Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Join
News & Information: Technology

How To Decide If Building An App Is Right For Your Organization

Friday, June 30, 2017   (0 Comments)
Share |

How To Decide If Building an App Is Right For Your Organization
By Kenny Kane | Jun. 26, 2017
Click Here for the original article from The Forbes Nonprofit Council

"Should we build an app?" This is one of those questions that comes up at a Board of Directors meeting or other types of strategic planning meetings. It's a statement that sounds inherently innovative and something that could potentially remedy a lot of problems faced by periods of organizational stagnation. But it's also a question that deserves a lot of thought before you allocate resources to a brand-new product.

Over the years, I've contributed to the development of multiple apps in the nonprofit sector. I would never claim to be an app programmer, but I would say I've built apps.

There are many reasons why organizations build apps. As previously mentioned, many people believe it is still one of the easiest steps to move an organization forward. Other people build apps to leverage consumers using their mobile device. Regardless of intent, there are pros and cons to stepping into the world of app creation.

When evaluating app creation, here are a few nonprofit-specific things to consider:

1. Who will pay for it?
Apps are expensive. They're just as expensive to create as they are to maintain. Technology moves quickly, a lot quicker than nonprofit budgets. Be mindful that the app you launch will evolve as devices and operating systems evolve.

2. How much do you want to pay for it?
Do you want it cheap or do you want it reliable? There is a lot of both out there. Offshoring the project can dramatically reduce costs, but having a local developer can make the creation process a lot simpler and efficient -- for a premium.

3. Who is contributing to the development internally?
This is an important conversation. Creating an app can be a bright, shiny object within an organization of any size. Making sure the right people are at the table is important without creating division among the ranks.

4. Who is going to use your app? This sounds like a silly question since you assume all of your constituents would use it. Some research on the front end could save hundreds of thousands of dollars if you determine that expectations do not meet reality.

5. What business function does your app enhance? On the front end, apps seek to embolden your mission. On the back end, they should help you with marketing efforts, lead generation, consumer insights, sentiment analysis, or identifying where constituents are. Apps have the native ability to collect information beyond any other lead forms. They can yield unforeseen fruit.

6. What are the resources needed to sustain the app? Let's say you've had a wealthy donor write a check or you've finished a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. Your app is in progress and almost ready to launch. What else do you need to ensure the success of the app? Do you need to spend money on marketing? If you've built an app with user-generated content, do you need a community manager?

Building an app is not much different than buying a house. There are high costs up front and then incremental maintenance. Sometimes the increments are inexpensive, and sometimes they come at a time when you least expect them.

Apps can be a tremendous boon to a small to midsize nonprofit looking to make a splash in its space. They can also be a liability and result in the high consumption of resources that could be used elsewhere. Ultimately, there is no way to predict the future and where there is risk, there can be reward.

Click Here for the original article from The Forbes Nonprofit Council



the following may contain paid advertisements

Click Here for paid advertising opportunities.Acceptance of paid advertisements does not constitute an endorsement of the individual, business or organization by the Alliance.

©2017 Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. All Rights Reserved.

Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
360 E Coronado Road, Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85004
602-279-2966