New web resource to help charities learn how to use apps

An online resource to help charities learn more about mobile phone apps has been developed by Telco Together Foundation, discovers Liz Henderson.

An online 'learning centre' about mobile phone apps has been launched by Telco Together Foundation to help charities understand and take advantage of the growth in mobile technologies for activities like fundraising, service delivery and cause awareness.

News of the educational website called Apps4Change (apps4change.org.au) came as Fundraising Institute Australia announced it was leading the nonprofit sector in an effort to instigate premium SMS giving in Australia through the telecommunications industry, and the social enterprise GiveEasy unveiled a new SMS giving platform.

How to decide if your organisation needs an app and tips for marketing apps and measuring their effectiveness are some of the topics covered on the Apps4Change website. There is a section showcasing existing charity apps. Charities can also have their own app developed through a low-cost package being offered in conjunction with the website by the communications solutions company AppsWiz using the Everyday Hero platform.

“After speaking with numerous charities over the past 12 months, it became clear that mobile technology is a common area of confusion. The not-for-profit sector is often restricted by limited resources and an inability to spend valuable community dollars on technology consultants and research,” said Telco Together Foundation chief executive officer Renee Bowker.

"Unlocking the power of mobile technology has the capacity to help charities be more effective, especially in terms of engaging new and younger donor segments, considering that text and online giving are emerging as preferred channels for Gen X and Gen Y donors," added Bowker.

Another message of Apps4 Change is that entering the mobile realm may be as simple for charities making sure their website can be viewed on a mobile device.

A significant 32.7% of nonprofit websites are not mobile-friendly, according to respondents to a recent survey of nonprofit use of digital media for fundraising and marketing by Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine. Yet the number of Australians using mobile devices to access the internet has risen by 208% since 2010 according to an April 2013 Magna Global study, and 57% of people expect the websites they visit to be optimised for mobile viewing. 

“The Apps4Change program is an opportunity for the telco industry to support Australian charities wanting to learn more about mobile technologies and apps, through a simple exchange of information,” said Bowker.

The website will also be conducting educational webinars and organisations can visit apps4change.org.au to register their interest.