The fast growing potential for Smartphone Fundraising

Last week, Ericsson analysts announced that, according to their estimates, the world’s 5 billionth mobile phone subscription was reached on Thursday July 8th, and they illustrated the pace of growth with the fact that there are now more mobile subscribers in China alone than there were globally in 2000.

While such a milestone is a clear reminder of the growing ubiquity of mobile phones, it’s actually the parallel growth in mobile broadband subscriptions that Ericsson also report in the same news release that I think is all the more exciting from the fundraising point of view. They forecast 3.4 billion mobile broadband subscribers by 2015, up from 360 million in 2009 – which is in-line with other market estimates and represents the level of growth that has led analysts at Gartner Research to announce earlier this year that mobile phones will actually overtake PCs as the most common web access device world-wide by 2013.

This might seem like a crazy forecast, given the relatively low levels of mobile web use we see today. But with multiple studies showing month on month exponential growth in mobile web user numbers and eMarketer analysts predicting that there will be more mobile internet users in China by the end of this year than the entire population of the US it’s already looking like the technology adoption curve to beat them all.

All of which is why, when I was asked to present the Hot Topic: Digital Fundraising session at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention here in London last week it was Smartphones and the incredible range of new fundraising opportunities their mass adoption looks set to offer us that I took as my hot topic subject.

You can see my full presentation above or view it on Slideshare here – and if you’d like to read more about some of the emerging new fundraising opportunities then you can also take a look at my article in the April edition of the Resource Alliance’s ‘Global Connections’ e-newsletter.

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Three more Online Community Fundraising conference sessions coming up

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Time seems to be flying by this year. It seems like just the other day we kicked-off the new year and now it’s pretty well the end of March already. All of which means that I really need to get down to work on three conference sessions that I’m scheduled to present over the next few months.

It’s always great to meet folks who read Giving in a Digital World at conferences, and I’m also always on the look-out for new case studies to help illustrate them – so I thought I’d share the details here to see if anyone can suggest any great new examples of nonprofit online community activity for me to include.

First-up will be a couple of workshops for the recently announced IFC Online conference in May. Described as “the world’s first global, virtual fundraising conference”, IFC Online will take place completely on the internet and comprise three days of live, interactive sessions from 12th to 14th May. To provide as close to a truly global conference as possible, the live sessions are being presented twice, at times selected to make them as convenient as possible wherever you log-on from. I’m scheduled to present on ‘The future of fundraising in our networked society’ at 6pm London time on Wednesday 13th and again 11am London time on Thursday 14th (you can see the full conference session timetable for different timezones here). Should be an interesting experience presenting via an online platform and Skype, although not having any visible audience reactions is going to be a bit odd. For full details of the conference check-out the main IFC Online website here.

From 6th to 8th July it’s the 2009 National Fundraising Convention in London, where I’ll be presenting one of the ‘Big Picture’ sessions, again looking at the challenges and opportunities we face when fundraising with today’s networked society consumers.

Then, in October it’s the International Fundraising Congress in Holland where I’m co-presenting a session with Jonathan Waddingham from Justgiving, sharing some new insights into online community fundraising from an analysis of the million or so individual donors using Justgiving and Firstgiving.

So, if you’re attending any of these conferences and get along to one of my sessions do come and say hello (or IM me, or whatever, if you log on to IFC online). And don’t forget, I’m always on the hunt for new case studies – so if you’ve seen anything that’s particularly impressed you do let me know by leaving a comment.