QR codes for Nonprofits

Seen one of these codes?  It's called a QR code.  It's a kind of bar code -- so just like a grocery checkout bar code, a computer can scan it to automatically receive information.  In this case, though, it's coding a website address, and it can be scanned by smart phones. If you have a Droid, for instance, you can simply take a picture of this code with your camera, and it will automatically take you to the Idealware homepage on your phone.  Nifty, huh?  This will work with most smart phones, though for some of them you'll need to download an application to be able to read the code.

We're seeing more of these codes in public these days -- they're being used especially on billboards and in magazines, essentially taking the "click for more information" idea and turning it into "snap with your phone for more information."  For instance, I can potentially take a picture of a QR code on a movie poster in the subway in order to go to a website that has more intriguing information about the movie.
Nonprofits are starting to use QR codes as well.  There's some interesting possibilities -- not just in ads, but also for direct mail and to create virtual tours.  
They're free to create-- do a google search on "QR codes" and you'll find half-a-dozen websites that will generate the code for you for free for a particular website address or piece of text.  So the only cost associated is the printing, and if you're creating an ad or direct mail, you're likely printing anyway.  
So for instance, you could add the image of code to your newsletter that would allow people to easily get to a webpage to sign up for your eNewsletter instead.  Or a direct mail piece code could provide easily access to your online donation functionality.  A museum could put a QR code next to each displayed piece to allow people to view much more detailed online than could practically be displayed.
Of course, your constituents will need to have a smart phone to use it, and will need to have some idea what the QR code is and what to do with it.  It's still not particularly mainstream for that reason -- it's only going to reach a particular segment of the population.  But as the population becomes more likely to have a smart phone and be savvy with it, it's likely to grow in usage.
How would you use a QR code with your organization?



This service allows you to create your business card directly from your linkedin profile, with no typing and to share it with any user having a QR scanner. No other app is required. The receiver will be able to: follow you on twitter, link with you in linkedin and get all your data stored as a contact in his/her phone without typing anything... 



QR codes for Nonprofits

You can receive cards from others by scanning their QR Code. Last but not least, whenever you update your QR Card information, all your contacts that already received your QR business card will be able to see and access the new information automatically. More info at http://www.yprintit.com

Have you tried

Have you tried http://www.bwscan.com. Got free qr code stickers to use behind my business cards from BWScan. It's a great conversation starter.


This is remarkable, and will revolutionize our ability to market our agency in a techno-savvy society!  Thanks for the article Idealware!

We use QR codes

Thanks for the article. We are using QR codes already on our "introduction to the organisation" brochure. We place it next to the section that explains our organisational vision, goals and contact information. Not sure how many people actually use the code to access our website yet, but like you say, as people become more familiar with the codes their usage is likely to rise.

Favorite QR generator

I've created QR codes for the non-profit I work at to help with volunteer requirement. My favorite site to use is QR Monkey at http://www.qrmonkey.com/. Not only do they have a free QR code generator they are up-to-date with all the latest trends in QR codes and have good recommendations to strategically use these codes. Happy scanning!

How long will QR codes last?

I was discussing QR codes with someone at work this week and we decided we probably won't put them to use just yet. This is because some of the more useful landing points in our website just aren't as mobile friendly as they could be - but also alot of our target audience are less likely to have smart phones nor understand QR codes.

With google goggles (http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles) where you can search based on analysing real pictures (rather than QR graphics) I do wonder how long QR is going to last...

NonProfit Instant Donation QR Code

Taking QR Codes for the NonProfit sector one step further, we have developed QR Code tech that enables you to create Codes that deliver instant donations via PayPal or Google Checkout - Scan this code to see more - http://twitpic.com/3s8n0q

Light-duty obfuscation. Say,

Light-duty obfuscation. Say, to keep door-to-door campaigning information private from straying eyes.

Quick example: While volunteering during a recent election, we were given clipboards with lists of names, addresses, and notes, and sent out to knock on doors.

I had columns of Y/N questions to fill in while canvassing, and while I didn't keep an exact tally, I'd have to say the majority of people I spoke to were mighty interested in which of their neighbors I was talking to and how they had answered. If my list consisted of QR (or Data Matrix) codes, I'd have had the ability to keep information visible yet private instead of cowering over the clipboard.

Sure, you get into the gray area of how the data is retained on the handheld, and who owns the handheld, etc., but that's a different conversation.