Important Factors for Developing a Nonprofit Mobile App
So far, the foundation is pleased with the adoption of its apps and has received lots of feedback on ways to enhance it even further.
Here, Vargas and Back provide some important factors for organizations considering launching a mobile app.
Have a mobile-optimized website
“The first step is a mobile-optimized website,” Back says. “… So many people are searching on their smartphones, you don’t want them to hit a roadblock in connectivity because it’s not translating to a smartphone.”
There’s no point in developing an app if your site isn’t mobile-optimized first. If you do, donors will lose confidence and become frustrated that your website doesn’t allow the app achieve all it promises. Your website must be readable by a smartphone.
For starters, your mobile site should not use Flash, since iPhones and iPads do not support Flash functions. You also must make sure you take donors to mobile-optimized landing pages from your app. Anything that disrupts that journey can mean lost donations or, even worse, lost donors.
Back recommends working with a publishing partner to optimize your website for mobile: “Find the right partner that’s going to look at the greatest areas that your website is visited. You want to make sure that you’re making those areas easily accessible because you know that’s where the searchers and viewers and the community are going to. So start there. Look at your own website traffic and depth and the conversations that are happening, and optimize accordingly.”
Have calls to action
Just as in any fundraising communications, your app should have specific calls to action so donors know what to do with the thing.
“Frankly, consumers are used to a call to action,” Back says. “In this particular day and age, we not only want to get information … we want to engage with it. We want to respond. So plugging in social media and having ways for the person to communicate back is really important. Putting in the share links to share content on Facebook or Pinterest, all of that functionality is very, very important.”