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[Book Research] Is your nonprofit utilizing mobile technology?

January 12, 2011

[tweetmeme] The last four chapters of my book cover mobile social networking and mobile communications and fundraising for nonprofits, and I need some examples of success, or attempted success. If your nonprofit is experimenting with mobile technology, please share your experiences and links (if any) in a comment below. I am particularly interested in:

1. Nonprofits with mobile websites (please share the link!).

2. Nonprofits that are managing group texting campaigns, especially those that link to their mobile website in text alerts (I have yet to find one!).

3. Nonprofits that are utilizing text-to-give campaigns, especially those that use text-to-give graphics to promote their campaigns online (only handful it seems) and offer the ability to text-to-give on their mobile website.

4. Nonprofits that are using QR Codes (please tell me how!).

5. Nonprofits that have launched their own smartphone app, especially if you have an iPhone, Blackberry and Android version.

6.  Nonprofits that are utilizing Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla, Yelp, Google Places, etc. How?

7.  Nonprofits that regularly upload photos and videos in real-time from a smartphone. Using TwitPic? TwitVid?

8.  Any tablet apps out there?

9. Snaptags? Jagtags?

Thank you!

Related Links:
Book Tour
Book Tour Sponsors
Nonprofits Mentioned in the Book
Tools, Resources, and Nonprofit Service Providers Covered in the Book

45 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:37 am

    This is all such wonderful information. I can’t wait for the book to come out so I can utilize these resources at my job. This is the exact stuff I’m looking for.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 12, 2011 7:09 am

      Thanks. I am really trying to put together a very practical, useful how-to book for nonprofits. 🙂

      • January 15, 2011 11:54 am

        Hello Heather,

        First off, I would like to congratulate you on your book. We have not entered into the mobile aspect of fundraising, however we do offer advanced online fundraising with complete social integration. Will be great to read your book and congrats again.


  2. January 12, 2011 9:24 am

    Awesome. Please share your results (just a little!)

    We’re looking to maybe get a text-to-give campaign and would love to see how and how others are doing it!

  3. Kay Richardson permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:38 am

    All great information. Getting started with a new non-profit. Will try to implement some of the ideas.

  4. January 12, 2011 11:59 am

    At our company we spent a lot of time evaluating solutions that organizations may use to raise money cost effectively. We came up with a cost effective solution that is explained below:

    The solution bypasses the high cost of carriers processing transactions. What a lot of organizations don’t realize is the cost associated with short codes ($500-$1500/month) and the per transaction cost charged by carriers. The payout cycle is also over 90 days in some cases.

    Our solution is based on repeat payments and it will cost the same as a credit card fee with 48 hours settlement. It is easy and quite cost effective. Hope the solution provides some points that you can expand on.

  5. January 12, 2011 12:02 pm

    1. (or from your smart phone)
    * We don’t really fundraise, but are focused on having people sign up as organ donors through our mobile website. Started a text campaign (very slowly, hence not much response, yet) — text “organs” to 42660 to check it out.

    5. Not us specifically, but our umbrella affiliate organization (Donate Life America) has an ICE app for iPhone (

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 12, 2011 12:12 pm

      Great.. first time I have seen a video on mobile website. You might get more donation if you add a text-to-gift graphic on your mobile website. 🙂

      • Chris permalink
        January 13, 2011 6:27 am

        I agree and the mobile site looks great. I’d love for my organization to have one. It is on the list of projects for our new web designer.

      • April 13, 2011 5:51 am

        Actually, we don’t do financial fundraising, so the text-to-give isn’t something we’re considering. Some of our like-minded organizations do fundraise, though, so I’ll pass that idea along to them. Thanks!

  6. January 12, 2011 12:07 pm

    We’re just starting to think about how we can use QR codes and doing a mobile site, so really looking forward to this information!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 12, 2011 12:12 pm

      Lots of potential. Excited about them! 🙂

      • Chris permalink
        January 13, 2011 6:28 am

        I would love to learn more how to generate and use QR codes. Can they be used beyond blackberry users? I have seen someone on Facebook post a verse of the day using QR codes and I think it is very slick.

