Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's a pen, it's a pledge card, it's a cell phone!

Everything about the panel set up looked familiar - four chairs on a raised dais, clip on mics, water glasses. It wasn't until the moderator of this particular discussion opened it up to the audience for questions that I realized I was truly among a different group than those to whom I often speak. The moderator pointed to the whiteboard behind us, where earlier he had written a phone number. "So text me your questions and I'll compile those, and we'll take some from the floor as well. Yes, you in the blue shirt...."

The moderator then went on to scroll through texts on his cell, organizing similar queries into a single question for us, the panelists, while simultaneously facilitating discussion from the group and among the panelists.

Remember index cards and pens? So last generation. Texts to cell phone is how this happens now. Why? Perhaps more people in the room had mobiles than had pens? No need to remember index cards? Better for the environment? Essentially free, since everyone has flat fee text plans? Or just because texting is how 8+ year olds communicate nowadays.

Which is why text-based mobile donations are the next key component to nonprofits' fundraising plans. Five years ago it was the "Donate Now" button. Today it is a plan with Mgive, similar to this one with the United Way that launched the service with a ten second 2008 Super Bowl Spot.

And now, for my broken record moment* - We give online. We give with our cell phones. We can give at ATMs. Can we please get better, faster, complete, and real time-ish data on where we give and how much? Please?

*Ah, the delightful irony of using the idiom "broken record," in a post on mobile giving. Now I know my real generational affiliation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well everything nowadays is based around technology. Index cards are as they say "so last minute ago". Everything is becoming technology, technology, technology.

Great post!