Fundraising Initiatives is now applying iPads and a mobile validation technology to face-to-face street fundraising in the UK. The global fundraising company is launching the service, which has already been used in the USA and Canada, at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention in London.
The new ‘Mobile Optimised Face-to-Face Fundraising programme’ will be demonstrated to Convention delegates. The company believes that it will revolutionise “supporter acquisition and retention in terms of visual engagement, speed and quality”.
When a supporter decides to commit to give to the charity and enter their details, the service enables immediate sign-up activation. It validates the data entered by checking post code and address details while the fundraiser is still with them. By eliminating data entry errors that occur on handwritten paper forms, processing can begin in real time. Once in the system, Fundraising Initiatives say that “a charity can expect fast and accurate payment collections, reporting and analysis”.
Based on its North America experience, the company reports that the average time between sign-up and first payment has been reduced by 29%, leading to a 33% increased return over the first four months as charities benefit from at least one extra donation payment.
The improvements in the quality and security of data capture that the new system has yielded has reportedly resulted in contact rates for welcome calls increasing by 166%, and subsequent donor attrition being reduced by 20% in the first year.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is one of the UK charities testing the new system, running simultaneous campaigns using both new and traditional methods. Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising at the charity, said that the new iPad service offers a powerful and immediate connection with potential supproters. She said: “A picture paints a thousand words, and, through a short, inspiring video, people can really understand Battersea and its warmth.”
Martin Jervis, Chief Operating Officer at Fundraising Initiatives, added: “This is far more than simply using an iPad to show a potential supporter a charity’s website. We’ve developed an entire mobile driven service, from front-end with the supporter, through our back-end processing system and on to our charity clients that receive a new and validated warm donor base.
“Security is greatly improved as the financial details of donors are submitted electronically, leaving no trace on the mobile device or paper trail. The new service is super efficient in time, cost and quality; empowering our clients with dramatically better returns and competitive advantage.”