  7. January 12, 2011 12:18 pm

    We definitely have integrated QR codes into our marketing strategy. We are working on having them imprinted into new banners for us, and currently we have a display for our booth that encourages users to scan our QR code to become a fan on facebook.

    We’re also integrating video clips into direct mail pieces via QR codes.


    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 12, 2011 12:32 pm

      Great… anything on your website that you share/reference?

    • Chris permalink
      January 13, 2011 7:43 am

      hey Brian – I’d love to discuss your integration of QR codes into your marketing strategy as this is something my organization would like to do very much. How may I contact you?

  8. January 12, 2011 12:22 pm

    Great idea for a book. I look forward to reading it. At servicenation (@bethechangeinc) and in conjunction with partner organizations, we’re going to use foursquare this coming Monday on MLK day 2011 to invite people doing volunteer service to check in at their service event. Thanks for asking!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 12, 2011 12:33 pm

      Thanks. What is the Foursquare URL?

  9. January 12, 2011 3:00 pm

    Pls call me at 404-944-6813 for more information. Also to see how easy this works chk out my non-profit at Have several others and can provide testimonials for you. I could help you with how this works with churches.

  10. January 12, 2011 10:07 pm

    Shine is a Cape Town based literacy program. We use sms broadcasts very succesfully to keep in touch with our volunteers. They are updated about activities, reminders are sent and every time we have significant news on our blog, they are notified.
    In the future we will be using sms for contact with our learners and their parents.
    We have a mobisite but whilst mobile internet is widely available in South Africa, we need the price to come down before we will see any real penetration of this medium.

    I would like to know when the book coems out…
    good luck !

  11. January 13, 2011 10:36 am

    We’re a non-profit dedicated to advancing free speech and open government and to do so we provide tools to assist people in exercising these rights. To advance our goals we have a mobile version of our site (viewed by visiting our website via a mobile device), and launched an iPhone app iOpenGov at that provides native content on public access law that can be used anywhere, plus our news feed and sharing on Twitter, Facebook and email. We were able to do so much on no budget because we created the app inhouse using a development platform that works a lot like desktop publishing and a developer who took care of all the Apple issues. We have used the QR code on promotions for the app. We launched the app in November and we have seen a steady increase in downloads. The app references are currently specific to California law although we intend to include other states in future updates. We will be release an Android version of the app this spring. Mobile technology has helped us reach a new group of constituents, and allowed us to offer our core constituents with a powerful new tool in guarding first amendment rights. We’re really proud of it, so thanks for letting me share our story.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 24, 2011 1:38 pm

      Nice work. 🙂

  12. January 13, 2011 10:40 am

    We are talking to a few charities at the moment about producing an iPhone application for them, I also wrote the following blog a while ago with some of the reasons I would like to encourage more charities to have their own App as I think more charities should have them. We believe this so much we offer discounts or development time whenever we can (to charities).

    Here’s my blog entry. (It’s one of my first so be kind!)

    Charities that I’m aware of that use text to donate are Essex Air Ambulance, Comic Relief and The Depaul Trust via their App – iHobo, iHobo is a fantastic App that really gets across the charities message and has had some great responses – it is very inspirational and we hope to have an App (or two!) very soon that is effective as this one!

    Links are below, I hope this helps.


    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 24, 2011 1:44 pm

      Love the Essex Air Ambulance Photo. Added it:

      Food Bank for New York City

      Checking out iHobo now!

  13. January 13, 2011 11:22 am

    Artez Interactive has developed a series of products for mobile giving including Artez App for iPhone and mobile web enabled donation. Recently released, the app is integrated with client events such as run/walk/rides so that individual supporters can fundraise on behalf of their favorite charity.
    On the mobile web initiative, when a prospective donor visits the charity donation form, the Artez system auto detects the browser type (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian) and serves up a mobile web version of the donation form optimized for the particular device.
    In both cases, PayPal Mobile Express Checkout is available as a payment option as well as credit card. We have also produced a Mobile Giving for Charity White Paper available free of charge at

    Hope this information is helpful. Look forward to reading the book!

