Using a smartphone to shop, bank and check social media is second nature for most people.
It’s no surprise, then, that charitable donations made via mobile devices more than doubled in 2017 — a boost likely underscored by the fact that millennial donors don’t carry cash or checks and are apt to give with a credit or debit card.
And it’s why the platform marks a key way for nonprofits to reach potential donors.
But such applications (independent of a charity’s website) must be simple to use and appear trustworthy to compel new donors to act. An element of surprise and distinction also can help elevate causes competing for a person’s attention and money.
Consider these five apps that could help your nonprofit:
1. uBack Connects Donors to Causes They Care About
The app aims to catch donors on the hunt for a cause. Users can search participating charities based on the topics and missions that matter to them. They can also save preferred charities in a list for easy and repeat giving.
Not only can users give money — on a one-time or recurring basis — they’re able to commit volunteer hours, too. The app also provides a function for donors to link with their employer’s matching gifts program, if applicable.
The relationship doesn’t end there. The uBack platform allows receiving nonprofits to reach out to donors via push notifications and emails, and it includes analytics tools to help those groups examine demographics of new and existing supporters.
2. Coin Up Gathers Micro Donations to Make Change
Even pennies make change. That’s the thinking behind Coin Up, an app designed to help users support their nonprofit of choice by rounding up bank card purchases to the nearest dollar.
Linked to a user’s card, Coin Up allows users to set a monthly cap amount for their otherwise automated gifts. Donors receive a year-end report for tax deduction purposes.
Nonprofits must be a registered 501(c)3 and in good standing for two years to participate. To maintain transparency and donor goodwill, the app lets groups send out a monthly “donor snapshot” that explains how the micro contributions, taken together, have made a difference.
3. One Today Highlights New Nonprofits All the Time
A free mobile app that highlights a different nonprofit project each day, Google’s One Today is also rooted in the notion that small donations matter (in this case, gifts of $1 or more). Users can announce the donation on social media, and even donate on behalf of friends.
A user’s personal and financial information isn’t shared with the receiving nonprofit. Nor does Google collect transaction fees, a gesture to help recipients maximize their impact.
To be considered for inclusion on One Today, U.S. nonprofit groups must register with Google for Nonprofits, which offers a free suite of collaboration and outreach tools. One Today is available via Google Play and the Apple iOS App Store.
4. Givelify Makes Donating to Nonprofits Smooth
Developed in 2013, the software allows churches and nonprofits to receive donations in as little as three screen taps. The Givelify app, once downloaded, can geographically search for nearby charities based on a user’s location.
Participating groups can customize their donation dashboard with a logo and photo to distinguish their cause and offer familiarity. They also can prompt a variety of options where a user prefers his or her donation to go (a one-time fundraiser or general campaign, for example).
Although free for donors to use, Givelify charges nonprofits a 2.9 percent fee plus 30 cent fee per donation. Deposits are received on the next business day.
5. Givi Lets Donors Easily Search for Nonprofits
Powered by the online fundraising platform QGiv, the Givi app lets users search for charities with a simple tap-to-give function. Because it’s a third-party vendor, donors are taken to a secure website via the app in order to donate.
Givi users can save favorite nonprofits and manage repeat donations, and the app provides tracking for clarity and tax time.