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Mobile Apps for Charity: Can Technology Make People More Altruistic?

August 21, 2015 Written by Maria Shestakova, Digital Marketer

The charity sector lags behind significantly when it comes to developing mobile applications. Major reason for this, however, is not lack of economic efficiency of the latter, but rather lack of understanding of how technology can help charities move forward digitally and financially. Let’s see why and how a mobile app can help a social mission.

Mobile applications for charities and nonprofits: 5 why’s

  • 1. Global reach

The number of global smartphone users will surpass 2 billion in 2016, and for many these devices are a key entry point to the online world. Apps are currently on the rise with well over a million being offered by iOS and Android developers, which proves their tremendous popularity and demand. This makes mobile applications a most natural way of reaching out to your target audience.

  • 2. Freedom to donate if and when people choose

The reality is no one likes being approached by charities in person, be it in the street, shopping mall, at work or at lunch. Once interrupted on a tight schedule or feeling pressured into giving money, most people will just say no on principle. A mobile app, on the other hand, sits quietly on the home screen waiting for the right moment, when a user is ready to make a meaningful contribution voluntarily.

  • 3. Ability to track charity’s activity

By downloading an app, users can follow charity’s day-to-day activities and track the progress it’s making. This transparency allows people to be reminded of the good work done daily, and inspire people to get involved, either financially or by offering their time for free. A mobile app gives your audience the chance to watch videos, get the latest updates on good initiatives and upcoming events. It helps them become a part of something big and meaningful, so that they are more likely to help back.

  • 4. Additional communication channel

Not everyone can be reached by traditional means, through newspapers or street canvassing, any longer. A mobile application for a nonprofit or charity can be a win-win solution that opens up new audiences for your immediate reach.

  • 5. Cost-saver

It costs money to train and put people for street canvassing. While designing an app has its cost as well, it’s a significant cost-saver in the long run. Moreover, once built, a mobile app has a 24/7 access to a user, which boosts efficiency and quality of communication.

Mobile apps for charity

Make the most out of mobile apps for nonprofits and charities: 5 how’s

  • 1. Focus on building brand recognition rather than creating revenue.

Stats shows that most financially successful mobile apps are those created “just for fun”. So don’t narrow yourself to creating an app for a specific fundraising campaign. Rather, concentrate on product awareness and activities, think of ways to provide engaging content, and let money and support follow.

  • 2. Use the power of social networks to make kindness go viral.

Doing good for the sake of doing good isn’t enough to encourage more people to volunteer. Make sure your app enables users to share their charitable deeds and encourage others to do the same. This is an important next step to help people develop a kinder mindset, faster, with no pressure.

  • 3. Partner with other initiatives in the area to come up with innovative engagement methods.

Add mobile app features that will allow users to give not only money, but also their time, skills and resources. This will allow for scaling charitable impact and drawing more interest to your organization.

  • 4. Study success cases of best charity mobile apps and see which features and engagement tactics can be implemented into your app.

See how Ripil App uses social sharing to encourage good deeds, or how iCukoo App utilizes gamification to turn donating into personal challenge.

  • 5. Choose your own mobile strategy according to your needs and budget.

Using mobile apps doesn’t mean you are obliged to build your own. If on a tight budget, make sure to get listed in apps such as Charity Navigator or One Today, which helps users browse through a range of charities in the area. Before you know it, you will be an important part of the app world. Yet, to get a serious competitive advantage in today’s digital world, it makes sense to partner with a professional mobile app development company for a comprehensive mobile solution tailored to your needs and objectives.

Here at R-Style Lab, we make our best to help organizations use digital technologies successfully. Let’s see how our expertise can help your cause make a bigger social impact.

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