Mobile Fundraising

Mobile Giving for Performing Arts Make for a Dynamic Partnership

Several performing arts groups have turned to Engage by Cell to to raise funds during concerts to pay for tours, education and instruments.

Most recently, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the nation’s first LGBT choral group, used our Mobile Engage and Mobile Donate services to raise more than $10,000 at just six winter concerts. Concert attendees were handed donation instruction cards with their programs and a speaker made a verbal call to action at each concert. Attendees took out their cell phones, texted the keyword “SING” to, 56512, and were directed to one of two mobile-friendly landing pages, branded and customized to the performing arts group, where they could make donations using either their credit cards or cellular phone bills.

Engage by Cell accelerated the fundraising initiative for the group, for which donations and corporate sponsors account for 50 percent of the annual budget.

In Portland, Oregon, the Youth Music Project raised more than ever at its youth concerts despite having some of the shows cancelled due to winter weather. Rather than relying on cash and check donations, as well as completed credit card forms left in envelopes, the organization turned to us to quickly and non-intrusively collect pledges using audience members’ mobile phones.

The organization used our Mobile Pledge service, allowing audience members to make pledges by cell phone that staff members later collected by reaching out to them directly, as well as the Engage by Cell’s Screencast fundraising thermometer, which showed fundraising results in real time and motivated attendees to make additional pledges. The Youth Music Project more than doubled its live event giving and collected contact information for new donors in the process.

The money raised will fund music education for youth near Portland, Oregon, by offering low-cost lessons, free instrument use and performance opportunities.

Two organizations that organize summer concert series recently partnered with Engage by Cell to increase their giving. In Memphis, nonprofit venue Levitt Shell partnered with Give by Cell for similar services for its summer pop and rock concert series, featuring popular acts like Kelsey Walden, Foxygen and Squirrel Nut Zippers. The venue funds concerts through sponsorships, grants and donations.

“We put on 50-plus free shows a year to a diverse community,” said Cindy Cogbill, Director of Programming. “We are hoping to utilize the (Engage by Cell) platform to enhance donations from audience members on the lawn during live performances.”

In Chicago, meanwhile, the Grant Park Orchestra Association, which hosts three classical concerts a week for 10 consecutive weeks, will use Mobile Donate, Mobile Pledge and Screencast at its free summer festival.

The Grant Park Music Festival is the preeminent classical music concert series in the Chicagoland region and the concerts take place at The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in renowned Millennium Park.

“Our goal is to engage with the people sitting on the lawn,” Development Manager Jennifer Nahn said.

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