Non-profit Organizations Are Turning To Apps
Portio Research estimated in March 2013 that 1.2 billion people worldwide were using mobile apps at the end of 2012. By the end of 2017 this number is expected to grow 4.4 billion users, much of this growth will come from Asia, which will account for almost half of app users in 2017.
Non-profit organizations are not ignoring this trend and many of them are paying attention to mobile, some of them starting with mobile optimized pages and some also choosing the native apps path. We’ll take a look below at some examples of apps for non-profit organizations and the ways they can help stay closer to supporters and raise more money.
Let others spread the word about your campaign
Movember, a nonprofit organization originally founded in Australia in 2003, holds a mustache growing charity event during November each year that raises awareness and funds for men’s health.
Once signed up users can create profiles, ask friends which mustache to grow and then add photos and status updates on their Mo Space profiles as the mustache grows. They can attract friends to join the team and request donations (via social networks or through Movember’s mobile website) from the phone. The fun and viral nature of the app really helps spread the word about the cause. Movember Mobile is available for iOS and Android.
Music Saves Lives, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles bridges music and entertainment events with the blood donation cause. Users are able to “Show love” by donating blood. They can easily locate where to donate blood and check in while donating to get access to Music Saves Lives VIP badges. Check it out on your iPhone or Android device.
Nurture and stay connected with supporters
Red Cross made available an iOS and Android app to their more than one million Americans that volunteer each year. Users get to be “briefed” on volunteer jobs via simple steps, short videos and quizzes. The app uses push notifications to send out volunteer jobs based on user’s location. It also uses a gamification system with badges that can be earned through a variety of activities (accepting a job, completing a job, sharing the app, recruiting volunteers, etc.). Additional cause supporters can be won by sharing volunteer opportunities with friends through social networks.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that works with children, families, and their communities worldwide in order to fight poverty and injustice. World Vision uses journalists to provide their mobile app users with timely, relevant insights on global issues. The apps(iOS) has a feed of photos, compelling video, crisis updates and human-interest stories from voices seldom heard on local news.
Apps that help fundraisers better manage events
Besides apps targeted at supporters, there are also apps to help their staff members with the responsibilities and logistics of fundraising. These CRMs for non-profit organizations are build to acquire supporters, boost retention, upgrade donors, and improve fundraising effectiveness. We can mention here Blackbaud’s The Raiser’s Edge and SofterWare’s DonorPerfect. Mobile apps are also giving access to contact information and other demographic data outside the office, which can be helpful for staff when our on the field or at an event.
Nonprofits might also consider apps to help them process payments during events. These apps incorporate Point of Sale (POS) technology in the form of credit card readers that work through mobile devices. One popular example in this space being Square.
It is clear that non-profit organizations are realizing the potential of the mobile channel, however there is still a lot of room to grow when it comes to creating really exciting mobile experiences that are engaging supporters and their friends.