September 10, 2014;Nonprofit Nate

Each time technology enables us to accomplish new tasks faster or more creatively, there is an impact on nonprofits. Expectations of what is a good picture, a good story, or a good outcome continue to evolve, and nonprofits must move with the tide.

Recently, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the Apple Watch were unveiled to the world. Yesterday, the latest version of the iOS operating system was made available, and the new iPhones will themselves be available for purchase tomorrow. Commentator Nonprofit Nate highlighted five impacts that the iPhone 6 will have on nonprofits.

  1. Pictures and video: Easier, better, everywhere. Remember when nonprofits were grabbing up Flip cameras as they were being taken off the market? Seventy-eight percent of adults have watched or downloaded a video from the Internet and 40 percent have used their phones to record video. Given the penetration of smartphones and the increasing abilities of the cameras built into them, no one needs extra cameras for video and photos any more. “It’s time to start thinking about how you’re mobilizing your constituents to take great pictures of your mission and post them for all to see,” is the challenge posted in the article.
  2. Larger screens = bigger emails: With mobile’s continued growth into email and web traffic, it is important that a nonprofit’s email and marketing plans are mobile-friendly. Now there is one more device to accommodate, and there is more screen available than before. Your stakeholders are coming to you via smartphone and this is chance to fill a bigger screen. Is your visual message compatible with the iPhone 6 Plus’s larger screen, and what are the options for using the enlarged space?
  3. Apple Pay: How can you turn this into “Apple Donate?” The article asks, “Should you order an Apple Pay reader for your next event auction?” Consider this: Donors may be able to be given a one-click option to make donations speedy and convenient. Apple promises a simple, secure payment alternative to credit cards, and nonprofits can benefit.
  4. Apple Watch: The watch represents another screen with new opportunities. “You’ll want to be ready with your organization’s logos of the right sizes should someone program your nonprofit’s number into their Apple Watch,” according to Nonprofit Nate.
  5. Events: There were millions watching the press release about the new phone in the middle of a workday. (Or at least they tried to; the efforts of Apple to stream the event ran aground fairly quickly.) The presentation was a “work of art,” being both scripted and passionate, keeping the audience engaged as they watched. “What could you do to your fundraising events, board meetings or staff meetings to crank it up a notch?”

What’s your take on the newest Apple gadgetry? How do you think nonprofits will be affected? What ideas do you have for keeping your nonprofit current with the latest technology trends?—Jeanne Allen