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5 Smartphone Apps for Nonprofits

Mobilize Your Nonprofit Tasks


Not that long ago, if we had dreamed of walking around with pocket-sized computers in our hands, it would be like talking about driving flying cars from the Jetsons.

However, these days smartphones outnumber feature phones and hardly anyone has a “dumb” phone anymore. Chances are some of you might be reading this article on your smartphone right now.

I’ve been busy tracking down smartphone applications that can help make your nonprofit social media life easier. Here are my top five.

1. Facebook Pages Manager

Facebook Logo

If your nonprofit is on Facebook, this application can help you manage your organization’s page while away from the office. Facebook Pages Manager brings many features available to Facebook pages admins on the desktop to mobile devices.

When using this application, users can be notified when comments are posted to status or photo updates, when new people like their page and have access to their Facebook messages. Additionally, when using the Facebook Pages application you can view the Insights data for each status update.

Today, being able to promptly respond to people on social media can mean the difference between gaining or losing a donor. By using the Facebook Pages Manager, you can ensure that you are able to interact with followers no matter where you are. Facebook Pages Manager is available on both iOS and Android devices.

2. Hootsuite Mobile Applications

Hootsuite Logo

In a previous article, I wrote about the best ways to manage your nonprofit’s social media. One service I mentioned was Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows users to link multiple social media networks into one interface. This makes it easy to keep your eye on your organization’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google+ accounts all in one place.

Adding the application to your smartphone can help your nonprofit cover special events. The same photo could be shared on multiple social networks all at the same time. Hootsuite mobile applications also give you access to analytics on the go as well so you can gauge how well status updates are being received or how successful your campaign’s hashtag on twitter is, all while on the go. Hootsuite is available on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

3. Flipboard

Flipboard Logo

Flipboard is a news aggregator that collects web articles on certain topics and presents them in an easy-to-read format. What’s great about Flipboard is that it makes reading things on the internet easy and fun. We all have those times when we are waiting in line with nothing to do. That’s when I pop open Flipboard and read up on the latest social media news.

Part of being a successful nonprofit it being updated on the latest news regarding the issues that affect your mission. Flipboard is a great way to make sure that you are updated while away from the office. You can even add in your Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds to keep you updated on all fronts. Flipboard is available on iOS and Android devices.

4. ThankYouPro

Illustration of smarphones using ThankYouPro

As we have become a more digital society, the fine art of sending thank you notes is not as common as it once was. ThankYouPro is an iOS application that makes it easy to send a thank you note right from your phone or iPad. Through the application you can design a note complete with your organization’s logo, and it will be in the mail within 24 hours. You can even add a gift card as an added bonus.

Using this application can make it easy to thank volunteers or donors no matter where your day takes you that day.

5. Dropbox

Dropbox logo

If you don’t use Dropbox in your organization, I recommend doing so or using a service like it. Dropbox is a cloud-based storage system that allows users to have access to files on multiple devices.

Instead of emailing your team each time you update the agenda for the upcoming board meeting, you can just edit the document and save it in Dropbox where it can be accessed on desktop and mobile devices. I do want to add a disclaimer that this might violate your organization’s privacy policy, so make sure to check with your supervisor before using this service. If it all works out, having Dropbox on your smartphone can save a call to someone at the office to email you a document.

Don’t forget about the basics. That’s what I call all of those basic applications that you can use to make working in the field easier while still having access to the information you need. Most smart phones come equipped with email, calendar and contacts applications.

Work within the privacy policy of your organization to get your email, calendar and contacts downloaded on your phone. This might mean using a Gmail or an enterprise login. Having your email, calendar and contacts available on your smartphone can help answer the “what time is that meeting?” question that pops into your head right before you go to sleep. Or make it possible for you share a great idea with your team that you have on a Sunday morning.

The marketplace for mobile applications is constantly growing. There are many applications out there to make your life easier. Keeping up on the latest in social media can help you figure out which ones you can add to your devices to make managing your nonprofit life easier.

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