For nonprofits, mobile is a strategy – not a solution

By On3 Marketing In Mobile Development, Software Development March 2, 2015

Mobile Strategy

Smartphones and tablets have simplified daily life for millions of people. Organizations have accepted that mobility is reality in the modern era, and as such they see value in application investments. Not only is this true for businesses and enterprises, but also for nonprofits.

The only way to succeed, however, is with a plan. It’s easy to say “we need an app to stay relevant,” but what is the program in question going to do?

“[I]f you develop a real reason to have an app (perhaps you offer deals and coupons for certain businesses who support your nonprofit, or offer updates on your progress and exclusive videos of your efforts), connecting with your audience through mobile can be a strategic move,” wrote Nonprofit Hub on its website.

There are a number of different tasks that a nonprofit organization can streamline through the use of mobile technology. From spreading the message to application-based fundraising, nonprofits have to invest in custom software solutions.

Increased visibility a major advantage to having an app 
Mobile programs allow for an interesting kind of engagement. It’s different than exposing people to a commercial, or even going out and trying to connect in person. Users feel as though they have more control over their experience, and may even be more inclined to donate to a nonprofit in need.

This brings us to another major advantage: fundraising. Donations are key for countless nonprofit organization, but drumming them up can be difficult. Some people may feel on-the-spot if approached in person, making them less likely to donate – even if only a little. Many donation drives also have a chance of catching people at a time when they don’t have any cash available. The idea of being able to support nonprofits through an application rather than try to explain why they can’t donate at the moment increases the likelihood that they will give any little bit than they can.

Additionally, nonprofit apps can take advantage of push notifications, which can help to keep donation goals and upcoming events front-of-mind for the target audience. It’s the phone’s features, like the camera, GPS and notification centers, that set it apart from other platforms.

“Being able to connect with your supporters through their personal mobile devices is probably the most powerful argument for creating a mobile app,” stated Fundraising IP contributor Marita Meegan. “When you take advantage of the fact that a smartphone is usual no more than a few feet from its user and your app takes advantage of all the capabilities of a mobile device, no PC or laptop can even come close to replicating the connectivity of a smartphone or tablet.”

Programs have to be fitted to nonprofits that use them
Not all applications are designed equally. Some solutions try to be everything to all organizations that use them. But the thing about it is that every entity – regardless of if they are in direct competition – operates very differently. Nonprofits have to make sure that the software they’re using is specifically designed for their individual needs.

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