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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

A lot has changed in the world since The Benevolent Society opened their doors in 1813. As Australia’s first charity, it has experienced many changes in its 200+ years of operation, and none more so than the last 30 years through the development of technology, the internet and apps. But to stay current and relevant, nonprofits like The Benevolent Society must roll with the punches and make changes to the way they do business to stay relevant.

But as technology rapidly moves forward, many charities are being left behind. In a 2016 Charitable Giving Report published by Blackbaud, they discovered that only 7.2% of individual donations in the UK were made online. Considering how much we rely on the internet, that’s not a very high percentage, is it? Charities, it seems, could be doing a lot more when it comes to utilising technology and increasing donor awareness.

Millennials love technology – in fact, they never leave home without it. It is their lifeline to the outside world and their connection to their friends and issues they care about. If charities want to ensure that they reach the younger generation, they must find ways to use the technology that will benefit their mission. Whether it is a lack of knowledge or just an unwillingness to change, change they must.

But more than just building a website and showing up on social media, charities must look to apps and other devices that work on mobile technology, the preferred favourite of the millennials. Many charities are starting to make inroads into apps, and as the successes multiply, many more charities will follow suit.

Taking advantage of the app game early on was Alzheimer’s Australia and the Bupa Health Foundation who created BrainyApp in 2011. It was the world’s first dementia risk reduction app which saw over 41,000 downloads in a 48 hour period.

Back in 2015, the UN World Food Programme released a very effective mobile app. Called ‘Share The Meal’, the app meant that donors could tap their phone and give $0.50 to feed a child for a day. To date, Share The Meal has given 14,901,224 meals and counting. That is one impressive app, to say the least.

In 2016, GIVIT released their app which allows Australian charities to search a virtual warehouse of donated items to help vulnerable people in the community.

As you can see, it is all about innovation. We look forward to hearing how charities are embracing the new technology in the future to enable their organisation to reach as much of the population as possible.

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Pushing Add to Basket Button

The famous theoretical physicist Michio Kaku claims that the operating power and speed of computers doubles every 18 months. Naturally, this means a technological advance in every area of our life and, of course, the World Wide Web, where innovations occur on a daily basis. What this means for you is that your website cannot stay the same forever and you should endeavour to update it regularly.

 

Match the Expectations

 

With the hectic development of technology, your users will expect you to do your best to keep up with the trends. Therefore, it may seem unprofessional to keep your website the same through the years while your competitors use more advanced technology and features. Also, bear in mind that smartphones, tablets and even smart watches are replacing the computers and laptops, so your website should be fully responsive on these devices. You don’t want to lose customers because they can’t find you with their Google Glasses, do you?

 

Keep Up With SEO

 

Updating your website, both in terms of content and technical aspects (code, new features, widgets and functions) will make you stand out from the rest and improve your rankings with the search engines. Of course, it can be difficult to tell exactly what the search engines want, but one thing is for certain, they like it when websites are regularly updated. Their small spiders regularly crawl around the web to check for changes on your website. In order to maximise your success, these changes should be carefully done – for example, if you are adding new content, it should be helpful and well-written. If you are making changes to your website, the code should contain no errors, otherwise the spiders may get confused.

 

Provide Important Updates

 

When it comes to your website, it is good strategy to imagine that you are a prospective customer and are visiting it for the first time. Does it contain all the information you need? Is the website user-friendly and easy to navigate? Make sure you can answer yes to these questions otherwise it’s back to the drawing board. If your business changes, don’t forget to update your website, as it is the first place someone is likely to check for more information. If you have changed your pricing or you offer new services (or no longer provide some of them), make sure this is on your website.

 

Make Sure It Works

While you are not required to use the latest website technology or features, you will need to ensure that your website still functions on all systems. Occasionally, it happens that certain devices, systems or browsers no longer support some types of content and if you do not upgrade to a new version of your CMS (Content Management System), or replace it, you risk being stuck with a non-working website. We all know how important it is for it to work so take care of the technical side of things before it is not too late.

 

Improve Your Business

 

Don’t forget that regularly updating your website will make life easier for both your visitors and yourself. Including new online payment options, booking systems, spam prevention tools and automatic verification/confirmation are only some of the features you could use to make it easier for you to run your business. Make sure you check regularly with your IT specialists for new innovations – they may well bring more sales and customers without much additional effort required.

 

Updating your website regularly is essential for maintaining a successful business, even if your main activities are not based online. With the help of regular updates, you can stay on top of the technological development, win the favour of the search engines and attract more visitors. Having said all this, don’t you think it’s time for an update?

 

 

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We recently spotted an article from The Guardian newspaper which discussed the trends likely to happen in 2012 which will affect NFPs.

The journalist spoke with experts from different UK charities and fundraisers and reported on their opinions.

1.  Social investment.  The opinion is that we are likely to see more social investment this year but questions whether organisations are set up well enough to manage the debt repayment.

2.  New technology.  The use of technology to encourage online donations will increase as will the use for supporting communication with the marketplace.

3.  Collaboration.  The economic climate (especially in Europe) will see organisations working together instead of competing for funds.

4.  Going Mobile.  The use of apps and mobile platforms to encourage giving.

5.  Ambassadors.  “In 2012 we will see more ambassador and blogger engagement programmes but also more involvement from local communities.”

These are interesting predictions and you should think about them in the context of your own organisation.

What do you think?  Are the predictions likely to be accurate?

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