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Mobile for Nonprofits: Lessons from the Innogive Conference

The Innogive Foundation‘s Innovative Giving Conference came to San Francisco on April 2. The conference helped nonprofit leaders understand how to use mobile technologies to deepen engagement and support fundraising efforts. The conference featured speakers from organizations such as PayPal, Microsoft, Network for Good, The American Cancer Society and more.

Nonprofits that are hesitant to adopt a mobile strategy should consider that last year 2.2 million text messages were sent in the US; mobile is driving 11% of web traffic, a number projected to continue climbing; and half of US mobile phone owners are now smart phone users.

If this is enough to convince you, it’s worth to bear in mind the following as you move forward in developing your mobile strategy:

  • Mobile creates microphilanthropists – each person does a little; the community does a lot
  • Before adopting any type of tech solution ask yourself, ” where does this fit in?”
  • Using mobile technologies means behavior change for many of your supporters – remember that it will take time to influence their behavior
  • Your users are not waiting to take advantage of mobile technologies: they’re already spending an average of $60 via their phones – think of the fundraising potential!
  • It’s tempting to go all in but you should experiment first and implement small-scale, limited time projects to find what works and what doesn’t
  • Test mobile sites and forms on different types (models, ages, carrier, etc.) of devices to ensure they’re accessible
  • If you do decide to build an app, remember doing it right requires good, regular content; that the app fulfill real needs; and honors the features on your users’ phones
  • If you build an app, it should do one thing really well. Worry about adding features later after you’ve built an audience
  • Mobile also means tablets whose sales are projected to surpass PCs in 2-3 years

Hopefully the preceding will help you in adopting a mobile strategy and as you move forward remember, “mobile enables us to tell our nonprofit’s story and pull people in to create more happy endings.”

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