Nonprofit App Development: How to Leverage App Development to Scale Your Nonprofit Impact
For this Goji Blog, we sat down with Goji Labs’ Founder and CEO, David. We discussed how to leverage nonprofit app development to scale your nonprofit’s mission and impact. Because that’s the goal, right?
As a nonprofit, you aim to expand outreach and awareness to increase donations and impact. And likely, that’s exactly what an app can do.
Along with the rest of our Product Strategists, David has extensive experience developing, deploying, and helping many nonprofit apps go to market. He also wanted me to add that he’s very funny and good-looking, but I do believe that’s beside the point here. We’re here to talk nonprofit app development.
Recently, we posted a Goji Blog discussing how to build a successful nonprofit app. In this one, we’ll dive a bit deeper and offer case studies on how we helped three large nonprofits and academic institutions build or redesign their web and mobile applications.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Why Build a Nonprofit App for Your Organization?
We’ll give some background here:
There are many reasons to build a nonprofit app, but their roots are to increase awareness for your cause and encourage volunteering and make donations easier. After all, making it easier for a donor’s to give—or a volunteer’s ability to volunteer—is the crux of scaling your organization’s impact.
In fact, here are some statistics for you. Millennials and Gen Z-ers are most inspired to donate by social media (43 and 24%, respectively.) Additionally, 80% of Millenials and 70% of Gen Z-ers prefer to give by app or online.
Another one is volunteer engagement—i.e., keeping your volunteers updated, educated, and motivated. By creating an effective way for you to communicate with them, you’re keeping them engaged. You can also make it easier for them to log hours, be recognized for their hard work, and coordinate events and campaigns.
And then there’s the last big one: event management. Fundraising campaigns and cooperation these days can wholly rely on an effective mobile or web application. Alternatively, as you’ll see in our USC Health case study, your organization can truly be app-centric. If building a tool or providing education is at the core of your mission, a good app is very important.
Now, let’s dive into our case studies.
Case Studies on Leveraging Nonprofit App Development to Scale Missions and Impacts
The World Wildlife Fund has been the world’s leading habitat and species conservation organization for more than 60 years. Their approach is one of community-first conservation. It works locally to build markets, policies, and cultures to build a sustainable future. A majority of the funding that WFF receives is donation-based—which is why their website and its ease of use are important for maintaining and growing their impact.
WFF came to Goji with four distinct websites that needed a revamp in integrating functionality, design, and branding. We approached three core problems:
- A mobile funnel that was losing donations and needed a design revamp
- A backend that was inflexible and disorganized; its rigidity made adding and editing content a hassle
- Web-development errors that didn’t properly display showcase data on their front-end
- Donation Funnel: In re-designing a more effective donation funnel, we eliminated unnecessary options and added personalized donation options
- Easy-to-Edit Environment: We built a modular editing system that allowed their admin to create pages based on the exact layouts needed to support functionality. These modules are stackable; WFF can customize them to their needs while still using their unique custom-designed branding and SEO-friendly style guides.
- Corrected Web-Development Errors: Goji re-designed WFF’s web ecosystem as a whole—building not only a beautiful website but one that enhanced its call to action
A beautifully designed website that helped The World Wildlife fund enlarge its donor base and create effective messaging, helping them reach more people, propel its mission, and scale its impact.
The numbers speak for themselves:
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 as part of the United Nations. Its mission is to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. It leads global efforts to expand universal health coverage.
it also works for the world’s underserved populations to increase access to medical care. Medication, which is a universally expensive intervention, is often out of physical and financial reach to many.
The WHO and a subgroup called “Medicines Patent Pool” approached Goji with the following task. They wanted to build a platform that allows it to streamline its mission of improving access to medications by aggregating patent information of drugs for TB, HIV, and Hepatitis C. By giving access to generic alternatives, MedsPal enables populations in low- and middle-income countries to get treatment more easily by simplifying access to generic alternatives.
In partnership with Medicines Patent Pool, Goji Labs developed domain expertise and conducted extensive research to help them build their app. We pulled data from patent offices of pharmaceutical companies and aggregated them in a real-time dashboard.
