Tablets are the new go-to device; they combine the functionality of a computer, but are portable like a cell phone. From a non-profit standpoint, this makes running a fundraising event much easier, everything they need for the event can be stored on the tablet. Staff members armed with tablets can easily register participants, collect donations and even conduct silent auctions.
If a non-profit wants to collect credit card donations over the phone or in person all they have to do is add a card reader and a payment processing service to their app and they are ready to go. Today's donors use their tablet to interact with almost everyone, including their favorite charitable organizations. Tablet users have come to expect a downloadable app or a dynamic mobile friendly web site.
For organizations just dipping a toe into the mobile arena there are specially designed apps that seamlessly integrate with Facebook. The most well known is Causes, but several others such as Fundrazr have popped up in recent years. Both Causes and Fundrazr work inside of Facebook and make it easy for a non-profit to set up a campaign then Facebook users can donate to and promote their favorite charities.
Other fundraising platforms offer non-profit friendly apps. Justin Szabo, from the FH Foundation, which is a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of Familial Hypercholesterolemia, says his organization researched online platforms before settling on RAZ mobile.
They were drawn to RAZ because "Unlike other services, which charge a percentage of transactions, RAZ has a monthly fee - which we've found to be more cost effective in the long run."
Aside from cost, an important aspect driving their decision to use RAZ was "the social media function, which allows donors to share their contributions with their social network. This is essentially free marketing for us and an effortless way to raise awareness of FH. "
Almost all fundraising vendors are adding a mobile component to their products. HuTerra, which launched a couple weeks ago, is web-based but it also works well on mobile devices. According to Nicole Nash, the Director of Media and Social Content for HuTerra. The platform has already been adopted by several organizations including Habitat for Humanity of WI.
Nicole describes HuTerra as a unique Community fundraising method and notes that they are developing free tools for non-profits to use to manage donors and volunteers.
Lisa Kay Peters, a HuTerra user says, "As a grassroots organization without a development staff, we're excited about how fast and easy it is to start short-term or long-term fundraising campaigns and events in HuTerra. And of course, "free" is one of our favorite words! We really can't afford the time or the fees needed to use other tools out there."
Some apps come about because someone sees a need and fills it, which is the case with DonationMatch created by Renee Zau. Donation Match is a web-based app-that also works well on a tablet-that lets tax-exempt non-profits find and request items from the DonationMatch catalog in just a few clicks.
Renee explains why she developed Donation Match "Because of [her] frustrations with data entry and difficulty reaching decision-makers of known charitable businesses." Renee goes on to say, "I've personally saved several hours as an auction chair with DonationMatch by being able to export all the donor/donation details (provided by companies) and importing them into GreaterGiving to run our Silent auction."
What if a non-profit can't find the perfect fundraising app for them? They can use a company like iNotForProfit. iNotForProfit works with non-profits to create a mobile app for the non-profit. INotForProfit does everything from building the app to sending it for approval; they take care of it all.
Once the app is approved and ready to use the non-profit is giving a simple, user-friendly log-in where they can update the information in their app as simply as sending an email.