5. Making it easier to donate on mobile means more people donate

At JustGiving, we spent the best part of 6 months rebuilding our donation process from the ground up, with the key focus on optimising for mobile. The results show that more money is being donated by smartphone users than ever before – over HK$37 million from about 100,000 super fast donations. It highlights that removing friction from your donation process can be really effective.

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6. Slacktivism is a myth

The term ‘slacktivism’ is used to describe “feel-good” measures that people take, in support of an issue or cause, that have little effect other than making the person take satisfaction from the feeling that they have contributed. It’s often used to question the value of a Facebook ‘like’, or a tweet, denigrating the people who ‘like’ as slackers. In reality, these ‘slacktivists’ are actually much more likely to donate than your regular ‘activists’, so cut them some, well, slack!

7. Mobile users are the ultimate anti-slacktivist

Sharing content on Facebook raises the visibility and awareness of charities, but as often is the question from those higher up the managerial chain, what’s the ROI? What’s the value of people sharing on mobile to Facebook? Research shows that mobile supporters who share are 7 times more likely to donate than those who don’t.

8. Mobile & tablet traffic is going through the roof

The importance of tablets and mobile to digital strategy is well documented, and the second quarter of 2013 saw some explosive growth in the category with research showing that tablet devices convert at a much higher rate than mobile. In January, mobile and tablet traffic made up 46% of the visits to the JustGiving site, and by August it was up to 48%. Add to that the figure that approximately 40% of all visits to fundraising pages on the JustGiving site are from mobile devices (not including tablets), and it’s clear why it’s important to give mobile users of charity websites a great experience.

JustGiving shared their latest insight on the growth of social and mobile at the Institute of Fundraising Digital Fundraising Conference, in a session called ‘Mobile and social – why our phone is your new BFF‘.

[image credited to justgiving.com]