Important Factors for Developing a Nonprofit Mobile App
The San Diego Foundation’s apps have some very specific calls to action. Four sections pop up: “How to Give,” “Share Your Good,” “News” and “Connect.” “Share Your Good” is a specific call to action to upload photos of community work and share it with other constituents, while “Connect” allows donors to connect with the organization and each other.
Approval is not guaranteed
Just because you develop an app doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to get approved by Android and/or Apple. In fact, the San Diego Foundation had to introduce a simplified version of its app to ultimately get it approved for the iTunes store.
To give your app a better chance of being approved — and to make sure you aren’t investing in something that won’t go to market — Back suggests looking at functionality that already exists on most of the apps that have been approved. Things like making sure the bells and whistles fit in the architecture and infrastructure of Apple or Android, going through tiers, utilizing push notifications, etc., are what mobile providers look for.
More than anything, an app is an engagement tool. So use the feedback you get from your constituents to improve the mobile experience.
“Feedback is very important,” Vargas says. “We take this comments very seriously and act on them.”
“We’ve had great suggestions from a number of people and various stakeholders on what we can continue to do to evolve: adding video, allowing areas for you to generate content, etc.,” Back adds. “… We’re in a digital age of storytelling through videos, so as much as we can incorporate that, that’s what we’re really hearing people want.
“The long-term goal is to align this with our Center for Civic Engagement and really to make this an architecture that the community can give us their feedback, tell us what they us to work on, to share the good news. From the donor standpoint, for donors to actually see the good work that’s coming to fruition in the community based on their grants, our programs, and just the engaged and caring community that we have.”