Individuals giving in real-time with mobile phones
January 08, 2013
Mobile devices allow individuals to stay connected wherever they are, but they also enable people to quickly make donations to causes that need immediate assistance, according to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project study. The research looked at giving trends that were sparked by the 2010 Haiti earthquake, when people donated heavily through text messages
. Reports estimated nearly $43 million was raised for relief efforts this way.
This trend presents new opportunities for nonprofits and charitable organizations to reach out to prospective donors, the study found. It's currently estimated that 20 percent of American consumers have made donations via their mobile phones and 20 percent contributed online.
Aaron Smith, research associate for the project and one of the report's authors told The Nonprofit Times that mobile might be so popular
because it's accessible. When people see news about tragic events, such as natural disasters like Haiti, they can make an immediate contribution that could pool into a much larger impact.
Organizations might also find it's helpful to relay information about causes on social media sites, as membership to popular sites continue to grow and expand to new demographics outside of just Millennials.
As foundations tap into emerging digital channels to raise funds online
, they can benefit from nonprofit fundraising software
that tracks incoming donations and quantitatively measures the success of their efforts.