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The Untapped Potential of App Technology for Nonprofits

Summer Swann
February 7, 2023
foodbank volunteers

It's no secret that apps have become a critical facet of nearly every company's business strategy - no matter their shape or size. From large corporations to small local shops, most customers now expect to find their favorite companies in the app store.

But despite the predominantly tech-forward attitude of the masses, a few industries have found themselves falling behind when it comes to app technology - most notably, the nonprofit sector.

While nonprofits have been slow to adopt apps as a central component of their operations, we’ve seen, through our many projects with nonprofits, just how much apps  benefit these organizations. From increasing their visibility to providing a quick and easy way for supporters to make donations - apps are quickly becoming a critical tool in every nonprofit's toolbox.

How can a dedicated app help my nonprofit organization?

Increased Visibility and Awareness

Having a dedicated app for your organization will allow you to reach a wider audience and, in turn, help you reach your goals far more efficiently. This is especially true when working with younger demographics who often rely heavily on apps for many of their daily tasks.

Providing users with an accessible platform helps to increase the probability that they will see and engage with your organization’s news, events and calls to action - especially when push notifications are utilized within your app.

Automated Processes

Nonprofit organizations are often notoriously low on both manpower and funds. For this reason, apps can be a powerful tool for organizations looking to automate their processes and streamline their operations. By leveraging the power of technology, time consuming tasks such as volunteer management, event registration, and fundraising can be automated, freeing up valuable resources and staff time. This increased efficiency not only helps organizations operate more smoothly but also allows them to focus on their core mission and making a greater impact.

Improved Engagement

A well-designed app won’t just keep your organization's supporters more aware of what you're working on - it can also increase their engagement with your organization. We recently designed an app for Lasagna Love - a nonprofit organization that connects community members in need of a hot meal with volunteers who are able to cook and deliver them. With its volunteer matching capabilities,  secure messaging and on demand recipes and instructional videos, the Lasagna Love app provides volunteers with accessible information and a UX friendly experience that encourages increased engagement with the organization.  

Easy Donations

One of the biggest challenges faced by non-profit organizations is fundraising. By providing supporters with a secure, simple to use platform for making donations, an app can help nonprofits to receive more donations more regularly. Additionally, by integrating your donation form with social media and messaging capabilities, you can help users spread awareness of your organization - for example, by generating social media posts each time a user donates.

We built Smiletrain's donation form, helping them to raise millions of dollars in donations to help fund cleft palate surgeries.

Better Communication and Collaboration

Apps aren’t just great for users outside of your organization - they can also help improve collaboration and communication within your organization. By providing users with a secure communication platform, your organization's ability to seamlessly communicate with staff, volunteers and supporters increases many times over - and by utilizing a single source of communication, your organization helps ensure that important communications are received  in a timely manner.

If your organization is largely remote, your app can also serve as an incredible tool for team collaboration. Shared calendars, scheduling tools, task management systems and many other productivity features can be added to your platform to help keep everyone on the same page. We’re currently designing a volunteer matching tool for the Lasagna Love app, which will allow the organization to greatly increase their volunteer numbers and scale accordingly.

Cost Effectiveness

Apps aren’t cheap - but they are multifunctional. For example, an app can help you reach a wider audience through user engagement - while also cutting your marketing and advertising costs. They can manage your volunteers through an algorithm instead of a paid individual - creating far more output at far less cost. Instead of paying for multiple productivity tools, you can have each one built into your platform - saving tons of money in subscription fees. With a custom app the options and benefits are nearly endless - we can build exactly what you need to be successful.

At Yeti, we’re committed to helping non-profit organizations make a greater impact… and we know that cost is often a significant barrier to adopting new technology. For this reason,  we created Yeti Gives, an initiative that allows us to help nonprofit organizations in multiple ways - including a a 5% discount on any organizations first project with Yeti, in addition to a pro bono initial consultation.

Additionally, we've created the Yeti Gives Development Grant, which provides two small non profit organizations with 100% pro bono design services each year. If you’d like to apply, you can reach out to us here - and be sure to take a look at the case study covering the work we did with the first recipient of the Yeti Give Grant, Lasagna Love!

Summer is Yeti's Marketing Manager. When not working, you can find her searching for thrift store treasure, hiking in the Sierra Nevadas, camping in her vintage camper, cooking vegan treats and reading anything she can get her hands on. Summer lives surrounded by wilderness in the remote mountains of California.

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