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More Than Apps - Idealware
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More Than Apps - Idealware



The vast majority of US adults, across all demographics, have a cell phone - making these devices a very useful way to provide information and communicate with your constituents. From mobile websites ...

The vast majority of US adults, across all demographics, have a cell phone - making these devices a very useful way to provide information and communicate with your constituents. From mobile websites to texts to QR codes to FourSquare (and yes, mobile apps, too), mobile phone communications can be a big help in interacting with constituents and supporting your work. And it's easier and cheaper than you might think to take advantage of the potential mobile can offer. We'll explore a series of powerful mobile case studies and talk through the principles, software packages, and best practices that can help you replicate their success.



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  • Quick description of organization – take from slideOne of HOWA’s programs – the Cross Age Mentoring Program - pairs students in grades 4 – 8 with student mentors in high school. The students form friendships, meet during lunch periods at school, and do after school activities together.Jane, a program manager at HOWA, began having difficulty reaching the high school mentors. In the past they had mainly communicated by email, but the mentors basically stopped respondingShe learned that the student mentors were increasingly using text message for communicationWhen one of the mentors texted her, she took their lead and started communicating with the mentors via text messaging. She said it wasn’t a board decision where they sat down and looked at communication models – it was just a way to meet a need. And it works. Now she communicates with the mentors by text messaging and they are quick to respond.This solution didn’t cost anything more than their existing data plan.HOWA says that has definitely increased the quality of their services. They are able to communicate quickly with the mentors, sometimes even setting up mentor/mentees meetings on that same day.

More Than Apps - Idealware More Than Apps - Idealware Presentation Transcript

  • More Than Apps: Affordable Program Delivery Through Mobile Phones April 2012
  • More Than Apps: AffordableProgram Delivery ThroughMobile Phones#12NTCmobileprogramsLaura Quinn,Idealware
  • Evaluate This Session!Each entry is a chance to win an NTEN engraved iPad! or Online at www.nten.org/ntc/eval View slide
  • Introductions… View slide
  • A New, Mobile World
  • 87% of all American Adults Have a Cell PhonePew Internet, February 2012
  • They’re Not Just Using them to Make Calls Pew Internet, May 2011
  • Providing Information
  • How Does Your Website Look on a Phone? A mobile website is the core of many mobile strategies. If you’re going to engage them on a phone, they need to be able to find you on their phone.www.mobilephoneemulator.com
  • Creating A Mobile-Friendly SiteMake your current site mobile-friendly… Or build one particularly for mobiles
  • Or Create Your Own Simple AppApps need to be downloaded in advance, but then are availableeven offline. Tools like AppMakr, Swep Apps, MobBase will help you create very simple apps for $100-$200… but generally, you’ll need a programmer
  • Use QR Codes to Make Paper InteractiveLet someone find out more about something they’re interested inhttp://www.thebigwild.org/
  • Winona County Historical Society A mobile website that contains historical documents allows people to create their own guided walking tour. This was created with open source software, TapTours, by non-technical staff members.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch AppiPhone app version of the Monterey Bay Aquarium SeafoodWatch App
  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis They’re more likely to be looking for quick information about you than for in-depth information“Museum apprentices” created detailed Wikipedia articles, whichthey then linked to exhibits using QR codes
  • How Could This Work for You?
  • Conversations with Constituents
  • Sending Broadcast Texts If you’ve collected cell phone numbers, you can text them messages – very similar to broadcast email Rock the Vote
  • Ask People to Subscribe
  • Two-way Conversations HELP Can you volunteer this Sat from 1-4? Type YES or NO YES Great! We’ll see you @ 13 Pier st.You can setup automated responses, @ 1:00 pm. Thanks!with lots of branch points if desired
  • Provide Information from a DatabaseBlue Ocean InstituteYou can connect texts to a database,so people get automatic texts orresponses
  • Collecting Information People can report emergencies or incidents via SMS, which are collected in a database Ushahidi
  • Lower Cost Options for Sending Texts Very basic functionality for up 250 text messages for $10/month. More complex functionality available. Up to 1000 texts/month starting at $69
  • More Full Featured OptionsFull featured platforms which support complex campaigns Easy-to-use interface, with sophisticated functionality (two way, targeted, giving more). Supports mobile giving through MGF. Plans start at about $400/month Mobile texting capabilities via API, to allow programmers to synchronize texts with databases
  • HOWA Family Center“We’d alwayscommunicated withstudents by email, butthey’d more or less HOWA’s mentoring servicestopped responding.” manager noticed that the students responded quickly to text messages, making that a cheap and easy way to reach them.
  • TXT4LIFE Allows people toConnection The Crisis complete small tasks, like locating provides a suicide something on a map, prevention hotline taggingviaphoto, or a text message. translating text via an iPhone app. Nonprofits can They get 30 times as sign up. many texts as they did phone calls.
  • Rate Your Ride The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance piloted a program to let high school students and commuters rate the quality of their bus service.The program cost about $135K all together.
  • Rate Your Ride Passengers could either answer a survey via mobile text or via a mobile website. 95% of respondents who said they were students answered by text, but only 50% of people going to work.
  • Rate Your RideIn response, the MTAimproved two bus linesand took over ownershipof the service
  • How Could This Work for You?
  • Supporting Staff in the Field
  • Allow Staff to View Data in the Field
  • Allow Them to Enter Data Especially if you have staff who work mostly in the field, it can save huge amounts of time to enter data remotely.
  • Collect Data From Constituents iPads or other tablets can be compelling for surveys or quick data collection… especially to constituents who want to play with them.
  • Use Mobile Devices to Provide ProgramsCan you letconstituentsuse them tolearn, interact,or otherwisefurther yourmission?
  • Rolling Out Smart Phones to The Organization Headway Emotional Health Services provided 50 case managers with smart phones to help them view and enter data from the field.
  • Rolling Out Smart Phones to The Organization They paid $5000 upfront for the I can schedule phones and $1200/ month for data meetings and plans (their system supported appointments just mobile access already) from looking at my phone. If I want to get They’re not tracking results something for my directly, but it’s reduced client, I can do that all scheduling conflicts and staff feel from my phone, too.” they’re more productive.
  • iPads for Special EducationThe Reach School, a pre-schoolfor kids on the autism spectrum,bought iPads, durable cases, andspecial education apps for eachof their seven classrooms, for atotal investment of about $7000.Teachers use them to showvideos, provide individual kidswith learning games, and as aspecial treat.
  • How Could This Work for You?
  • What’s Most Compelling To You?