You’ve probably heard the term “go mobile” tossed around by various blog posts, articles and influencers. You know that the world is becoming increasingly mobile, but what does that really mean? How will this affect your organization? Most importantly, as a nonprofit, what do you have to do to get the most out of your mobile audiences?
Below are five ideas to help you grow your nonprofit organization with mobile apps.
1. Get Your Own Mobile App
As a non-profit, your biggest focus, aside from making a difference in your cause, is going to be fundraising and growing memberships. With the increasing mobile traffic (check out these mobile trend stats on Smart Insights), a mobile app is the perfect channel to connect your audiences with your cause. Create your own customized app to present your messages and for your members to download to their smartphones for easy access. You can either build your app in-house or outsource to a mobile app agency. Your choice will have to depend on your organizations's resources, capacity, size, and what you need it to do. Here are some specific considerations for build-in-house versus outsourcing along with some relevant costs, for your references.
2. Go Mobile with Fundraising/Donations
Did you know: According to Artez Interactive, a fundraising technology and services provider, nonprofits that offer mobile app donation services generate up to 123% more individual donations per campaign than organizations that don’t. Make it easy for your members to donate by implementing easily noticeable “Donation” buttons on each page of your app. Use the app to encourage subscriptions and to track gifts. Employ a rewards program to thank your donors for their gifts and to inspire more people to give. Send your donors small gifts or honor badges based on the levels of donations.
3. Send Updates
People donate because they support your cause and want to make a difference. That’s why sending routine updates on the progress of your projects is essential to retaining and growing your organization’s memberships. In 2007, The Humane Society of the United States campaigned against the commercial hunting of seals in Canada and offered its subscribers live updates during the annual hunting period. According to Grace Markarian, manager of online communications, about 10,000 people signed up for updates in the first year. It’s a powerful way to build an engaging community around your campaign. You can send mobile updates via push notifications.
4. Expand Your Business Network
Link your app with other local businesses to increase member interactions and raise awareness for your cause. Passionate about fair trade? Designate a page on your app that locates local cafes that serve fair-trade coffee and tea, and allow members to share other fair-trade locations. Building a strong coalition with other businesses that share the same vision is key to long-term success.
5. Gamify Your App
Although your causes are serious, the membership experience can be fun. Gaming is an effective way to attract and engage new members for your campaigns, fast. For example, if you’re raising funds for a tornado-struck town, allow donors to “adopt” projects in the town. Then, as the funds start to make an impact, enable users to upload real before and after pictures. This fosters a sense of teamwork and directly connects the donors to the problems to which they are contributing. Allowing donors to see immediate impacts motivates them to remain active members for the long-term.
The key to building and sustaining high-impact nonprofit organizations is making members believe that their contributions are making positive changes to the issue. Employing mobile app effectively connects members to your organization and its projects in a way that is real time and personal. Take advantage of the app’s ability to increase donations, update your members on the status of your campaigns, and allow members to participate in your projects.
Do you need assistance acquiring and/or launching a mobile app for your organization? We're here to help! Please send us a message or leave a comment below.