Some simple words of advice for nonprofits considering launching a Windows 8 App (or an iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone App), add the keywords “nonprofit” and “charity” to make your apps easier to find. Since neither Microsoft, Apple, or Google have “Nonprofit” or “Charity” categories in their app stores (hint, hint!), it’s going to be up to you to make sure that donors, volunteers, and potential supporters easily find your app in app store searches. I could only find four nonprofit apps in Windows 8 (and one of them is unofficial). There are likely more, but without knowing the name of the app or having a “Nonprofit” or “Charity” category to browse, it’s impossible to find them.
That said, does your nonprofit need to launch a Windows 8 app? Probably not. Network for Good, Change.org, JustGive.org, Care2 – absolutely! But for nonprofits, it’s the same advice I give about smartphone and tablet apps – unless you can make it useful, visually compelling, and in most cases free, launching an app could turn out to be a colossal waste of your nonprofit’s time and limited resources. People will not use, much less pay for an app that is simply a feed of your blog with a “Donate Now”” button. Those nonprofits, however, that have launched successful apps would be wise to pioneer Window 8, like the four nonprofits listed below:
1. National Geographic Society
2. Smithsonian National Zoo
3. Nature Conservancy
Now, should your nonprofit upgrade to Windows 8? Yes, but only when you have at least 4-8 hours to spend learning the new operating system. It’s unlike anything you have ever used and at times the learning curve is significant even for nonprofit tech folks. But as any good social media manager knows, technology is now constantly in flux and the sooner you can acclimate and utilize a new tool set, the more successful you will be. Window 8 places a high priority on the mobile/touchscreen experience which the vast majority of nonprofits have not yet even considered, so Windows 8 could be the technical breakthrough, aha! moment that finally shifts nonprofits into prioritizing their mobile communications and fundraising.
A Final Note: Through a partnership with TechSoup.org, nonprofits can apply to receive a Window 8 upgrade (and other Microsoft software) for free or at a significant discount via Microsoft’s Software Donation Program.
11 Nonprofits Pioneering the Windows Phone