“Predictions for mobile giving are skyrocketing” says Oisin Lunny at Integrated Digital Fundraising conference » Charity Digital News

“Predictions for mobile giving are skyrocketing” says Oisin Lunny at Integrated Digital Fundraising conference


On Wednesday 19th June, Third Sector hosted the ‘Integrated Digital Fundraising’ conference. Charity Digital News was there to report on the morning’s events.

The conference delved into the impact of current technologies such as smart phones and social media, and how charities can use this knowledge to improve customer relationships and increase fundraising.

Oisin Lunny, Senior Market Development Manager at mobile engagement and payments specialist, OpenMarket, gave the presentation, Beyond fundraising: how to get more from your mobile strategy.

He said that there are currently more mobile phones than people in the UK, and “predictions for mobile giving are skyrocketing.” People like to donate by text message because it is personal, and they feel as if they are in control. They can opt out at just the click of a button. People often ignore emails, assuming they must be spam, yet 90% of text messages are read within an hour, making it a very effective marketing channel.

However, Oisin went on to say how mobile isn’t all about fundraising. It is important that charities “assume that most visitors of their websites come from tablets or smartphones,” so therefore having a responsive design is key. He also suggested that charities should also consider mobile as a communication tool, providing updates, advertising events and coordinating staff.


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  • I’m not sure we should just “assume that most visitors of their websites come from tablets or smartphones”. I think we need to analyse what is really happening and make intelligent, informed decisions. It’s true that most charities I work with are seeing around 30% of traffic coming from mobile & tablet and that it’s increasing. One charity I know well has almost 50%. But we have to be careful in what we deduce from this. All we know is the device they are accessing the site with. We do not know what they want. For example, when I use my iPad I actually get frustrated when sites show me a reduced, responsive design. I want the full experience. Interesting the Apple website itself is not responsive. It’s the same on iPad and iPhone and desktop… interesting. So for me, this is all about testing. I have seen a good A/B test done on an e-commerce website (not charity related) where they saw an uplift from responsive design. However this does not mean that we charities should assume anything. Test, test, test!

  • Oisin Lunny

    Great points Nick, responsive design is an awesome tool when the user journey is carefully taken into account, but can’t be used in an arbitrary manner. It maybe boils down to the ideal user experience, what the charities want most from the interaction (e.g. data capture, donations) and what the user wants (news, how to get involved, social links). Test, test, test is indeed the best mantra for optimising ones presence within the attention economy. Charities can learn a lot from the canny A/B realtime optimisation of the social gaming acquisition world.