Nonprofit Mobile Fundraising With Tech

This week I offer you a great guest post by my friend and colleague Janet Fouts. She is very active in the online marketing for nonprofits area, and I thought it would be a great idea to interject another voice between local services businesses commentary.

Plain and simply, Janet “gets it”. If you need strategic advice or insight into anything related to social media, mobility, marketing, and related areas, she can help you. You can view her website at http://www.janetfouts.com.

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Hauling a credit card machine to a rally isn’t the best solution to collect funds in the field, so nonprofits have accepted checks or cash and probably missed a lot of transactions and new members to their cause. Technology for mobile transactions has taken a giant leap in the last couple of years though, and it’s a whole lot easier to sell merchandise at an event or accept donations on the fly. Here’s how.

The Square

The Square payment service is incredibly simple. You download the free application for Android, iPhone or even an iPad, set up your account and enter the sales and card information on your screen, have the user sign on the touch pad, send and you’re done. You can also use the card reader which attaches to the audio port of your device. Honestly it takes a little practice to swipe cards quickly, but once you get the hang of it, it’s simple and fast. Square takes 2.75% of the transaction for swiped cards plus a 15 cent transaction fee and the balance can be auto-deposited into your bank account. There is no set-up fee or monthly service fee involved.

Paypal

Paypal is dumping a lot of energy into mobile payments and at the Developers’ conference in October they announced an $8 million dollar round of funding was going to Appcelerator which helps developers build mobile applications. Currently iPhone and Android users can use Paypal Bump to transfer funds from one account to another. Simply tap the two phones together and enter the amount to send. Paypal also has a “pay by text” service which allows you to request or send money by simply texting the amount and the other person’s phone number to Paypal. Paypal’s fees are quite low, starting at 2.9%.

mGive

mGive is probably best known for raising over $37 million for Haiti in MTV’s “Hope for Haiti” campaign. mGive works with any phone that can send text messages. Register your non-profit and donors simply send a text message to make a mobile donation from their cell phone. Donation levels can be pre-set for ease of use. For example if you want to send a donation to the American Diabetes Association, just text “ACT” to “27722” to donate $10. mGive has several pricing plans to choose from based on the number of outgoing messages and other services. Here’s the pricing.

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