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.