What Every Nonprofit Should Know About Mobile: Lessons from Global Development Nonprofits

Everybody is talking about mobile these days, and increasingly, people are spending much of their online time accessing the internet through mobile devices. What do small nonprofits need to know about mobile to make sure they're not missing out? To find out, we looked at what big global development organizations were doing successfully with mobile and translated that knowledge to a scale that small- to medium-sized organizations could replicate.

The rise of mobile phones in recent years has substantially affected the work of global development organizations, and a few high-profile examples have made the news, such as the large-scale mobile-giving campaigns to provide relief following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Japan’s 2011 tsunami. We talked to four large global development organizations and two consultants to find out how they’re using mobile technology to reach out to constituents, and whether smaller organizations can emulate their methods. This report highlights their approaches to a number of different technologies, including mobile websites, texting, mobile giving, QR codes and mobile apps: what they’re using, what’s working and what’s not.

This 26-page report provides an overview of what we learned, as well as detailed case studies of four organizations—Save the Children, American Jewish World Services, Heifer International and the Salvation Army—using mobile in interesting ways to see what smaller organizations in all sectors can learn from their experience.



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