On my last trip to Austin, I visited the Chi’Lantro food truck. It was delicious. But, more importantly for this post, it was nice to have the option to pay with a credit card. A lot of businesses are jumping on board with mobile payment services to be able to take credit card payments while on the go. I see them most often in food trucks, craft fairs and other business models that move around and don’t stick to a traditional store front location.
There is a nice summary here of three different companies that offer this service. As far as I can tell, none of them offer special non-profit rates as of yet, but I hope they will soon because I’d like to see more folks in the non-profit community experimenting with this technology.
Here are some places I think it’d be great for the non-profit community to experiment with mobile payments.
1. Event Crowds: You have an audience of supporters for your cause lining the streets cheering on their friends and family as they run/walk/bike/climb/etc. While they wait, why not offer them the chance to give one more time (or for the first time). Offer them a pom-pom, small cow bell or other cheering enhancement as an incentive to give.
2. Tabling: Are your staff or volunteers sitting behind a table at festivals, conferences and fairs all year long? Gathering petition signatures, handing out stickers and candy, and educating the public about your great work? Maybe they are taking cash and check donations or maybe they aren’t yet taking gifts at all. Having a mobile payment option would offer a way for supporters to quickly make a gift that they may feel is more secure than handing cash to volunteer. Added bonus, you should be able to set this up so the donor can instantly receive an e-mail receipt for tax purposes.
3. Canvassing: Do you have a street canvass team? Are they using this technology? Seems like another area where being on the go and accepting payments would work hand in hand.
Has your organization tried this or have you run into a non-profit making use of this technology? I want to know more! Tell me about it in the comments below.