A new microdonations program launched by Mississippi Public Broadcasting aims to appeal to younger donors who want to make giving easy.
The broadcaster is the first public media organization to work with Softgiving, a financial technology company focused on nonprofits. Softgiving’s technology allows MPB to receive donations in the form of small gifts rounded up from purchases on donors’ debit and credit cards. A donor’s card is debited when their rounded-up change adds up to at least $5, and donors can set limits on how much they give.
MPB rolled out Softgiving during a pledge drive March 23 by prompting donors to sign up with the service. It promoted the new way to give in radio and TV spots and through email blasts. A video on MPB’s website provides guidance.
The network signed up about 80 donors March 23 and has since added about 20 more through promotion on its website.
Angela Crossley Ferraez, MPB director of development, said she returned a phone call from Softgiving in January as a courtesy. But as she learned more about the technology, she thought it had potential to diversify MPB’s donors and funding.
“We love our traditional supporters and sustainers with all our hearts, and we have to have them,” Ferraez said. “But I want to make a concentrated effort to reach out to younger potential members because everything today is technology-driven. I felt that Mississippi Public Broadcasting needed to take advantage of that on a larger scale.”
Donors don’t miss the extra change from their budget because of how it’s extracted, Ferraez said. But making giving easy risks a lack of donor engagement. MPB must now cultivate the change-givers it signs up.
“Not everyone is going to be engaged, but I think most become more engaged the more information they have and the more we reach out and touch them,” Ferraez said “We have to do the friends-raising as much as the fundraising.”
MPB is following up through emails and phone calls with donors who signed up for Softgiving, Ferraez said. It is committed to using Softgiving through the end of the year.