I remember being a teenager and having all the answers, that was a while ago. At lunch the other day my teenage son challenged me to ask a question that he did not have the answer for while he held his cell phone, this gives a new meaning to having all the answers! Our teenagers have more information in the palm of their hands than is even imaginable, and they use their cell phones to answer any questions they may have, using the increasing number of wi-fi hot spots. Fact is in 2011 teens tripled their data use and used their cell phone more than any other source to reach the internet.
So how can mobile help a nonprofit and why take a look? My colleague at shopsocial4good makes a very good case with an example from the Red Cross where an appeal received 4.1 million mobile responses valued at $10 each from mostly new donors, just in case you are in shock yes that is $41 million dollars, from a campaign experiment!
If you are active on Twitter, you may find your cell phone useful to stay connected, I would even go as far as saying essential, if you follow more than a few people. When you see something interesting an instant connect is essential, or are you the type to carry around paper and write down links to check later? So with many nonprofits now connecting on twitter it make sense that a harder look at mobile technology is not too far into the future.
The real challenge for a nonprofit is how to make mobile an extension of existing applications instead of a whole new game that requires more resources, that are probably not available. Using feeds from your website or a blog through a mobile application, such as AllAware discussed in more detail in an earlier post is an interesting option to consider. There are hundred of mobile options, this one happens to offer a test drive to introduce you to the concept and to help get you thinking, and AllAware’s focus on nonprofits get to the point fast. Mobile may be starting slow but as our teens enter the working world we will see it grow quickly and with little effort even the Red Cross was surprised to find 4.1 million already active! It may be time to consider a few experiments, have fun and remember to keep it simple – mobile should not mean more resources
. Don’t worry if your focus is in the for profit world, there are many innovative leaders finding mobile has real promise too!