  14. January 13, 2011 2:20 pm

    I am excited to see what happens with your book. Keep up the good work.

    As for what I am doing at my corner of the non profit world….here are a few links for the (works great on my Droid)

    As for facebook/twitter/yelp. We use these quite regularly and always try to update them with photos and/or videos…we are at the very beginning stages of it here in Salem and I hope to get a lot of people on board doing all of this.

    Oh yeah,
    There is an app for different news going on in the world of YWAM (why-wham) just search for it in the app store.

    Keep it up.

    If you have any questions email me or call five03.36four.3.8.37 and ask for me in communications.


  15. January 15, 2011 4:51 pm

    We regularly do #7 – during our grand opening festival of our 6th neighborhood center in Houston, my job was to post real time status updates to FB and Twitter using twitpics and (now I’ve switched to twitvid).

    With hundreds of activities and performances going on in one day, it was an exhausting effort but I find that time and time again that postings about events and colorful moments in time keep followers much more engaged when they are accompanied by a media link.

    The reason I was issued a Blackberry was for this purpose!

    In the case of the grand opening festival day, we had over 1,000 views across Facebook and Twitter and became a Twitter top trending topic in Houston!

    While the 12seconds site is gone, our twitpic account is located here – and I also use my other Twitter account to supplement our work on @houstonbrooke.

    Brooke Browne – Neighborhood Centers Inc. Online Communications Manager

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 24, 2011 1:47 pm

      Will be doing a blog post soon on mobile photo sharing and will try to mention you. 🙂

  16. January 18, 2011 8:25 am

    i put this together with mobile industry for 1GOAL: legacy of 2010 world cup. we reached 1.6bn mobile customers and over 6million directly texted their support…


    chris ward

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 24, 2011 2:10 pm

      Thanks. I tried to subscribe to SMS… nothing yet. Is the campaign still active? Through when?

  17. January 20, 2011 9:19 am

    We have used qr in magazines, a book and on postcards.

    Group texting, text to give including a one day $10k campaign.

    Also, looking into apps, mobile web and other solutions.

  18. January 20, 2011 9:26 am

    Sharp HealthCare has a mobile website:

    And we do use Foursquare:
    We’ve claimed all of our locations and have added tips to both our hospitals as well as local places around town – healthy and active places that we have also featured on our website.

    Although we do not regularly use TwitPic, we have used it during live-tweeting at events.

  19. January 20, 2011 10:28 am

    The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton uses a text2give campaign. We utilize the services provided by

    We have promoted our text2give program during our annual Children’s Miracle Network telethon, via e-newsletters to parents, donors and staff, on internal TV monitors placed throughout the hospital, in our advance K99.1FM Cares for Kids Radiothon publicity materials, via our social media initiatives on Facebook and Twitter, and on postcards sent directly to past donors. We have a special logo featuring the hospital’s Wally B. Bear mascot to promote our text2give campaign. We use this logo in all marketing efforts. I emailed you the graphic. Donors can text the word “4KIDS” to 85944 to make a $10 contribution to Dayton Children’s.

    These links have examples of the graphic:
    Press Release

    Mini-Mag Promo for Parents (see back page, 8)

    Click to access gtsummer2010.pdf

    Click to access gtspring_5finalpdf.pdf

    We are looking at building a mobile community and are in the finishing stages of a mobile website. It will feature a Donate Now button.

    We will soon be starting a broadcast text messaging program. Parents can subscribe for monthly text messages on pediatric health care and parenting tips. We hope to build a stronger relationship with our constituents who frequently use mobile technology.

    If you have any specific questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

    Good luck finishing up the book. I can’t wait to read it!

