Today, I’m live blogging a few sessions from the 2011 Millennial Donor Summit. This session focuses on how to successfully get started with mobile technology, with Tonia Zampieri from Smart Online presenting.

Millennial Distinctions

  • about 85 Million
  • 1st generation raised on mobiles
  • 95% own mobile devices
  • 83% sleep with mobile at bedside
  • 62% connect to internet wirelessly
  • more likely than any other generation to post a video of themselves online

Are you Millennial ready?

There are five distinctions of Millennials.

  • Co-creation: Millennials want to be part of the creation, they want to create with you and their peers.
  • Be Smarter: they want to know how they are making an impact and what you’re doing with their money.
  • Two-Player Game: they want to interact, know your leadership and staff.
  • No Final Product: this is a social media world now, so there’s an expectation of constant evolution. You can’t stay stale.
  • No such thing as un-connected: you have to be relevant wherever they are, when they want.

Why mobile?

Smartphones vs PCs – Smartphone sales beat PC sales with 100.9 million smartphones and 92.1 millions PCs in Q4 2010. This was originally estimated to happen two years later than it did. Smartphones are not just for highly educated groups.

90% of mobile subscribers in the US have internet-ready phones. 50% of Android users under 35, Apple use most under 44, RIM (Blackberry etc.) most over 45.

Start engaging Millennials now to make gains later

How do you do that? How do you use mobile to start engaging and communicating?

Apples has done a great job. They are looking for longevity. You do have to start looking at investing in the next generations now.

Big 4 In Mobile

Mobile Websites

If Millennials can’t find or connect with an organization the way they want to, they will go find a different organization. Millennials want basic information and tools for action. As an example,’s mobile website looks very different than the normal website. It’s also important to have easily readable information via email – so be sure you use mobile rendering options for your emails, especially if you have a call to action and your email and website aren’t mobile rendered, they won’t be able to easily respond.

Smartphone Apps

Engaging with Millennials around volunteering. Millennials who volunteer more, give more. 79% of respondents volunteered in 2010, and they prefer to do it in groups. Develop a mobile app to get people interacting with your organization and encourage, track and inspire volunteering. Using a mobile app allows you as a nonprofit to have a tool where you can push messages out about how to volunteer/give, what the impact is, etc.

SmartOnline just wrapped up an Invent Your Mobile App contest. St Louis Volunteen won, two Millennials are the ones that developed it – geolocation app to find volunteering opportunities, find contests, find things tied to schools, and sharing on social media.


Most every device can send a text message. Unlike mobile apps, this is something that is virtually available to everyone. Example: PETA anti-fur campaign – sms campaign to engage Millennials in anti-fur campaign against Donna Karen. Millennials were asked to respond Y (yes) to the number that they could then say how many people were voting in support.

The reason sms may be better for activism vs donation is that there isn’t as much transparency about how you’re impacting the world. They know they are voting, vs not knowing where their money is going. The average open rate for email is about 10% but with text messages it is 18%.

There’s an application from the One Campaign and Bono called One that is focused on activism.

Mobile Giving

Trust and donations were huge in the Millennial Donor Report. You must segment your channels of asking. Knowing where Millennials are and which channels do they prefer you use to talk to them is important. They said that they will stop giving if you ask too often. They want to know how their gift will be used.

Ensure your donation forms are optimized for mobile. If it’s a full screen on your computer, and you are looking at it on your phone, it’s impossible. And someone is just going to leave.

58% of Millennials prefer to give online – but they are likely to be accessing your website via a mobile phone. Mobile application giving will grow, 1:4 gave vs preferred. There’s currently very few applications. For example, a bike-a-thon in Texas has a Ride for Life app so that people can keep track of pledges and fundraising, see where others are, etc. Anything that can be game-like is great for an app.

Mobile Roadmap

One of the first things you should do is create a mobile website. Take the most important, relevant, action-oriented information and put it on the mobile version. Ensure your donation page is mobile accessible so that click throughs from emails on phones go somewhere that really works. Apps are a great way to educate and active. Native smartphone functionality is powerful, with geolocation and other services.

What are you doing now? If you haven’t started engaging yet, here’s how to start. Ask initial questions:

  • What are you doing already?
  • Strong social media presence?
  • Activism focused mission?
  • Educational programs?
  • Large scale fundraising events?

Mobile plan:

  • What are your biggest goals?
  • What will Millennials and others do with/for you?
  • Why would they want to use mobile solutions?
  • Who/which departments need to be involved?
  • How can enhancements and tools be paid for?
  • Find a trusted partner!

Many Millennials have not yet chosen their life-long charities of choice. It’s important you start building trust and accessibility so that you can win them now.

“If your plans don’t include mobile, then your plans are not finished.” – Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola

Live blogging from the 2011 Millennial Donor Summit: Successfully Going Mobile
Tagged on: