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World Childhood Foundation USA uses mobile to stir up donor emotions

February 17, 2011

Queen Silvia of Sweden founded the World Childhood Foundation

WASHINTON – Phase one of World Childhood Foundation USA’s mobile strategy focused on donations, while phase two expanded that focus to include engagement, relations and interactivity with the goal of stirring up emotions and getting personal with the target audience.

The organization has partnered with mobile agency Mobiento to power its mobile initiatives, and both companies presented at Nonprofit Mobile Day, cohosted by the DMA and Mobile Commerce Daily. The charity’s mobile strategy is focused on donor acquisition, SMS donations, donor subscriptions, creative campaigns, including ones with corporate sponsors, applications, sending information to existing donors and a mobile shop.

“So really using the mobile characteristics is our long-term goal, but we made a quick start and launched mobile services at the end of last year,” said Charlotte Brandin, executive director of World Childhood Foundation USA, Far Hills, NJ. “Donations via SMS and a mobile campaign site serve as a hub for our mobile services.

“In terms of design, we wanted something that felt fresh and up to date,” she said. “Usability was also an important factor, as well as ease of use and a focus on calls-to-action.”

The presentation was moderated by Amy Kuznicki, manager of mobile marketing and advertising at Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, NJ.

What can mobile do for my charity?
The key question that World Childhood Foundation USA wanted answered was “Can mobile phones help us reach out and get donors engaged?”

The organization’s reasons for going mobile include recruiting new donors from new target groups, making existing donors more active, lowering the barrier to donate and triggering action.

In addition, key objectives of the mobile initiatives include data capture, relationship and loyalty building and branding.

The mobile site at features a call-to-action, click-to-donate functionality and snack-sized content such as audio files featuring celebrities touting the organization on radio campaigns.

The site lets visitors donate money in $5 or $10 increments by entering their name, phone number and email address.

“We see endless opportunities in the mobile channel and we just got started,” Ms. Brandin said. ”We won’t perhaps do it all in 2011, but mobile is definitely on our radar and we will initiate various things in the space.”

Key success factors
The mobile phone is not just a payment mechanism, it is a device for communication—but you can talk straight to the wallet, per Mobiento.

Mobile phones are highly personal, so do not be afraid to get personal and perhaps stir up emotions.

Leverage characteristics compatible with mobile in campaigns, for example, a sense of urgency or immediacy, a feeling of real-time broadcasts.

Mobile integrates well with other media, so use the strengths of each. Do not just add a keyword and a short code—explore all mobile channels.

People use their mobile phones to connect to social networks, so do not forget to tap into brand ambassadors’ personal networks.

“We have all seen the wonderful capabilities of the mobile channel for fundraising,” said Fredrik Oscarson, CEO and executive creative director of Mobiento USA, New York. “For donations, it’s simple, quick and can generate substantial volumes

“But we feel it’s important to view the mobile channel not only as a mechanism for donations but also really use the fact that the mobile phone is the most personal devices to launch creative campaigns that reach for the heart,” he said.

“Do not only adapt for mobile, but really use the unique characteristics of the mobile channel—a long-term commitment is key.”

Final Take
Mr. Oscarson and Ms. Brandin

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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