When a disaster strikes, you can be ready to begin fundraising immediately. This guide will prepare you to effectively use and promote your disaster fundraising capacity in the event of a crisis.

Remember Haiti (Jan 2010)

Red cross raised $22,000,000 with $10 text to give donations. Text to give donations totaled 20% of the funds raised by red cross for Haitian relief. In January 2010, 21% of us donors had smartphones.

Text to give weaknesses

  • Donations are limited to $10
  • Funds are received by orgs in 3-4 months
  • Keywords go live in 30-90 days
  • Orgs receive no donor contact information
  • 59% of gifts are collected (declines due to non-confirmation, blocks & restrictions)

Today (May 2014)

What would happen if the Haiti disaster were to happen in 2014 now that 74% of us donors have smartphones? If mobile pledging were used in place of text to give and the red cross averaged gifts of $107, and 84% fulfillment, they would raise $335,145,712.

Mobile pledging strengths

  • Donation amounts average $107
  • Funds are received by orgs every month
  • Keywords go live instantly
  • Orgs receive full donor contact information
  • 84% of donations are collected (declines due to non-credit/debit card fulfillment)

Mobile Pledging high fulfillment is due to Reminder text messages and call center follow up.


Step 1: Setup a Keyword for Your Organization

Mobile Pledging (see right) keywords take just a few minutes to setup and are live on all cell phone carriers.

Best practice: Use the same keyword for all text to donate campaigns. Using multiple keywords decreases brand awareness and results in decreased donations.

Step 2: Setup a Branded Donation Page for Disasters

Branded donation pages  increase average gift size by 38% and take just a few minutes to setup. Responsive donation pages (which auto-resize for smartphones, tablets and PC’s) significantly decrease donation form abandon rates.

Best practice: Be as specific as possible with the branding on your donation page. This will reinforce to the donor that their donation is going directly to the intended purpose.


Step 3: Plan to Promote Your Call to Action

Promote your call to action on all channels:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Text
  • Events

Step 4: Coordinate Your Call to Action

Develop strategic relationships with television, radio and other media outlets and be sure they are ready to make an effective call to action verbally and visually.

Text KEYWORD to 41444 to donate with your credit/debit card.

Best practice: Make donating as convenient as possible. For online channels it is best to promote your donation keyword and donation link.

Fact: To date, mobile pledging donations yield 15 times more funds than $10 text to give donations.


Step 5: Get Disaster Fundraising in Front of All Your Donors

Your donors are the most likely people to support disaster relief campaigns. Your donors see 15% of direct mail, 30% of email and 99% of text messages.

Best Practice: Upload your list of existing donor phone numbers for mobile number verification. Text message blasts take only 10 minutes to schedule/send.

Reply to give: Reply to give donations (see right) trigger: 1 – thank you message and donation form link 2 – reminder text messages 3- voice call follow up (optional)

Best practice: Send a thank you video link in a text message to all donors who make a donation to disaster relief.

Facts: 97% of us donors have a cell phone of which 74% have a smartphone. Landline abandon rate is 17% since 2008 and every year 14% of donors change their mailing address.


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