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The Top 5 Ways to Use Apps at Your Nonprofit

With an increasing migration of nonprofits into the virtual space, a mobile and digital strategy is imperative for your organization to stay competitive. Developing an app for your nonprofit is a great way to stand out, develop credibility, and grow your organization. Still not sure an app is right for you? Here are five reasons why your nonprofit should consider building a mobile app.

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While the idea of creating your own app might seem daunting, the process is similar to creating a website — both of which TechSoup can do for you. Custom apps can better support your goals in many ways.

  • User experience: Ensure that all your requirements are met and that your constituents get the best possible experience.
  • Scalability: Avoid the need to migrate later by building a custom app that can grow with your organization and traffic.
  • Ease of maintenance: Take control over the changes and features you want without waiting for a third party to build those or having to switch platforms down the line.
  • Analytics: Build your app with a data mindset. Custom apps allow for extraction of as much metadata as you need.
  • Security: With growing cyberthreats, having an in-house application can secure your data against large third-party platforms, which are larger targets for data breaches.

Custom applications allow you to track and maximize your organization's impact. While a general app can help to propel your organization, here are a few specific use cases for app development in the nonprofit sector.

1. Events

Both virtual and in-person events can greatly benefit from an event management application. Event apps can support your organization in increasing engagement, enhancing reporting, and managing logistics like scheduling, ticketing, and messaging. Apps can also help to manage networking and social media feeds and organize speakers. Leveraging an app in these ways enhances the overall attendee experience and can help your event and organization grow exponentially.

Event-related apps enable nonprofit organizations to extend the networking and educational opportunities that one-and-done live events cannot provide. This offers more opportunities for organizations to connect with their supporters before, during, and after an event to accelerate engagement and impact.

TechSoup offers app development solutions for both live and virtual events to make your next event a fully integrated experience.

2. Fundraising

Growth of online fundraising has been prevalent throughout the last decade, increasingly so as we see more events and organizations needing to adapt to virtual settings. But not all online traffic is equal. The number of donations completed on a desktop actually decreased 10 percent while donations completed on a mobile device increased by 50 percent just since 2016. It's more important than ever to ensure that your donation funnels are mobile optimized.

Fundraising apps can be used either internally or publicly. Internally, you can manage tasks, keep bios of existing donors, create ideal donor profiles, or manage marketing collateral or campaigns. Creating a donor-facing app builds immediate credibility in your organization and can be used in many ways:

  • Prize bidding during gala events
  • In-person donations
  • Selling and managing event tickets
  • Increasing user experience and lowering the barrier to donate

3. Volunteering

From recruiting new volunteers to managing active volunteers, apps are an excellent way to solve administrative and communication needs. An app designed for your organization can track timesheets and schedules, send out reminders and timely messages, conduct onboarding and training, and increase awareness through social sharing and peer-to-peer communication.

As more opportunities exist online, a well-designed app could even serve as a platform for volunteers to conduct the work your organization needs. These are some ways your organization could leverage virtual volunteers.

  • Creating virtual greeting cards
  • Peer-to-peer education
  • Mentorship matching and management
  • Crisis hotline management
  • Advocacy and organizing
  • Project management

4. Membership

According to a study conducted by Association Adviser (PDF), 26 percent of associations and nonprofit organizations reported that upgrading or improving their membership management software or app made the most impact on the growth of their organization. Membership management and membership growth can both be accomplished with an app uniquely designed for your organization. For organizations with a board of directors, having one optimized location for your contact directory, task manager, polling and surveys, and agendas can help keep your meetings organized and efficient.

5. Sharing Resources

Developing an app for your constituents is a great way to accelerate the impact your organization has by focusing on the end user and the resources they need to succeed. Using the term "resources" is broad and therefore can be applied to just about any nonprofit organization that has a public-facing aspect. These are some potential ways organization types can use an app to deliver resources.

  • A veteran advocacy group could create an app with locations, contact information, and costs for mental health services in the area.
  • A healthcare nonprofit organization could create an app to link patients with telehealth professionals.
  • An affordable housing association could create an app with rental listings available, checklists for moving, and applications for financial assistance.
  • The American Heart Association built an app to promote and manage a fundraiser.

A mobile app improves your brand reach and the legitimacy of your nonprofit organization. Whether you're looking for a general app to complement your website or a custom app designed for any of these use cases, this solution can be a simple and cost-effective way to grow your organization and impact.

Interested to learn more about how apps can grow your nonprofit? Schedule a marketing app consultation.


Additional Resources

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