Anna Seacat is a marketing consultant at SociallyMindedMarketing and a graduate student at Southern New Hampshire University. Follow her at @AnnaSeacat
As most of my followers have figured out, I am passionate about socially-minded businesses. One such business is a local favorite of mine, Indianapolis-based, Achieve. Achieve helps non-profit groups create memorable fundraising campaigns. As much as I admire Achieve’s utilization of fundamental marketing communication principles to help non-profits, I am equally as enthralled with the compelling research that the company shares with social enterprises. For example, on July 18, 2013, Achieve released its annual Millennial Impact Research report that outlined new marketing strategies, which social enterprises can employ to “attract and engage” members of Generation Y.
Donors Prefer Giving to be Easy and Enjoyable Social Experiences
Within this informative report, insights about mobile social media applications were revealed; namely, almost half of Achieve’s respondents actively followed nonprofit organizations on social media sites (p. 13). The report concluded that nonprofits should “think ‘mobile first’ when designing online experiences” (p. 12). More specifically, Achieve’s study found that making a donation ranked within the top three actions taken by Millennials on mobile devices via a nonprofit’s social media post. Consequently, to increase the likelihood of soliciting a donation, Achieve suggested that a non-profit should incorporate large “Donate” buttons on mobile social media sites, and strongly recommended that the whole giving experience should be as smooth and easy as possible (p. 12).
Achieve’s study found that making a donation ranked within the top three actions taken by Millennials on mobile devices via a nonprofit’s social media post.
Apple Has Been Accused of Working Against Non-Profits
However, Apple’s current ban on donation applications has foiled the attempts by many nonprofits to make the giving experience smooth and easy, at least among Apple users. For example, when users of Apple’s mobile devices click on a “Donate” button within an app on a social media site, the “prospective donors instead are directed out of a nonprofit’s app and to its Web site” (Strom, 2010). In a New York Times article, Beth Kantor, co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit,” explained that “when you’re popped out of an app, you then have to go through a whole bunch of clicks to make a donation…It’s cumbersome and it doesn’t have to be” (Strom, 2010).
Google Offers a Easy and Enjoyable Social Solution
Google agreed that using a mobile social media application to facilitate a speedy charitable donation should not be a cumbersome experience for the end-user. In response to this ideology, Google launched the “One Today” app, which “aims to make charitable donations a more social and frequent experience” (Olanoff, 2013). This app not only makes the giving experience streamlined from a mobile device, but is successfully incorporates a social aspect. For instance, app users can amplify their impact by using social networks to challenge “friends to donate to a project by offering to match each of their $1 donations, up to a certain limit” (Google’s One Today FAQ section). This social component encourages online group-giving and effectively incorporates elements of altruistic competition. As Google puts it, “a few dollars become many as users invite their friends to donate through social media.”
This social component encourages online group-giving and effectively incorporates elements of altruistic competition.
The Effectiveness of Google’s One Today App is Yet to be Determined
Therefore, while the nonprofit sector has been using social media to reprimand Apple’s shameful denial of charitable donation apps (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beth-kanter/iphone-apps-donation_b_792069.html), it can now rely on Google’s mobile social media application to expand its donor base. Moreover, Google promises hassle-free campaign planning, which takes “about ten minutes” to complete, and the success and effectiveness of the campaign is measured and reported through Google and its partner Network for Good, which sends the nonprofits monthly project donations. Since Google released the app to US-based Android users on July 11, 2013, it is too early to report any nonprofit’s success stories. However, I will follow this new mobile social media application, which was designed for the nonprofit sector, and report findings as they are released by Google.
Olanoff, D. (2013). Google’s One Today App Aims to Make Charitable Donations a More Social and Frequent Experience. TechCrunch. Retrieved from
Strom, S. (2010). Donations Ban on iPhone Apps Irritates Nonprofits. The New York Times.
The Millenial Impact Research. Achieve. Retrieved on July 23, 2013