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Text Message Fundraising: A Reader's Response

May 11, 2010

Cellphone A few days ago, I asked readers on the PND Talk message board to share their mobile giving campaign stories. Responding to my post, nonprofit consultant and expert fundraiser Tony Poderis shared some advice based on his experience in the field.

"I am approaching this whole new area of fundraising with keen interest -- and with caution, much as I did years ago with the advent of direct mail, telefunding campaigns, multi-level-marketing, cause-related schemes, and other 'new' ways to raise money," writes Poderis. "To many, who found out otherwise -- and who often neglected or even abandoned the tried and true traditional methods -- money did not roll in when they relied far too much on those methods. Those campaigns worked for some, to varying degrees, but they did not work for all. And they still do not."

For those attempting this new fundraising method, Poderis suggests they ask themselves these questions (paraphrased):

  1. How do we position text messaging donations in the fundraising mix of methods we employ? Can we come up with very real and practical expectations of these new methods, considering our limited reach?
  2. How do we promote text message fundraising without diverting too much of our attention away from the traditional methods?
  3. Do we understand and accept the fact that there will be a time lag to receive donations from third parties using this donation method? (As Sheryl Kaplan notes in a different response to the same posting, it could take up to three months.)

Important questions, indeed. What others would you recommend? And if you haven't launched a mobile giving campaign, what questions or concerns do you have? Share your thoughts below.

-- Regina Mahone

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