The future of fundraising?Charity Insight Staff Writer
As the government releases its Giving Green Paper, which includes a number of ways in which technology can be used to increase giving, Shubhi Tandon throws a few more suggestions into the mix
Social media platforms and new apps for mobile phones are among the ways in which the government hopes to increase donations to charity. And with people increasingly carrying the world in their pocket, you can't fault the government for making these suggestions.
New technologies mean information is able to travel at lightening speed, offering charities an effective way of reaching current and new supporters. Here are a few more to keep an eye on.
QR Codes - or Quick Response Codes - are two dimensional barcodes. Many 3G phones feature a QR Code scanner, which enable people to download the information contained within the Code and easily access websites.
Japan has led the way in using QR Codes and today they can be found everywhere from on billboard and magazine advertising, on maps, in shopping centres - even schools are using them. Charities have also benefited - Greenpeace Japan is just one organisation that has found this to be an effective fundraising and communications tool.
In the UK, it's still a growing medium but some charities are making use of the technology. On the Bullying UK website, for example, the charity encourages young people to create a poster which aims to tackle bullying. Two QR Codes on the poster enable the poster to be shared via MMS or Bluetooth and to access the organisation's mobile advice site.
Square Mobile Payment services
Easier financial transactions are becoming that little bit closer thanks to Square Mobile, an app for iPhones, iPad and Android users that allows people to accept payments via their mobile phones. By attaching a small card reader to their phone, people can swipe cards and accept payments anywhere - including charity events.
Unfortunately, it's only available in the States and so far no date has been set for a UK launch. When it does, could this be something that revolutionises face-to-face fundraising?
Charities advertise on the television, radio, the internet and in print media - so why not on mobiles too? Through companies such as AdMob and Ubiyoo, charities are able to create targeted and personalised ads for the mobile. Considering that most people feel like they've lost a limb when without their phone, this has the potential to enable charities to get right in front of their supporters on a continuous basis.
It's not really a new technology but the new social networking site Sedogo deserves a mention on this technology blog. This website lets people make a timeline of their goals in life - and connect with people with similar goals to complete.
While many goals sound like New Year's Resolutions, the site does provide charities with the opportunity to connect with people interested in raising money or volunteering for their causes. Under the 'charity' section, for example, it lists people who want to "raise £100,000 for suicide research in two years" or "go skydiving for charity before their 19th birthday".
By Shubhi Tandon