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Try to remember: what was the last thing you did on your
phone? I just responded to a text message then took a quick peek at my
Instagram feed (I'm addicted!). Now,
think about the last time you thought about your organization's mobile
strategy. Can't remember? That's okay –
you're probably not alone.
But if you haven't already started thinking about it, now is
probably the time to start planning how your nonprofit or library can
have a presence on mobile. By now, you're probably all too familiar with the
compelling stats of why you need to start going mobile:
So what's stopping you? The reality is that creating a
mobile strategy is daunting: There's so much information out there, but just a small fraction of it is actually tailored to nonprofits. Lucky
for you, TechSoup is has a lot of mobile resources – from useful app roundups
to webinars on optimizing your website for mobile devices.
To assess what your organization needs when it comes to
mobile, you'll need some basic analytics and statistics. Consider these
Mobile Marketing Strategies from the Stanford Social Innovation Review provides
some more steps and considerations for building the foundation of your mobile
strategy. Additionally, check out our Mobile
101: The Basics article as well as the Mobile Technology solutions
page to strengthen your research.
Responsive web design
(also known as mobile optimization) refers to designing a site to provide an
optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. Making your
website adaptable to different screen signs can open up your organization to a
whole new audience. It also provides even more ways for donors to find you. Incorporating responsive web design should be
part of your overall website planning as it gives your site a longer
"shelf life" on the Internet. For more on mobile optimization,
be sure to read Go
Mobile: Why Responsive Design Matters for Nonprofits and Libraries.
Also, make sure to mark your calendar for our upcoming July
25 webinar, Optimizing
Your Website for Mobile Devices.
Besides your mobile site, you can also reach donors by way of a
mobile fundraising campaign. Receiving donations via text message is one of the easiest ways to
raise money for your organization. The Connect2Give donation program
at TechSoup provides mobile donation and communication services to eligible
nonprofits, charities, and public libraries.
There are also a few
fundraising apps out there that can help your reach new donors.
The app versus mobile web debate is never-ending. Some
analysts say that apps will go away and HTML5 web apps are the future. Other
studies argue that consumers
love native apps and only spend a limited amount of time using their mobile
browser. For nonprofits and libraries, mobile
website optimization should be your first priority. On the other hand, apps can
provide an added benefit that your website might not be able to offer.
For an example, make sure to watch a replay of the Developing
Mobile Apps from Idea to Launch: Case Study webinar. TechSoup and Caravan
Studios saw a service that a mobile app could provide with GPS.
Got any mobile strategy tips? Share them in the
Image: Mobile, sk8ergeek
Ginny Mies is a Content Curator at TechSoup Global.
Thanks for the post, Ginny! Mobile is such an important topic right now, and both for-profit and nonprofit organizations are behind the curve in adopting it.
I'm definitely a proponent of responsive web design versus mobile websites or apps for nonprofits. I'm glad you put in a plug for that. Unless you're a large organization doing a lot of group-based funding (like fun runs, etc.) I don't know that having apps is worth the investment for a lot of organizations. Not to mention that they're just plain out of reach for many.
I'm glad you found it helpful, carywalski! You make a great point about apps being out of reach for some people. Not everybody has a smartphone that can support them. Plus, it is pretty difficult (and expensive) to make an app that is compatible with every phone OS.