Late in 2017, Apple lifted a seven-year ban on in-app fundraising1. Up to the ban lift, nonprofits were focused on mobile fundraising strategies that went around the app store, like text-to-give and mobile donation portals. This means the field is ripe for innovation and would welcome engineers and app developers with fresh ideas.
For donors, it’s all about ease of use– 63% of mobile users would rather use an app than visiting a website2. Convenience, speed, and even entertainment value are singled out as the main reasons. Apps also do a better job hosting personalization components than a standard web page. As a result, users spend 3 to 4 times longer in mobile apps than desktop or mobile websites3.
There are several nonprofit areas that stand to benefit from app development:
Third-party platforms (Omaze, Facebook Fundraiser, Classy) are favored by nonprofits over developing their own fundraising apps. Going this route means savings from security to server space, in exchange for a processing fee. That being said, there’s still room for innovation in mobile apps for nonprofits.
Take Charity Miles4: Capitalizing on the popularity of activity trackers, the mobile fundraising app helps people donate to their favorite organization while getting exercise. Users choose the nonprofit they want to support and earn money from sponsors for every mile they walk/jog/bike. Or The Samaritan app5, which reveals the story of the homeless individuals you pass daily and gives you the opportunity to help through your mobile.
63% of mobile users would rather use an app than visit a website.
2 Other donations
Granted, awareness has more to do with the mission of the organization than its operation (like the other three), but nonprofit apps are uniquely suited to move the needle in this area. Consider GoodGuide6: This app reveals whether a product is safe, healthy and socially responsible upon scanning the item’s barcode. Users can also customize the application by choosing the issues they care about most.
The opportunities for nonprofit app development are vast and plenty. The stage is set for career starters to make their mark.
(2) Blair, I. Why Utilizing Mobile Apps Is a Must for Nonprofits. Retrieved from https://buildfire.com/mobile-apps-for-nonprofits/
(3) Ruby Garage (2017, September 6th). 8 Reasons Your Ecommerce Store Needs a Mobile App. Retrieved from https://rubygarage.org/blog/benefits-of-mobile-app-for-ecommerce
(4) Esquivel, M. The 11 Fundraising Apps Every Nonprofit Should Know. Retrieved from https://www.wholewhale.com/tips/the-11-fundraising-apps-every-nonprofit-should-know/
(5) Trahant, G. 25 Social Good Apps That Make It Simple To Impact The World Everyday. Retrieved from https://www.causeartist.com/social-good-apps-impact-the-world/
(6) Hibbing Daily Tribune (2019, January 20th). Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Blood Donors. Retrieved from https://www.hibbingmn.com/free_press/red-cross-issues-emergency-call-for-blood-donors/article_1f2d63ba-1a90-11e9-948e-bb9e3af50020.html
(7) Foodful. Save Your Food Store Money. Retrieved from https://foodful.net/benefits-for-your-business/
(8) May, M. (2018, October 25th). Charity App Round Up for October 2018. Retrieved from https://fundraising.co.uk/2018/10/25/charity-app-round-october-2018/#.XGdQsS3Mw9U