Nonprofits to try mobile channel

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Nonprofits to try mobile channel
Nonprofits to try mobile channel

The Direct Marketing Associa­tion's Nonprofit Federation is gearing up to launch a mobile marketing test pilot program next month that will involve a dozen or more nonprofits.

“We've been paying attention to what's happening with text messaging and the younger generations,” said Sen­ny Boone, VP and executive director at the Nonprofit Federation, referring to the popularity of text messaging among consumers in their teens and 20s.

She added that with many non­profit organizations “looking at younger donors and how to gain their support now and having them continue to support in the fu­ture,” the new pro­gram is a way to encourage members to take a closer look at this method of fundraising and test its potential. “In Europe, there's already been a lot of success with text messag­ing and raising funds,” Boone said.

The Nonprofit Federation has part­nered with mobile marketing agency Mobile Cause for the program. Mem­bers that sign up will receive a discount on Mobile Cause's services and will be able to share their results with one an­other. In addition to gathering funds through mobile marketing, Mobile Cause also offers its clients ways to en­gage potential donors through mobile gifts, such as customized wallpapers and ring tones, and grassroots partici­pation, such as cell-based petitions.

“We've gotten quite a bit of inter­est” in the program already, Boone said. She added that because there is a heavy concentration in direct mail and e-mail communi­cation from many nonprofit organiza­tions, they're inter­ested in looking at “different ways” to raise money.

The Nonprofit Federation is asking interested parties to fill out a survey about the market­ing campaigns that are underway in the organization, what aspects of mo­bile marketing an organization is inter­ested in using and at what level — lo­cal, regional, national or international — it plans to deploy the campaign. It is also considering offering educational programming, based on the results of the test, to members who aren't a part of the program, or sharing the results directly with them.

There are more than 400 nonprofit or­ganizations in the Nonprofit Federation. Among them are the American Red Cross, The National Food Bank, Easter Seals, Sierra Club, WGBH Education­al Foundation, United Negro College Fund and The Metropolitan Opera.

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