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Mobile Fundraising 101: Give Anywhere, Anytime


Mobile devices are extensions of ourselves: they’re the main way we communicate and connect with the world. They’re also the donation-collecting method that more and more nonprofits and community organizations are turning to. 

Mobile fundraising for nonprofits continues to steadily grow in popularity. Online giving accounts for about 12% of all fundraising for large organizations, and over 17% for smaller organizations, with mobile transactions making up a large portion of those donations. 

Keep reading to learn how your nonprofit can begin earning more with the efficiency and ease of mobile fundraising.

What is mobile fundraising?

Mobile fundraising uses the power of mobile devices to raise money. 

Instead of relying on restaurant fundraisers, cookie dough sales, door-knocking, or mail-in check donations, anyone can donate to your organization anytime with just a few clicks on their phone or tablet screen.  

Mobile fundraising is versatile: it works for both in-person events and long-term campaigns. And with mobile fundraising, you’re given more immediate access to your earnings, meaning you can start putting that money to good use even sooner.

Types of mobile fundraising for nonprofits

There are two distinct categories of mobile fundraising: donation-based and incentive-based. 

A few examples of donation-based mobile fundraising include:

  • Text-to-donate – Donors text an SMS number that will send them a link where they can donate. Text-to-give is similar, but instead of having to authenticate payment information, the donation is simply tacked onto the donor’s phone bill—one less step to worry about. 
  • QR codes – Lead your donors directly to your mobile donation platform by placing QR codes anywhere from fliers to projector screens. They’re an easy way to facilitate donations during live events; participants just scan it with their phone camera and donate. 
  • Social media – Social media platforms are great places to raise awareness for your nonprofit and encourage people to donate to your cause. You can pair your social content strategy with links to donate so your donors know exactly what their money is going towards. 
  • Mobile apps – This is perhaps the most direct form of mobile fundraising. Once donors have downloaded the fundraising mobile apps, they can donate directly from their phones, anytime they want to. 

It’s difficult to raise enough money solely from donations. That’s why incentive-based mobile fundraising, like gift card fundraising via RaiseRight, is a great way to change it up and offer your donors an even better way to give. 

By starting a RaiseRight gift card fundraising program, you can:

  1. Invite participants to buy gift cards to their favorite brands straight from their devices
  2. Receive a percentage back with every gift card purchase to fund your organization

The incentive here is that participants can support your cause without donating out-of-pocket. All they need to do is buy and use RaiseRight gift cards for routine shopping instead of using cash, credit card, or debit card at checkout. 

RaiseRight’s mobile fundraising app makes it even easier to buy and use gift cards anytime, anywhere. For quick, easy access, supporters can buy eGift cards, which appear in the RaiseRight mobile wallet within seconds of purchasing. While standing in the checkout line or reviewing your dinner bill, you can simply open the RaiseRight app and purchase a gift card for the transaction. 

learn more about how RaiseRight works

Pros and cons of mobile fundraising

Mobile fundraising is one of the best ways to raise money for several reasons: 

  • It’s highly effective at in-person events, thanks to QR codes and text-to-donate, and integration between social media marketing and mobile fundraising platforms.

  • You don’t have to put pressure on donors in the moment, as you allow them to donate on their own time.

  • Your funds are available for use sooner, as you don’t have to wait for checks to arrive in the mail or make trips to the bank to deposit cash. 

There aren’t many disadvantages to mobile fundraising, but you may encounter some challenges with: 

  • Lower incentives – Mobile fundraising takes the pressure off both you and your donor when asking for donations in person. However, the lack of pressure may lead to lower earnings if there isn’t any incentive to donate. 

  • Mobile optimization – To make your website accessible via mobile device, it must be modified to fit both web and mobile platforms. You may need help from a web or app designer, or choose to use a separate mobile fundraising app (rather than creating your own).

Both of these issues can easily be solved by choosing RaiseRight as your mobile fundraising solution. RaiseRight gift card fundraising offers the extra incentive of giving without extra spending, and our mobile app is accessible and convenient to use when shopping on the go.

Mobile fundraising trends

The virtual landscape is constantly evolving, and so is mobile fundraising. 

As other nonprofits catch on to the high-earning potentials of mobile fundraising, be prepared to see it more often. Here are some trends to look out for:

  • Social media fundraising campaigns – You can reach a massive audience on social media. More nonprofits are adopting social-first approaches to connect with people outside their area who want to support a worthy cause. 

  • Stronger focus on Generation Z – Gen Z is now entering the workforce, and they're constantly using their devices to communicate. By tapping into mobile fundraising strategies and increasing your activity on online channels, you'll be able to meet the next generation of donors where they are.
  • Gift card fundraising – As nonprofits look for more efficient and effective mobile fundraising strategies, gift card fundraising will become a natural go-to. RaiseRight’s highly-accessible mobile platform allows participants to buy eGift cards that can be used in-store and online. 

Lead your nonprofit into the future of fundraising by staying on top of the latest trends.

Make mobile fundraising a breeze with RaiseRight

Gift card fundraising is the epitome of convenient online mobile fundraising. 

RaiseRight’s mobile app is user-friendly and makes shopping with gift cards a breeze. Donors can easily add new gift cards straight to their mobile wallets to use at checkout at their favorite stores and restaurants, like Walmart, Amazon, Pizza Hut, or Chipotle.

Ready to get started? Here are some steps to get the ball rolling: 

  1. See why RaiseRight is the #1 fundraiser for nonprofits and community groups.
  2. Learn more about how gift card fundraising works.
  3. Download the Gift Card Fundraising Playbook and share it with others in your organization.
  4. Start a free program by completing a short, online enrollment form.  

Happy fundraising!