Why Your Nonprofit Needs the Internet of Things (IoT)

The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) has been going around the web a lot, but what exactly does it mean? The Internet of Things is products and systems that are integrated together through the web including phones, smart watches, refrigerators, and anything else with an app or integrated service. By the year 2020, it is projected that over 26 billion physical, tangible objects will be connected to the Internet.

The cross between hardware, software, and real world usher in a new era of interconnectivity and automation of everyday objects like never before. Look at the emerging “smart house,” which enables its tenant to lock their doors and turn on their oven without even being at home. Technology like this, which enables data transfer from one device to another, can serve as a great tool for nonprofits to gather data on their members, donors, and their causes in pursuit of increased donations.

Personas and Data Processing

The data gathering process helps nonprofits build an accurate donor persona, which allows organizations to better present their cause to the correct demographic. In the past, donors just gave their money and expected that the nonprofit would do great things with it. But today, donors expect to see specific data on their donation’s impacts.

People and businesses want to see proof that their donations are seeing results. With more millennials giving to nonprofits, they want transparency and open communication with the organizations they trust with their donations. Nonprofits are seeing this need and are getting more involved with IoT technologies to collect data and give proper reporting to its members and donors.

Nonprofits can also use IoT to help their organizations run more efficiently. Many nonprofit hospitals use IoT to help patients remember their preventative care appointments by sending reminders to their phones and other connected devices.

This simple reminder helps the hospital save lives. Sufficient preventative care reduces the need for emergency reactive care. Today’s technology is available to help track patients’ blood pressure, calories, fitness activity and even blood sugar data.

Connecting the IoT

Connection and communication with donors are important and are easier to accomplish with the help of tools like mobile apps, social media, email campaigns, and special events. It is important to employ as many of these as possible to engage with your members. Going mobile is more important than ever as over 85% of Americans use a mobile device as an extension of their computers. Going mobile allows your nonprofit to reach your members in many ways, including:

  • Making websites mobile friendly and accessible to potential donors
  • Mobile messaging to communicate with your members
  • Online donation options through your mobile device or texting donations
  • Mobile apps for members to access information about your organization

Importance of Going Mobile

Today’s world is a busy one, and people’s time is very valuable. The easier nonprofits make it for people to donate, the better. Also, better communication with your members allows them to stay informed of what your needs are so they can donate and volunteer. The more information you give about what is needed in your organization, the more your members will respond and help. The Red Cross raised $43 million in just a few days through their “Text to Give” campaign to raise money for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

What you need to do now is look at your budget and the needs of your nonprofit. Work with an advertising agency like evok to help create the mobile friendly website and copy for mobile devices.

Then create a strategy of using IoT to improve your fundraising either by mobile, email, or social media to give easy access to your members for donating their time and money.