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Scan and Learn: QR Codes

nptechqrPage through any magazine and you are bound to spot a little square shape made up of black modules. It looks a little bit like abstract art or perhaps a funky new postage stamp, but what it really is a gateway to information.

A form of mobile tagging, this square is a Quick Response or QR code. This tiny little code makes a big impact. Aimed at mobile users, the matrix (or two-dimensional) barcode is readable by a QR scanner or a camera phone equipped with a QR code reader.

QR code readers are available to download from most app stores. Once the QR code reader is installed anytime you see a QR code, you can snap a picture of the QR Code and seconds later, you are sent to a mobile web browser to view the link inside the QR Code, sent a text message, or prompted to dial a phone number. Organizations can even configure the QR code to a vCard contact to the user's device.

You can easily create QR Codes for free at sites like or While many QR codes are found in printed materials, some ways non-profits can use QR codes in addition to print ads is at conferences or in checkout lines. Some organizations put the QR code on tabletops in restaurants or on T-shirts or mugs.

Put them anywhere people will see the QR code, and with a snap and click, they learn about your organization or fundraising campaign.

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