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Nonprofit Leaders 3min read

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Donation App for Your Nonprofit

Mobile isn’t just important to the fundraising strategies of many nonprofits. It’s essentially become mandatory thanks to the digital world in which we now live.

According to the 2015 State of the Mobile Web report, roughly 56% of all Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices.

Currently, 68% of United States adults own a smartphone and a significant portion of them use it as their primary means of Internet access.

More than that, mobile donations were actually up 45% in the 2015 giving season compared to the previous year.

Are you paying attention yet? Good.

Picking the wrong donation app can cause your fundraising efforts to stall before they’ve had a chance to really get going in the first place. If you want to make sure that you’re choosing the right donation app for your nonprofit, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind.

1. Narrow Your Definition of “Donation App

In 2016, the term “app” can still mean a few different things. Your app could be a Web-based app, which is essentially a mobile-friendly website wrapped up in an app container. It could be a native app, meaning that it must be downloaded and installed on the user’s smartphone rather than accessed via a Web browser. For the best results, pick the platform that best fits in with both your target audience and your long-term goals.

2. Know Your Donation App‘s Limitations

Are the majority of your donors using Apple iPhones? You’d better make sure the donation app you’ve selected isn’t Android-only. Does the donation app you’ve selected have a cap on the total amount of money a single person can give? Does your service agreement include a fee and if so, how much? These are important questions to answer before you side with any one particular service.

3. User Friendliness

As a rule of thumb, if you want people to give you money, you’d better make it easy to do so. One of the most important qualities of a donation app to focus on is the user friendliness and overall user experience. Make sure that the actual act of giving is incredibly straightforward as if it isn’t, none of the other features will really matter.

4. Scalability

Another factor that many forget to consider has to do with how many total users a particular donation app supports. Some platforms are built with smaller organizations in mind, whereas you might need a few thousand or more. Scalability is never impossible, but most pricing structures can vary wildly depending on the total number of users you’re talking about. Always look for either A) a donation app that supports your expected traffic, or B) one with a flexible-enough pricing structure to support growth and still fit within your budget restrictions.

5. Short-term or Long-term?

Finally, consider whether this donation app is something that will be tied to a specific event or one that you plan on employing all year long. Some apps encourage users to donate to nonprofits on a regular basis, almost making it a part of their daily routine. Others are designed with specific events in mind, like a particular fundraising goal or a national effort like #GivingTuesday. If your donation app is something that you want to be able to use for years to come, make sure it actually allows for that.

About the Author

Matt is dedicated to making the world a better place. He works passionately to help charitable causes use mobile technology to raise the funds they need. In addition to his role at Givelify, he volunteers with the Southside Animal Shelter and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue.

Matt Chandler