Events Marketing

Live from 18NTC: The evolution and continued rise of mobile donations

on April 11, 2018

This week, the CrowdRise team has descended upon New Orleans to eat some po’ boys and attend two of the biggest nonprofit fundraising conferences of the year: The 2018 International Fundraising Conference and the Nonprofit Technology Conference, from April 11th through April 17th. And, lucky for those who couldn’t make it, we’re live-blogging our favorite fundraising sessions along the way. (So sorry you can’t download the po’ boys to enjoy at home.)


The way that people store and spend money is changing. Cash is now being digitized and, thanks to advancements of mobile technology, we have officially entered into the era of the “non-bank.” Now, today’s donors (and everyone else in the world, for that matter) has the power of the bank right in their hand.

So what does this transition to mobile spending mean for nonprofits, and how do they ensure that they are providing both convenience and security to digital users looking to donate outside desktop? Here’s what Raja Chakravorti (PayPal), Jay Parekh (Braintree), and Peter Di Maso (UNICEF USA) had to say about giving in the digital age at 18NTC.

Mobile isn’t the future, it’s now

The power of mobile is here. 80% of internet users have a smart phone, and in the past year, the number of smartphone users who made a mobile payment increased by 30%. That number continues to rise year over year. Even in the charity space, there has been a 205% increase in mobile donations in the last year, according to PayPal. And, maybe most staggering, nonprofits have seen the average donation increase 126% when they incorporate a mobile-responsive design into their campaigns.

Digital and mobile donations create a more inclusive charitable world

Mobile giving in the nonprofit space creates an inclusive global economy by offering products and services that will foster financial participation and increase charitable giving. Why? Because powering giving through mobile will help to harness people, technology and scale to enhance giving around the world. We’re talking about people that are able to give at anytime, anywhere, and to any cause, which is a great thing for any nonprofit. Adding mobile giving to your fundraising strategy only increases giving to the overall charitable pie.

Ensuring that your website and fundraising campaigns are mobile-optimized is great for discoverability too. According to Jay, 51% of people visit a nonprofit’s website from a mobile device. And 1 in 4 people use a mobile device to discover nonprofits that they were previously unaware of.

An increase in mobile giving requires an increase in security

Here’s a crazy question for you… why do people rob banks? Because that’s where they money is at. Any financial system will always be prone to attacks from bad guys, because that’s where the money is. “Merchants face 7 million attacks per year from malicious software,” according to Raja. So in this new world of digital money, data and risk security is super important. A few things that nonprofits can do to prevent fraud are to use advanced fraud-prevention tools or solutions like CrowdRise by GoFundMe, keep donors on secure websites when they donate, and accept payment through digital wallets, like PayPal.

Non-mobile donation flows could be a deal breaker

PayPal is raising the stakes for all nonprofits. According to Raja, 28% of the US and Canadian respondents to a survey said that they wouldn’t have made a recent payment to a charity if PayPal wasn’t an option. And the popularity of their mobile-friendliness shows in other numbers. In 2017, PayPal’s payment volume worldwide was $451 billion. They currently have availability in over 200 markets and in dozens of currencies, and over 600k people in North America alone use PayPal for giving.

Implement tools and strategies that optimize for mobile

Why are donors so crazy about mobile? Because a great mobile-friendly website strips away everything that is unnecessary, and focuses on the core message and call-to-action. “Your donation provides help to children in need. Click here to donate now.” Anytime you can reduce friction in the donor experience, you are going to increase donations. That’s why express checkout options can increase mobile donations by up to 55%, according to Jay.

Other additional strategies that you can implement to optimize for mobile include a donate button, a text-to-donate option, and linking to social sites like Facebook and Twitter.


A big thanks to Raja, Jay, and Peter for such an insightful session at 18NTC. If you want to learn how to implement any of the above mobile strategies and tips into your fundraising campaigns, click the button below to talk to one of our experts at CrowdRise by GoFundMe.

Rilee Chastain

Rilee Chastain is the Content Marketing Specialist at CrowdRise. She is passionate about content optimization and all things social, and cares way too much about her Instagram aesthetic. She also has a life goal to eat mac and cheese at least 3 times a week.