Hint: most often, it’s not by cell phone. M&R Strategic Services updated their mobile benchmarks report today, and the results are interesting in a couple of areas. First, the rate of growth of nonprofit mobile acquisition has slowed somewhat since 2010, which the survey authors attribut to the organizations having picked the low-hanging fruit on the existing supporter lists — i.e., the people on their email lists who WOULD sign up to be contacted via cell phone HAVE signed up.
Which leads us to the second point: groups are still gaining the bulk of their mobile following NOT by getting people to sign up via their phones. Instead, roughly two-thirds of their new mobile activists are converts from email lists, as the graphic below shows:
One of these days, cell phones will be the main channel through which political and advocacy groups contact their supporters. But that day has yet to come, and it’s been on the horizon for a long, long time now.