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The Facebook ‘On this Day’ feature reminded me last week of this blog from July 2012, where James announced the launch of Mobilise – our regular giving by PSMS platform.

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I can’t believe that it’s five years since we launched! In that time nearly 350,000 donors have been recruited and they’ve given close to £15 million pounds.

 

In its first month we paid out £9 to the first charity on board. That was Tim, Fiona and me signing up for £3 a month! I’m still giving. Can’t speak for the other two :).

 

Last month we paid out close to £500,000 to the 30+ active Mobilise clients.

 

I’m really proud of the growth of Mobilise as a fundraising tool. Every year since we launched Mobilise the charities that use it have between them recruited more Mobilise donors than the previous year. The most donors recruited in a single month was close to 19,000 and 1,700 is the most donors we’ve ever seen recruited in a single day.

 

When we first launched Mobilise it’s fair to say that telemarketing was the place where most donors were recruited as a ‘drop ask’ in a conversion call. But as our sector has changed, so has the way in which Mobilise donors have been recruited, with clients recruiting direct to Mobilise rather than converting PSMS donors. 2016 was the first year in which more donors were recruited on TV than all other channels combined. And 2017 is seeing the continued importance of TV, with digital recruitment sources fast becoming important to our Mobilise clients.

 

We have worked with our clients to do so much with the platform, whether that’s trialling regular giving for the DEC, creating products for Diabetes UK or integrating a Mobilise offer into Stand Up to Cancer activity for CRUK.

 

And we’ve learnt so much along the way about how donors interact with content. I think it’s fair to say that in the beginning we got it wrong and tried to reflect offline/print communications in the content we sent donors – which is the entirely the wrong thing to do. Donors want light, bite-sized bits of content with clear signposting to more information if they want it. It’s no more complicated than that.

 

Mobilise is all about the power of fusing payment, control and content into your mobile phone. Which is why we’ve been working so hard recently with our colleagues at Open Mobile Global to add in additional payment options all controlled via your mobile: credit & debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay and, coming soon, Direct Debit.

 

The future is far more exciting that the past. We continue to be obsessed by the potential of the mobile phone for fundraising, activism and campaigning. And our ambition for Mobilise has always been for it to be more than an SMS and PSMS platform.

 

We can’t wait to see where the next five years take us.

 

Paul de Gregorio

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We’ve had a busy few days here at Open.

 

Last Tuesday evening we got the call from the British Red Cross, telling us about the One Love Manchester benefit concert for those affected by the terrorist attacks in Manchester and asking for our help with the fundraising. Of course we said yes.

 

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Before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and I was heading to Manchester to be Open’s representative in the stadium. The atmosphere was incredible, very emotional but unbelievably positive. Ariana Grande and her team got the tone of the event spot on. And we worked with the British Red Cross to position the fundraising as an opportunity to give, rather than a direct call to action. By the end of the night we’d helped to raise more than £2 million from over 400,000 people who sent a text.

 

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Thanks to the amazing teams at the British Red Cross and Open, we did in days what usually takes weeks. And we’re incredibly proud to have been part of it.

 

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chechnyaimage

 

“Добро пожаловать в 20 век”

 

That’s Welcome to the 20th century in Russian. Because this week feels like we’re looking 100 years back in time.

 

Reports of concentration camps have surfaced. And the stories aren’t unclosed cases from Nazi-Germany, or investigations into 1940s European governments. They are stories of today. Of camps that exist as I write this.

 

Hundreds of gay, and possibly bisexual men have been captured, thrown into camps, tortured and some even killed in the Chechen Republic of Russia (Chechnya). The Chechen government not only deny this, but refuse to acknowledge that gay men exist in their country.

 

So, in the words of the chant that resonated outside the Russian Embassy last night…

 

“When our community is under attack, what do we do? Stand Up. Fight Back.”

 

As Fiona and I stood among the crowds, surrounded by pink flowers, rainbows, homemade signs and powerful chants, there was an overwhelming feeling of solidarity. Not only with those standing next to us, but with those who are thousands of miles away, who don’t share our rights. And our freedoms to love who we love and be who we are.

 

Charities including Pride, Stonewall and Amnesty stood among hundreds of protesters. And it made me think…

 

If our goal is to create change, is it always best to ask for money upfront? Probably not. People are sociable. They want to stand (in person or online) alongside others who share their beliefs. Together people are stronger.

 

Demonstrating and protesting is hands on. It’s in the moment. It is a moment. You might even call it experiential marketing.

 

For the likes of Amnesty and Stonewall, it’s inherent to their being. But I feel that other charities have a huge opportunity to engage their supporters to stand with them on the issues they care about. It may not create immediate donations, but it could well create long-term relationships, trust, and perhaps most importantly, change.

 

To show your support, add your name to Amnesty’s petition here…

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/stop-abducting-and-killing-gay-men-chechnya

 

 
Joe