In doing so, Goji Labs built a system that pulls data, scrapes, and cross-references across many patent offices all over the world. The front-facing site helps medicine procurement officers can look up whether they can buy generic versions of necessary, lifesaving drugs.
Medicine Patent Pool didn’t approach Goji Labs with specific needs. Instead, it asked for help building the MedsPaL system itself and craft the user experience. We contributed domain expertise and product-centric consulting. And we helped the organization solve business problems through digital products and Goji Labs methodology.
This tool enables medical institutions in low- and middle-income countries to see generic options and their prices. They can view options in real-time through a user-intuitive, comprehensive dashboard. Access to this information allows medical offices to know how best they can serve their communities more effectively and provide impact at scale.
The Disasters & Religions App was created by a partnership of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, the National Disaster Inferfaiths Network (NDIN), and New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS.)
The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture is a research center within the USC Dornsife College. It is “committed to developing knowledge about how religion shapes people and the world.” It brings together innovative research, journalists, and religious leaders in its empirical study of religion.
The NDIN was founded in 2005 as a consortium of subject matter experts, collaborating with faith communities and their partners to reduce human suffering in disasters. The NDIN does this through the exchange of training, research, resources, and best practices.
NYDIS was founded in the wake of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks, after which New York City faith-based agencies established programs to assist in the rescue, relief, and recovery efforts. The organization is a federation of service providers and charitable organizations collaborating to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services to NYC.
Often when disaster strikes, it often happens locally—both in socially, culturally, and religiously diverse areas and in areas where the population is homogenous. And in times of extreme crisis, faith is often a resource for many. However, there can be a cultural disconnect between those addressing the disaster and those affected. This disconnect can cause a lack of trust or inadvertent breaching of common practices by first responders. And this gap hinders their ability to support those who need it.
These three organizations came together with a mission to create a mobile app that works offline and offers guidance and education to first responders in addressing disasters occurring in various communities of faith. And thus, the Disasters & Religions App was born.
It’s shown that by being familiar with local tenets practices, first responders can show respect and build trust with the communities they are serving. So Goji Labs worked with its partners to create an app for that. This app would provide education and cultural and religious context for first responders addressing disasters in communities of faith.
Through the Disasters & Religion App, emergency managers, first responders, religious leaders, and volunteers can develop cultural, social, and religious literacy. This literacy helps them better engage with and help diverse religious populations in great times of need—regardless of the background of those entering the communities.
The Disasters & Religion App is built as a user-intuitive guide that provides religious literacy and competency resources for disasters. A user can view information presented by 27 religions, tips by 28 topics—i.e., greetings, physical interaction, and practices related to death—and trainings about subjects such as mass care and congregations, immigrant eligibility for resources, and partnership resources.
These accessible and concentrated points of information are crucial to support different faith-based communities. And Disaster & Religion App provides just that.
The Importance of the Right Nonprofit App Development Partners
In these three case studies, we worked with organizations that were not technical. Instead, they are mission-based organizations that leveraged technology and nonprofit app development to further their missions and scale their impacts.
When a non-technical entity enters the very technical world of website and app development, it is crucial to partner with an expert technical partner. One that plays the long game in building and developing an infrastructure that can grow as the organization does. One that invests in developing its own domain expertise to do so.
By partnering with such a technical partner, the organization is better able to maximize its budget and build a successful product that will serve them long-term. Not to mention, a technical partner that develops its own domain expertise. This partner should have the bandwidth and experience to do so can help the organization mitigate domain, product, and technical risks.
These risks can look like design uninformed by user context, irrelevant content, inefficient workflow, and unscalable technical infrastructure. Unfortunately, funding for nonprofits is generally limited, and these pitfalls are expensive. So it is crucial to choose the right, experienced, long-term technical partner.
Looking to further your nonprofit’s mission and scale its impact through nonprofit app development?
Searching for the right technical development partner?
Have general comments, questions, concerns, or relevant jokes?
Reach out to us at GojiLabs.com.
– Goji Labs