    Bethany Deines
    Director of Annual Gifts

  20. January 22, 2011 10:12 am

    We are a rape crisis center and are in the process of developing a mobile web site, an app, and a texting based information line. The app would be to support an in-person, and on-line, training that we do that trains people on how to respond if someone discloses that they have been sexually assaulted with a speficic4 step model SEEK. One of the main target audiences for this is staff on college campuses. We have the app all scoped out and have talked to a few developers and decided we need to finish the mobile web site first.
    The texting initiative is to provide one-way text service that answers the most common questions we hear on our hotline. The goal is to increase access for youth and hard of hearing communities. We are planning to use Frontline SMS and are interviewing developers.
    Melissa Gopnik

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 24, 2011 5:54 am

      Great idea. Can’t write about though until it is live… and the book is due in a few weeks. Keep me posted!

  21. January 24, 2011 12:38 pm


    The Atlanta History Center is utilizing Foursquare to build customer loyalty by offering discounts on admission (i.e. “First time check-ins receive $2 off admission) and giving out free souvenirs for leaving a tip (i.e. “Leave a tip and receive a free hat”).

    We are also implementing QR codes on our marketing materials. One brochure features a QR code that links to a video about one of our campuses.

    P.S. Congrats on your book! Look forward to reading it.

  22. January 27, 2011 7:07 am

    After reviewing some of the comments, and links. Its seems like the best option in terms of having a mobile presence is to begin with a simple mobile site that can accept donations, and give a 30 second elevator pitch about the mission of the non profit.

    Is there a free mobile website template out there to help with this?

  23. February 7, 2011 2:14 pm

    Such exciting news all around! Best Friends Animal Society has been dabbling in the mobile channel now since 2008. One thing is for sure… mobile is growing so fast and the market has become much more competitive; it’s a challenge to know what tactics & tools will perform the best and be the best bang for the buck. Some advice I can offer: have a clear goal for your program (is it mobile giving, mobile data collection, what is the call-to-action, etc… ) and keep it very simple—ask your audience to do one thing!). Communicating with a person on their mobile device is personal, and usually requires the action (and reaction) to be easy and fast. Here’s some of the things we have tried:

    Best Friends has a mobile site:
    – mobile opt-ins receive text alerts that link to this site for more info about our org and ways to get involved.

    We accept $5 and $10 donations via SMS (text messages) and flash widgets “Text PETS to 90999 to give $5 to Best Friends” (we use a variety of keywords based on the campaign and use them on print, online, and e-mail)

    We have a mobile pledge: “Text ADOPT to 90999 to pledge to adopt your next pet!”

    We currently collect mobile #’s on our online websites: and and communicate via SMS about breaking news, events, local information/advocacy

    We tested using a QR code on printed materials for our No More Homeless Pets National Conference and Super Adoption in Los Angeles. The QR code linked to our sustainable mobile site. Stay tuned for more ways we’ll be using QR codes! I love the idea of using them on college campuses, and also on T-shirts.

    We did a mobile awareness holiday campaign with an Adopt message. Along with traditional marketing, we tried a mobile web page with video: and had a 12% conversion rate

    I have visuals for some of these campaigns that I’d be happy to share via email!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      February 8, 2011 4:41 am

      Excellent. Will try to work this in somehow, but I just turned in the book yesterday. Hopefully in the editing process. You are leading the way for sure!

  24. February 10, 2011 1:48 am is powering a number of mobile website for non profits. Simply open the link from a smartphone’s mobile browser. The inbound request is recognized as coming from a phone and directs to mobile optimized content.
    Here’s a blog post from Wayne Elsey:

  25. February 14, 2011 4:56 pm

    Suggested reading: “SMS Uprising: Mobile Phone Activism in Africa” edited by Sokari Ekine and published by PambazukaPress. 2010

  26. April 15, 2011 6:39 am

    We print the QR code for our giving page on the back of the business cards of our fundraising and mobile event staff. It lets our staff make giving easier and makes us look tech savy whether someone can scan the code or not.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      April 15, 2011 7:58 am

      Good work. Already have the nonprofits for that chapter done. Thanks though!


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