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Half of nonprofits to adopt mobile by 2012

Currently, 36 percent of the organizations use mobile media or plan to deploy a mobile channel this year. Nonprofit adoption of mobile is expected to grow significantly in 2010.

“Nonprofit organizations still have high hopes for mobile media’s potential to engage constituents, raise funds and impact their missions despite few success stories from early adopters,” said Ron Vassallo, CEO of Kaptivate, Washington.   

“Why the enthusiasm? They believe the issues affecting mobile’s impact – their limited understanding of how to market the medium and the limitations of prevailing technology such as Text2Give – will be overcome in the near term,” he said.

Mobile giving
The study found that 62 percent of nonprofit organizations do not know how to market or promote via the mobile channel effectively.

With the limitations of the current technology, 58 percent raised less than $1,000 in funding via mobile, because doners were not aware of the mobile giving capability.

Eighty-three percent of respondents that were surveyed believed mobile would improve donor convenience, as well as reinforce donor engagement by 74 percent and donor acquisition by 69 percent.

“Despite limited successes, nonprofits are doing some creative thinking about what would make mobile a game-changer for their organizations,” Mr. Vassallo said. “Respondents clearly see it as a medium that can do more than capture small transactions.

“They believe it has the power to engage and mobilize supporters in ways they’ve only begun to appreciate,” he said.

“Nonprofit marketers need to understand that mobile is not a panacea but can be a powerful addition to their marketing mix through integration with social media and cross promotion with more traditional channels.”

Nonprofits go mobile
According to Kaptivate, nonprofits believe a stronger user experience for donors requires the following changes in mobile technology including better engagement opportunities, better service and enhanced convenience.

Additionally, the study shows that several changes would help organizations foster the ideal user experience, such as less dependence on wireless carriers, more analytics and better transaction options.

“As many of nonprofits already appreciate, mobile’s potential extends far beyond anonymous $10 gifts,” Mr. Vassallo said. “Their mobile campaigns can deliver a richer, branded user experience through mobile Web applications, catalyze legislative action through SMS alerts, and drive mission outcomes through clever on-the-ground crowd sourcing.

“Given creativity and experimentation, mobile may transform how nonprofits – whether school, cause or house of worship – engage their supporters,” he said.

“The year 2010 will be the year nonprofits get smarter about mobile but they will leap frog past the first generation of technology and begin to explore mobile opportunities across myriad platforms.”