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Nonprofits and App Developers Combine Forces for Community Change

Nonprofits and App Developers Combine Forces for Community Change

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  • Are the developers being paid for their time to develop these apps? If so, by whom? Or, are they volunteers - are they unpaid, and donating their time? Do the nonprofits identify the needs, and the programmers respond to it, or, the programmers say, "Here's what I think you need"? How much input do nonprofits have in the development of the app? Who evaluates the success of the app - and how? Are apps evaluated just by how many are using them - or is how they are using them, the effect of using them, also tracked? How much nonprofit staff time does it take to manage the data created by these apps, support users, etc., and who funds this time by nonprofit staff to do this? How do nonprofits promote use of apps to their clients? I think it's great that app development for nonprofits continues (it's been going on for more than 15 years - as soon as handhelds became more than just for making a call), but I'd really love to see the conversations go to the next level and talk about these other issues.

  • Hi Jayne,

    The Apps were all pre-made and came out of hack/coding academies, COde For America, Hackathons and personal interest projects. I scoured the web to find and spotlight apps for change that were already made. Most of the apps were made and were not originally adopted by nonprofits. Our demo was a way to showcase these apps and to a room full of nonprofits who would give feedback on them, in case the developers were interested in putting in more development cycles and getting the apps used. All of the developers were eager to share what they built and hear from nonprofits. There were no apps (and I have now done this event 4 times) built for the demo. It's more of an opportunity to show nonprofits the options and to give them an unintimidating way to see what apps could do (i.e., geo-location, personalization, geo-fencing, reminder apps, etc). The apps are not evaluated in these events and the data is managed by a nonprofit that may have adopted the app when it was developed, but that is not always the case. This is just a demo event, showcasing what I have found, since developers are building them and no one is giving them an opportunity to share them. In terms of getting feedback on the needs of nonprofits on the front end, that is what our Caravan Generators are for. And we bring the ideas that are generated to hacakathons so developers are building prototypes, based on the needs of nonprofits. Hope that helps clarify things. Let me know if you have any further questions and sorry if the article wasn't clear on this point.

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