Nonprofit: Assess and develop technology skills
Mobile technologies like smartphones and tablets are fast becoming the most common way to access the Internet. Popular mobile devices bring a plethora of time-saving programs and other cool techie tools with it. Mobile giving, for example, has grown exponentially in the three years since it was introduced in 2008. In 2009, more than $1.5 million was raised via text-based giving; the year 2010 saw $42 million.Mobile technologies like online giving require your staff to be somewhat technologically savvy. Adept and informed personnel are critical to organizational growth. Integrating mobile technology and ensuring that they evolve with it is a surefire way to see, and be seen, by the community.

Emerging everyday mobile technology
Mobile technology is changing the way we live and work. Your donors of today are already on the bandwagon, but think about the donors of tomorrow! Can you imagine how our youth will work and think and interact with your organization 10 and 20 years from now? That’s why it’s critical to ensure your team and organization is up-to-speed on mobile technologies. Consider some of these recent innovations:

  • Intuit® is a small device that connects to a smartphone and acts as a credit card reader for small businesses.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) allows devices to securely connect and transmit information from one to the other. Seen those videos of two people touching their phones together to share photos, videos and music? That’s NFC.
  • The Mobile Wallet or Google® Wallet uses NFC technology to store credit card and loyalty card information allowing users to tap and pay at retailers that support the technology, too. One retailer that made the mobile move right away was Starbucks®. It introduced a mobile payment program not long ago and has already processed millions in sales.

Assessment: Find a common denominator
First, assess the overall level of knowledge on your team as it relates to mobile technology and their comfort level with devices like tablets and smartphones. Consider an internal survey asking about usage frequency and experience with mobile purchasing, social media, geo-location services, mobile platforms and responsive design. The likelihood is that everyone on your team will have some knowledge, but not to the extent that will enable your organization to think and “be” mobile. A training session is likely!

Development: Build a tech savvy organization
Host someone from a mobile or Web technology consulting group or find relevant webinars (seminars via the Web) that address some of the mobile skills your team requires. As your team completes these sessions, nurture their enthusiasm and support for the change through mobile-centric rewards like:

Implementation: Ask for input
Next, ask your clients and donors for their input to determine what mobile technologies will benefit them most.

  • If you or others in your organization are part of community groups, tap those groups for ideas on ways to best provide your services via mobile. Hand out phone-themed Post-it® Notes with your organization’s logo as a thank you for their brainstorm.
  • Connect with donors by engaging their opinions through an online survey asking about their mobile behaviour with your organization. Thank those who complete the survey with cell phone cleaning pads.

Use this information to begin to develop a mobile strategy for your organization that truly meets the needs of your stakeholders and will begin to build a foundation for tomorrow’s online givers!

Snyder, Jennifer. “The Truth about Mobile Donations.” The Truth about Mobile Donations – Columns – Mobile Commerce Daily. Mobile Commerce Daily, 29 June 2011. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

Kats, Rimma. “Why Mobile Wallets Are the New Credit Card.” Why Mobile Wallets Are the New Credit Card – Mobile Commerce Daily – Payments. Mobile Commerce Daily, 03 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

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