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“Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.” – Steve Jobs

With the release of IOS 8, Apple entered the mobile payment market with Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service that allows users to make payments using Apple devices. You’ve probably heard about the benefits Apple Pay will bring to consumers, but have you considered what this mobile technology might mean to fundraising efforts?

What does Apple Pay mean to nonprofits?

Consumers (who also are potential donors) adapt their lifestyles to market trends. Therefore, as Apple Pay moves into the mainstream, more consumers will rely on it to make payments. Nonprofits can sometimes be behind the curve when it comes to the implementation of new technology. This can create a problem because the consumer market is ahead of the curve.

Simply put, Apple Pay makes it easy for donors to respond immediately to donation requests. Fundraisers, on the other hand, don’t have to swipe credit cards or wait for promised checks. With Apple Pay, immediacy is streamlined.

How can Apple Pay affect the future of fundraising?

Here are five specific ways that Apple pay could impact the future of fundraising:

  •      Apple Pay removes the account information from the middle guy; therefore, making the transaction more secure and faster. This is important because the attention span of our donors is continuing to decrease because of the business of our world. The faster the donation process, the better chance they will stick with it to completion. Apple Pay also alleviates the concerns people have to make donations electronically.
  •      Secure and fast Apple Pay transactions provide touch and go convenience and results. Unlike text-to-give strategies, the Apple Pay transaction is immediately processed. The funds also are immediately available to the nonprofit. Therefore, this provides a great opportunity for a donor to make an immediate difference. When people see how they can make a difference at that moment, they are more likely to give.
  •      Apple Pay enhances the opportunity for increased face-to-face and event donations. Every type of face-to-face promotion—like a booth at an event or a traditional walk-a-thon—provides the opportunity for donors to invest in the nonprofit. The use of technology allows people to do from their phones something they traditionally could only do from their wallets. The more ways you give donors to make contributions, the more money you will receive.
  •      Apple Pay is an innovative opportunity to engage the next generation of donors. Many nonprofits are in the process of building their younger donor engagement strategies. They need to understand that the strategies that worked with previous generations might not work as well with future generations. Offering the opportunity for the younger demographic to donate through Apple Pay and other mobile payment solutions creates the possibility of increased donations through a format that is native to that audience.
  •      Apple Pay maximizes the opportunity for capturing donors in the moment. Emotional appeals have always been an important part of fundraising. The challenge has been capturing the emotion and attention of donors long enough for them to take action. Apple Pay eliminates the time difference by providing an immediate opportunity to give.
Apple Pay is Coming… Will Your Nonprofit be Ready?

Technology spreads fast, but we’ve seen past trends where advances in technology are slowly adopted by many American organizations. For example, Chinese organizations have been using mobile payment technology for over a decade. Alipay was launched in 2004 and now makes up over half of China’s online payments. Now it has been introduced in the United States. Mobile payment technology is here and is expected to reach $58 billion in transactions by 2017.

When it comes to incorporating mobile payment technologies, nonprofits should take time to be proactive rather than reactive. The organizations that tap into this technological shift the fastest not only stand a better chance of building a healthy donor base among technology-savvy younger adults, they also will set the pace for how nonprofits embrace advances in technology in the future.