Technology used: Mobile Donate, screencast
Location: New Jersey
The PhD Project has one goal: provide scholarships to give minorities a chance in the Business academia field. Relying on donations from their members and larger organizations, The PhD Project turned to Give by Cell two years ago to diversify their donations.
PhD Project didn't want to do a traditional $5 or $10 donation. So they turned to Give by Cell and asked how they can engage more with their donors at the event and allow them to donate any amount. We recommended Mobile Donate. It was easy to setup, no requirements or eligibility and allowed donors to give any amount.
“We wanted something that would give us direct donations, without staff needing to monitor it or having to collect the donations,” said Tara Perino, Director of The Phd Project. “We also always want to stay up to date with trends.”
The PhD project, like any other charity, has a diverse donation pool. Most of their members are either grad students or professors themselves, who’ve become used to just cutting a check. Perino and her staff became tasked on how to get people to donate via their phones. Their first step: spread the word.
“We put our keyword on everything!” said Perino. “We made sure it was on every bit of marketing material; emails, pamphlets, even on our social media accounts.” With periodic social media posts, The PhD Project has let people donate throughout the year.
Paired with the screencast feature, the annual dinners have really been their biggest donation efforts. “The screencast is great,” said Perino. “It’s so great with a live audience that you can create challenges.” Since there can be multiple dinners in one night, Perino and team decided to match them up against each other.
“We had two dinners in different states starting within two hours of each other so we had them compete against each other. We had people pulling out their phones and donating $2 just to top the other dinner. It was a great way to engage and challenge the donors.”
There are still audiences to crack and goals to hit, but The PhD Project shows no signs of slowing down. Despite some bumps in the road “it’s not been enough to say ‘we’re not gonna do this anymore.’”