Highlighting Key Technology Trends for Nonprofits in 2014
Mobile, analytics, and cloud-based software are predicted to play important roles in helping nonprofits engage with supporters while still focusing on their missions. 2014 will be an exciting year for nonprofit technology. It is anticipated that many of the trends predicted last year will be revisited as opportunities for nonprofit organizations to use technology has become increasingly available. Mobile Keeping up with current trends means going mobile. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the platform of choice for computing and have changed the way we consume all sorts of online content. The majority of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, which means having a mobile-friendly approach to engaging donors has never been more important. Apps It’s pretty obvious that with a large portion of the population using a Smartphone, mobile applications are becoming more useful for consumers and organizations. The Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) reported five apps that may help your Nonprofit. 1. Cause.it Cause.it gets the word out about your organization to everyone in your community that has downloaded the application. Nonprofits have the option to partner with local businesses and users can earn points for discounts or freebies at those businesses by volunteering with your organization. 2. DailyFeats DailyFeats has become really popular by offering tools and motivation for individuals to live a healthy lifestyle. Members earn points for actions that range from eating a salad rather than a cheeseburger or volunteering for a nonprofit. These points can be used for rewards or donations to nonprofits. 3. MyWhereAbouts If you have hosted or participated in a charity run, walk or bike event then you may have already heard about this app. MyWhereAbouts allows participants to track their progress and share it by sending updates to social networks. The updates will detail the event while also sharing your organization’s donation page. 4. Square Square Register is a portable payment system that allows your nonprofit to receive payments through any iPad, iPhone or Android device. Basically, a small portable card reader plugs into your mobile device’s headphone jack to allow you to scan credit cards. Transactions are secure and payments are sent directly to your organization’s bank account. 5. VolunteerMatch With VolunteerMatch’s mobile app, members of your community can find or share volunteer opportunities at your organization via any mobile device.
The apps in 2014 seem to differ from the more traditional fundraising apps of 2013 by offering incentives and a fun twist to giving. We will see how it plays out in the following months. Analytics The world has become highly data driven with companies craving the visible benefits of understanding and monetizing data. Nonprofits have begun to see the web, social media, donor, volunteer, and client data generated on a daily basis. Learning to manage and mine data is fairly simple with free tools nonprofits can use. Google Analytics is a widely used tool and is explained in a one of our previous blog posts listed here. Cloud Cloud-based services can be intimidating to organizations that are unfamiliar with the technology. However, cloud computing has become so universal that many people are unaware they are even using it. A bit of research and a highly rated cloud service provider goes a long way. Cloud service providers are offering security and easily expandable storage space, but without the added cost and technology resources of in-house servers. Religious organizations of all sizes don't seem to be afraid and have given their blessings to cloud computing. For more information on Cloud Computing, read up on our previous posts Incorporating new technology into an organization can be tricky. Feel free to visit our website and check out the technology services we provide to small businesses and nonprofits. Stay tuned for an in detail look at a few of the trends listed above. What do you see trending in 2014? -Rebecca