Mobile Giving + Social Pressure = Results


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Lake Forest College used a simplified giving form designed to play well on a mobile device and then brought and iPad to alumni functions. The result was new donors and new dollars through the use of simple social pressure.

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  • You’re going to need a few tools. The first is a wireless-enabled iPad or tablet device.
  • What you are about to see is a reenactment of an exchange between an iPad-enabled gift officer and a donor.
  • The iPad-enabled gift officer, CLICKRepresented here by a call center manager, makes an appointment with a donor, who is represented in this photograph by a student. The iPad-enabled gift officer makes pleasant chit-chat with the donor.
  • At the right moment,the iPad enabled gift officer makes her move, soliciting the donor for her renewed support. But the donor counters with a flanking flip of the wrist, underscoring that she’ll give what she gave last year, and of course we can count on her support.
  • But wait, the gift officer has one more trick stashed away in her clutch. She has an iPad.
  • “If you’d like,” says the gift officer, “we can take care of this right now. On my iPad.”
  • Donors love to touch the iPad. They love the sophisticated feel. They like to feel sophisticated. And it impresses donors that their alma mater has sophisticated technology.
  • “Plus you can get miles, or bonus points with your credit card,” the gift officer says.
  • The mobile-friendly page streamlines the donation process. No complicated designations. Just the donation.Quickly. Efficiently.Elegantly.
  • CLICK TWICEHappy donor. Happy gift officer.
  • We’ve also successfully used an iPad at events. In this particular reenactment, we’ll demonstrate the use of an iPad at a Cubs Rooftop event.
  • Again, we have an iPad-enabled gift officer, or staff member. The staff member can use the techniques a gift officer would use with an individual donor, as we just covered. For the sake of keeping this as a 10-for-10, we’ll join the transaction in progress just after the Donor 1 has made a gift. CLICKOnce Donor 1 makes a gift on the iPad, surrounded by potential donors at an event, Donor 1 generally turns to a potential donor, Donor 2, and says something like, “I just made my gift on this iPad.”
  • “Wait, you just made you gift on this iPad?” Donor 2 says. Donor 1 responds, “Yes. Right here. I entered a credit card. Here. You make your gift, too. We need the miles for upgrades when we go to Beleize for our ‘No Guys Allowed weekend.’”
  • Unbeknownst to Donor 1, Donor 2 is a non-donor. CLICKShe’s been a non-donor for five years, despite traveling the world for “No Guys Allowed Weekend.” Donor 2 doesn’t want to appear cheap in front of Donor 1, so she makes a gift.
  • “Can you believe it?” Says the Gift Officer. “She’s doing my job!” Donor 1 has successfully pressured Donor 2 into making a gift without even knowing it. And College staff only had to charge the iPade.
  • Over the course of nine innings, we scored 11 gifts.
  • The average gift size of those donations was up from the year before.
  • More than half were new donations.
  • With bringing in more than $3,000, you can see how this strategy will hit new donors and new dollars out of the ballpark.
  • We’ve learned a few things.CLICKFirst, donors who give more than $500 generally have their way of giving, and are more resilient to these strategies. Even after a second martini.CLICKSecond, if your athletic director approaches you at the event and yells, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re asking people for money!” Your batting average will suck.CLICKSimplify and streamline your Web donation form for a mobile device. Donors want to make their donation. Quickly. Efficiently. Elegantly.
  • Mobile Giving + Social Pressure = Results

    1. 1. Mobile Giving + Social Pressure = ResultsTimothy State ’93Associate VP for Alumni @timstate
    2. 2. Tools NeededWireless-enabled iPad or Tablet Device
    3. 3. Tools NeededDonors with Credit Cards
    4. 4. Tools NeededMobile-friendly Giving Page
    5. 5. Tools Needed• Not required, but help – Social skills – A touch of alcohol
    6. 6. The iPad and the Gift Officer
    7. 7. Gift Officer Donor iPad
    8. 8. Happy Gift Officer Happy Donor
    9. 9. The iPad at Events
    10. 10. Donor 2Donor 1
    11. 11. Non-DonorDonor
    12. 12. The iPad at Events11 gifts made in the course of 9 innings
    13. 13. The iPad at Events$290 average gift increase from $211
    14. 14. The iPad at Events6 New Donors(50+% of those who made gifts)
    15. 15. The iPad at Events$3,195 Total Dollars ($870 increase)
    16. 16. Key Learnings• Works best with donors under $500• Staff need to be in support of this tactic• Set up a Mobile-friendly giving form (
    17. 17. THANK YOU! No students or donors were harmed in the making of this presentation.Timothy State ’93Associate VP for Alumni @timstate