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RUH Bath appeal uses mobile geofencing to target local supporters

Howard Lake | 15 April 2014 | News

The Royal United Hospital Bath is one of the first UK charities to launch a mobile phone fundraising app that includes a geofencing capability. Its Forever Friends Appeal app allows the charity to communicate directly with supporters as they move around specific areas such as shops or fundraising events.
It is the first of several charities working with Moball, part of the Warbler Digital Group, to launch campaign apps using geofencing. Animal charities, air ambulances and hospices are lined up to start this summer.
Moball has already used the technology for fundraising in the USA with celebrities. For example, to help a major league baseball player who supports a cancer charity, they developed an app that linked into his corporate supporters. With the app promoted by the player and at matches, whenever someone with the app moved into a pre-set region of one of his sponsors or their events, they could choose to unlock a donation from the company should they buy something from the company, such as a pizza or test driving a car.
It has also integrated with NationBuilder, the CMS used by many nonprofits.

How geofencing works

Helen Lancaster, Head of Communications at Warbler Digital, explained:

“A charity can set up alliances say with local festival organisers and shops offering discounts and donations. As an example, they could send a rich push message to app users passing within a set perimeter (geofence) of an event or shop. That event organiser or shop will have agreed to donate an amount or give the app customer a discount for every admission or purchase. It benefits all. The event or shop gets a greater footfall, the charity much needed donations and the app user the feeling of goodwill.”


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Richard Gyde, web designer at The Forever Friends Appeal, commented:

“‘If you download the RUH Forever Friends app (it’s free!), you can see how things are changing. There’s a button to read relevant news, see upcoming events, upload your photos and videos and a button to donate directly. They can send supporters all sorts of relevant messages, not just bland text but containing video, photos, vouchers, discounts or a simple ‘thankyou’.”

The Moball app is available on iTunes, and will be available for android on the Play store within the month.
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