New research released this week by trellyz shows that while 80% of the largest UK and US charities have mobile apps, only half of them have apps designed for their primary beneficiaries.
The report says that organisations are good at understanding the needs of their main stakeholders but struggle to develop and maintain their own technology solutions to reach them.
According to trellyz, charities have apps for reasons or audiences other than beneficiaries, volunteers, staff or donors, suggesting that few have aligned their digital strategies with their operational priorities.
Of the top 25 UK charities analysed, only 10 had apps for beneficiaries, with good examples including:
- Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘My Organiser’ app, which enables users to plan and record appointment times and get reminders for when to take medication.
- British Red Cross’s app with push notifications and alerts for emergencies by location.
- The Salvation Army’s app offers real-time updates on mobilisation activities.
Mobile apps are expensive to build and manage, costing as little as £20,000 a year and as much as £100,000 a year when using mobile app development platforms (i.e. Appcelerator, KONY or Salesforce) or anywhere from £150,000 to £400,000 for custom app development.
Few charities can make large investments in mobile apps, however, so they must explore affordable alternatives that make real-time information available to their key audiences. To engage their audience through mobile technology, they should therefore serve as many of the primary-stakeholder-information needs as possible, ideally in a single app rather than through multiple apps.
“Mobile apps can enable beneficiaries to find services in real time, efficiently and inexpensively,” says Shelley Taylor, CEO at trellyz. “People need information or help where they are when they need it. Why, then, do so few non-profit apps show users where their services are located and at what times they are available?”
Shelley also points out that of the 25 UK charities analysed, none included a map of all charity services offered.
trellyz is a real-time resource-management platform for non-profits and cities, empowering service providers to become more efficient and to deliver greater impact where it’s needed most. Their new LifeSpots app will be launched next week.
Click here to get a copy of the original research showing all 50 non-profits analysed and examples of their apps.