App Development For Nonprofits

by | Dec 5, 2018

Nonprofit organizations are a great asset to both local and global communities by reaching a wide array of people, and helping to protect the rights and interests of many important causes. One of the biggest challenges you may experience as someone who works in the nonprofit space is getting the support and engagement you need to fulfill your organization’s mission. Here at Hatch Apps, we work with a variety of nonprofits to build digital solutions that help solve challenges with stakeholder and volunteer engagement, helping organizations meet their participants where they are – on their phones.

About 50% of nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile and tablets. And as technology advances and younger generations age, this number will only increase. Mobile app development for nonprofits helps further the mission and goals of the organization. There are many ways a mobile app fits into your marketing and engagement strategy, but briefly there are some key benefits of having a mobile app for your nonprofit organization.


Benefits of Apps for Nonprofits

Increase Awareness of your Cause

For people to donate and support a nonprofit, they need to understand your cause and what you are doing to make a difference. They also need to be able to trust that their donation is having an impact. In 2018, 1 in 4 donors use mobile devices to discover nonprofits they were previously unaware of. Through mobile app development, you can spread information and stories that will help individuals to understand your mission and how you are achieving the goals set out by your organization. With this information, there will be more and more people who can make an informed decision about whether they want to support your organization, and have an easy and intuitive way to do so.

Build Trust and Engagement for your Organization

For people to support your nonprofit, they need to trust your organization. In 2002, donors increasingly believe that charities waste their money, on things such as fundraising, events, and other administrative costs. To increase your number of supporters and donors, you need to earn their trust. Mobile app development for nonprofits can help with that. A mobile app can create a close connection between your nonprofit and your audience, giving you the ability to have a more personalized conversation. You can foster this conversation with elements such as polls, surveys, opinion pieces, or content generated specifically for your users.

Showcase Events and News

Events and news are an important part to any nonprofit, and your audience will want to be aware of them too. Most nonprofits put on events for fundraising purposes or to raise awareness regarding a specific goal or mission. Many of those in your audience would be interested in such events, but don’t always know about them. Use your app to inform your users of events going on in their area that they would be interested in, thereby giving them greater opportunities to participate and your organization a higher event turnout.

Your audience will also likely be interested in news relating to your mission, so providing them with breaking news could be a great boon to increase engagement. A great way to do this would be through push notifications, which could inform users of important news, such as policy changes, court cases, or agreements that could impact your cause. You can even make your push notifications creative and personalized to your brand and message.

Activate People to Take Action

It’s great to have a strong community of engaged individuals that are interested in your nonprofit, but when it comes down to it, they need to be ready to take action. What this action is depends on your goals. Maybe it’s to encourage them to spend a day cleaning up their local beach or working at a homeless shelter. Maybe it’s going to a rally for a specific cause. Or maybe it’s providing a donation to support a specific initiative.

Whatever it is, you can use a mobile app for a nonprofit to do it. For encouraging personal action, you can create and foster local groups of volunteers who can coordinate meetups. You can make it easier for your users to donate through a native mobile experience. Online giving has consistently increased every year since 2012, reaching $31 billion in 2017. And just in the past year, mobile giving donations have increased 205%. Younger generations tend to be more comfortable paying through mobile apps and websites, so allow people to donate through your app, making it easy and fast for people to give what they can.


Example of Great Nonprofit Apps

Image Credit

Organization: World Wildlife Fund

App: WWF Together

Description: This app educates users on 16 different endangered species, allowing users to interact with them in everyday life. You can race against a jaguar, see the night through a tiger’s eyes, and see 360 degree views of an animal’s habitat. This app increases awareness and engagement for individuals interested in supporting wildlife, and specifically endangered species. Through this app you being to understand the animals, giving you more motivation to help them through WWF.

App in iTunes Store // Android Store

Organization: Museum of Modern Art

App: MoMA Audio

Description: The MoMA Audio app from the Museum of Modern Art provides information about the exhibits in the gallery and on what floor they are located. It also includes audio for many of the pieces, allowing visitors to learn about the artworks and gain new perspectives from everyone curators, to historians, to artists. This app is great for engaging audiences and providing them value through a learning experience. MoMA audio is also beneficial for those with seeing disabilities, giving them the opportunity to experience art for themselves

App in iTunes Store

Organization: Habitat for Humanity

App: Alt Habitat Humanity ReStore

Description: This app was designed specifically for the Habitat Humanity ReStore in Atlanta, Georgia. The app helps users shop, donate, and volunteer at this branch of Habitat for Humanity. The SHOP function lets users see the newest items in the store and offers exclusive app-only coupons. The DONATE function allows you to see the most needed items and schedule pick-up times for hard to transport items. The VOLUNTEER function lets you see all the different ways you can help Habitat for Humanity and what is most needed at a given time. All of this gives a lot of value to users and customers, keeping them interested and encouraging action on multiple fronts.

App in iTunes Store // Android Store

Organization: Feeding America

App: MealConnect

Description: Feeding America has many apps but one of their most popular is MealConnect. This app helps to reduce food waste and redirect surplus food supplies to those in need. All users do is enter their zip code and snap a picture of their surplus food, and the app provides you with the easiest way to donate your extra food supplies. This app helps activate people to action, helping Feeding America promote their mission and goals.

App in iTunes Store // Android Store


Is Mobile App Development for Nonprofits Worth It?

As with all companies and organizations, nonprofits need to be careful about where and how they spend their budget. While a mobile app might at first seem like a secondary concern, mobile apps can be an important element of your digital marketing strategy. Through mobile apps, nonprofits can increase awareness, promote engagement and trust, inform audiences about important news and events, and further encourage individuals to take action. The only question is, how will your nonprofit utilize a mobile app?

Hatch Apps is a no-code app creation platform, allowing your organization to build an app for your without knowing a line of code. You can read about 10 common questions people have about no-code app builders, but if you’re interested in building an app for your nonprofit, schedule a 15-minute call with us to learn more about how we work with nonprofits, and the nonprofit discounts we can provide.

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Start Designing Your Custom App