Mobiles abound
Mobile apps do good

Last night’s Mobile Monday at MaRS (affectionately known as #MoMoTo) featured two mobile applications of interest to not-for-profit organizations:  Calliflower (presented by Alec Saunders) and XMGive, from the group that brought you Admeris (presented by Simon Law).

This special event was held in conjunction with Net Change Week and we thank Jim Brown and the organizers for working with us on this great event.

Calliflower offers “free conference calls & flat rate pricing for unlimited global meetings with local dial in numbers & document sharing”.  That flat rate is currently $50/month for FP’s and a planned $20/month for NFPs.  This service is still planned and they are working with TechSoup Canada to make it available to not-for-profits.  The testimonials from the group were very positive and if you do a lot of conference calls or webinars it’s worth looking into.  They have a 14-day free trial option.

XMGive is also a start up and they are able to accept mobile donations at the door or at events.  Since we know giving is in response to being asked and that it is often spontaneous, this device sounds terrific.  They will take a small fee to cover their costs.  Although they provide all the services for secure online donations, I would still suggest they work with CanadaHelps.org (http://www.canadahelps.org/) who have the relationships, read trust, with the not-for-profit sector.

Although both apps ar available for the iPhone, a quick survey of this highly “mobile literate” room showed that about 12 had iPhones, everyone else had a Blackberry.

The panel summed up their advice to not-for-profit organizations as follows:  when using mobile technology, grab the low hanging fruit, examine the ROI instead of just grabbing the shiny new toys, do your homework to ensure what you are doing is consistent with your goals.

It was heartening to hear these start-ups (who are struggling with finding their market and facing all the other struggles of start-ups) take the time to modify their product for charities.  They both genuinely seemed interested in making their product available to help charities that they know can’t generally afford to buy it or have the sophistication to develop it.  More power to them and I’m sure there are many more entrepreneurs like them out there — I’d love to meet you.

Looking for more on Net Change Week’s Mobile Monday? Check out the videos.

MobileMonday Pt1 from SiG @ MaRS on Vimeo.

MobileMonday Pt2 from SiG @ MaRS on Vimeo.

Allyson Hewitt

Allyson is the JW McConnell Family Foundation Senior Fellow, Social Innovation at MaRS, where she has been leading the SiG@MaRS program; advising social entrepreneurs; building the social innovation ecosystem; and incubating successful programs such as the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, the MaRS Solutions Lab and Studio Y. See more…