Add Free Wi-Fi to Your Cause Marketing Mix

At SXSW in 2012, an ad agency with both cheek and enterprise turned Austin-area homeless people into 4G hotspots. The homeless people made $20 a day, plus tips.

The stunt generated tons of publicity, much of it mixed. I suspect/hope some of the homeless folks made bank during the run of SXSW. Too bad they didn’t end their time at SXSW with something more lasting.

Now Wavespot, a provider of Wi-Fi solutions for small business, is offering your nonprofit a free Wi-Fi hotspot, a $1200 value, just for signing up. And this offer does leave nonprofits with something more lasting.

Wavespot makes its money selling its ‘marketing router,’ as they put it, to small and medium sized businesses. To access the Wi-Fi, you have to like the provider’s Facebook page or Follow it on Twitter. So you can get free Wi-Fi in that indie coffee shop you like so much, so long as you connect with it via one of the two most prominent social networks. The same rules apply nonprofits that offer free Wi-Fi via a Wavespot router.

Why is Wavespot extending this offer to nonprofits?

“Wavespot’s founders as well as many members of our team come from a background in the nonprofit sector,” their Marketing Manager Arash Shoushtari told me. “So we are always looking for ways to leverage our technology to help nonprofits reach their goals. We believe that Wavespot can become a very powerful tool for nonprofits in their marketing strategies in terms of spreading information virally over social media, gathering contact information for future solicitations and even raising funds via third-party hotspot sponsorships.”

With the proliferation of mobile devices, Wi-Fi is like crack these days. People gotta have it. So for qualifying nonprofits Wavespot’s donation may be the offer you just can’t refuse.

But it goes without saying, I hope, that you also need a plan to turn all that rich contact info and social connection from Facebook and Twitter into real donors and helpful supporters.

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