Monthly Archives: December 2012

Giving on the Go

Billhighway recently offered a webcast, in partnership with HandsOnTech Detroit covering the many mobile fundraising options for nonprofits.  In it, Tracy Ann-Palmer and myself outline some of the challenges facing nonprofits, specifically related to fundraising and donation processing and how to embrace this new era of mobile fundraising.

While mobile alone can’t remedy the decline in charitable gifting, there are techniques to leverage the areas that are working – notably online and special event fundraising, which grew more than 50% (Nonprofit Fundraising Study 4/12.)  Further, organizations that have embraced mobile technology have raised up to 180% more funds (Nonprofit Technology Network, NTEN.)

During the webcast we highlighted 5 [Mobile] Fundraising Flavors:

  • Text to Give
  • Scan to Give
  • Mobile Card Readers
  • Use of Native Apps
  • Use of HTML5

The above topics were chosen because they have the most potential for nonprofits to embrace quickly and cost-effectively.  The topics are also part of a larger mobile payments movement, which were outlined today by Business Insider as the only four to matter, which is consistent with our experience.  Again, they are:

  • Carrier billing: Where the consumer pays by text message and the charge is added to their phone bill. This is great for a variety of specific use cases (reaching the unbanked, especially teenagers; ecommerce and gaming), but is crimped by carrier fees and control.  
  • Near-Field Communications (NFC): Where the consumer can pay at the point of sale by waving his phone in front of a terminal. NFC has been overhyped: it’s not more convenient than cash or credit, and the many companies who want a piece of NFC are canceling each other’s efforts out.
  • Apps: Where the consumer uses an app on his smartphone to pay, typically by scanning a barcode at the register. This is especially useful for specific companies and retailers to offer, as it allows them to offer loyalty rewards and discounts on top of payments.
  • Card readers: Pioneered by startup Square, with recent entries from eBay (PayPal), Intuit, and Verifone, these solutions allow merchants to take payments by plugging a card reader into a smartphone or tablet. They’re very convenient (swiping a credit card is already ingrained consumer behavior) and piggyback on the existing credit card network.  However, only Billhighway’s Give App is catered to the needs of nonprofits.

You can read the full report from Business Insider here.

The slides from our presentation can be found here.