Challenge

ifcj logo

How do you launch a new mobile campaign?

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is a nonprofit dedicated to building understanding between the two religious groups. A focal point of their ongoing effort is the yearly Prayer at the Wall event, where IFCJ staff and visitors head to the Western Wall in Jerusalem and say prayers sent in by those who could not make the trip. Each year, about two months before the event, IFCJ begins reaching out and asking for submissions of prayers. The campaign is a strong supporter motivator, bringing an influx of new names, contact information, and donations.

This year, IFCJ decided to use the campaign as a focal point for mobile engagement. They partnered with Mobile Commons with one important question in mind. How could they use mobile not just as a neat technological trick, but instead as an integrated part of their outreach?

Solution

Integrate mobile technology with all of IFCJ’s existing media

IFCJ realized by using mobile, they could open up all their existing media to a new audience, and engage their supporters in a whole new medium.

First, they incorporated a mobile call to action into all their existing campaign materials. That included the website, their outgoing email, online advertising, social media, even snail mail. Across all their channels, people read the simple call to action – “Prayer at the Wall, Text PRAY to 877877.” No matter how the message came through, responding was as simple as sending a text with their full name, email address, and a prayer.

IFCJ also used the Prayer at the Wall campaign to launch the linchpin of their mobile efforts – a mobile-optimized website. They also created mobile versions of every one of their outbound email communications, including their e-appeals, thereby opening up critical supporter communications to a new audience, in a new and user-friendly format. The mobile website also was able to process both donations and prayers.

I see mobile as a channel, rather than a tool,” said IFCJ’s Margaux Pagán. ”It integrates perfectly with our existing outreach.

Results

More adopters, engaged members, and more donations than requested

IFCJ didn’t even ask for donations in its mobile web e-appeal. But it got them anyway! More than $1,000 worth of unsolicited contributions – a testament to the power of mobile to make giving easy. If this single, gentle appeal could spur spontaneous donations, what would happen when the IFCJ did request money? The answer came in the form of over $60,000 in gifts in the first few months after the launch of the mobile website, text campaign, and mobile-friendly versions of all outbound communications. That’s especially impressive considering that the demographic is around 60 years old. IFCJ also saw its web traffic spike 8% from use of the mobile website.

Pagán summed up the success:

Mobile Commons allowed us to do so much more than text to give. It provided a new way to send out ALL our materials, which spurred donations even more than a simple giving campaign.

IFCJ didn’t just earn more money. They also expanded their ability to reach out and engage their members. Hundreds of prayers and new email addresses were submitted through the mobile web page alone. Hundreds more opted in to the mobile campaign via the text.

Furthermore, because Mobile Commons tracks every action that these new users take, as well as their location, IFCJ can use that information in the future to better target and cultivate their community of supporters.