I recently read the articles: http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/community/b/tsblog/archive/2012/01/10/nonprofit-and-library-app-survey-from-app-it-up.aspx#121266 and http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/community/b/tsblog/archive/2011/09/30/app-it-up-survey-results-roundup.aspx. Both of which I found fascinating.
I'd be interested to hear specifics on what apps people need and what it is that is missing. For example, two requested apps in the articles are task timers and event apps. There are loads of task timer apps out there already, so what is it that is needed? Also, for events there is for example eventbrite, but perhaps that doesn't quite cut it? Any suggestions greatly appreciated as I'd quite like to get into app development myself.
Websites for NGOs, charities and ethical companies
I have found that there are plenty of technology tools available to meet nonprofit needs. Ten years ago the gap was price. Before yahoo groups it was pretty expensive to run an online community. That is less true today.
Now the gap is capacity. Most organizations don't understand enough about technology to really find solutions to their business problems... it's not that solutions don't exist, it's that small NPOs can't define their business process, or have a sophisticated enough view of technology to actually deploy the tools to solve their problems.
One of the most interesting ideas I've run across recently was a company that assembles apps into actual solutions for NPOs and then coaches the org through the use of those solutions. The apps might be free, but the assembly and coaching sure isn't.
Good inquiry Andrew! and nice and insightful comment David!
I agree that there are many NPOs that are not tech savvy enough and aren't aware of the advanced business solutions offered by advanced new technologies, in this case, mobile apps.
Anyway, after reading this little post and the articles Andrew linked I'd like to add:
3 must apps for any NPO (in my opinion): 1. Geolocation Activism - CauseWorld; 2. Fundraising - Charity Finder; 3. Volunteerism - The Extraordinaries.
Excpet that, a couple of interesting links:
1. Google Apps for NPOs
2. iPhone Apps for NPOs
Will be continuing to follow and add to this post, love it!
I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. ~William Hazlitt
Hi David and Micky,
Yes it does seem that NPOs are not aware of what is available to them. I'm quite excited though about helping point organisations in the right direction. Techsoup seems like a great place to start, and also to keep up with the latest trends!
David - I was wondering who that company are that you mention (that assemble solutions for NPOs). Sounds like a good idea, and one I've been considering doing myself.
Micky - Interesting links! Particularly the list of iphone apps. The google stuff should definitely be on any NPOs radar.
causeworld - great idea! But perhaps this one isn't available any more?
charityfinder - again, like it. It's not available for me to view in the UK though. Bugger.
The Extraordinaries - I love this idea! I was thinking a while back of creating an organisation where companies allow their staff to do volunteer work if they have any down time. This app would be perfect for that.
"The Extraordinaries - I love this idea! I was thinking a while back of creating an organisation where companies allow their staff to do volunteer work if they have any down time. This app would be perfect for that."
Online volunteering opportunities abound - and have for many, many years. Unfortunately, many companies have a prohibition of their staff using even social media, let alone engaging in online volunteering. In addition, the much bigger problem is helping nonprofits create assignments so tiny and not so critical such that people could do them in just a few minutes whenever they might have some time and motivation to do so.
So it's great to want to promote online volunteering, including microvolunteering, to businesses for their employees, but be ready for there being far more people wanting to volunteer than there are opportunities for them to engage in.
Loving this discussion, BTW!
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
Good points Jayne! Yes I thought breaking the problems down into quickly doable chunks would be a problem. A shame because it seems such a good idea! The extraordinaries have this website now by the way: sparked.com. They seem to have some investment so I wonder if they're going to monitize it in some way.
Interesting that companies have a restriction on staff using social media. Working in an office devoted to the internet I don't see that side of things!
And yes, great discussion!
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