You Don’t Really Need Another App … or Do You?

So, you’re one of the cool kids. You own a smartphone such as an Android device or Apple iPhone. You’re in good company. A study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project (May 2011) reveals that 42 percent of cell phone users now own a smartphone. Incidentally, 83 percent of American adults now own some type of cell phone.

Perhaps you own one of the 28.73 million iPads that have been sold worldwide. Or, maybe you own another tablet device.

If you own a smartphone or tablet computer, you’re no doubt familiar with Apps, those little pieces of software that allow us to check email, pick a restaurant, search the Internet, or kill pigs by tossing Angry Birds at them, etc. There are over 425,000 Apps for the iPhone and over 480,000 Apps for Android phones. I’m not even counting the Apps for tablet devices. So, do we really need another App?

Well, I happen to believe there’s room for at least one more App. This one is just for those working for or volunteering with nonprofit organizations. The App is the Nonprofit Manager’s FAQ from the good people at Jossey-Bass/Wiley publishing. While an App like Angry Birds might help you pass the time, the Nonprofit Manager’s FAQ will help you pass your time more productively by answering your questions, helping you improve results, allowing you to preview outstanding books for nonprofits, and making buying those books from your favorite online retailer as easy as possible.

As the publisher describes it:

 

[In the Nonprofit Manager’s FAQ] App, you’ll find answers to your most critical nonprofit management questions and challenges. Painstakingly culled from new and bestselling Jossey-Bass/Wiley books and resources written by leading minds and organizations in the field, this App brings together tips and guidance on how to work more effectively in the nonprofit field. Designed for busy professionals, this App offers brief insights on every aspect of nonprofit work including Boards, Management, Marketing, Finance, Fundraising and Legal. New content will be added on a regular basis so download this trusted resource today! Features include: The ability to search and browse all content, pick and save your favorite answers and content, share your discovery via Facebook, Twitter and email, and adjust the text size. You can also discover the sources of the content as well links to websites for the authors and organizations behind it.”

Once you download the free App, you’ll be able to immediately go to an opening screen that gives you the following category options:

  • Boards
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Legal

By clicking on any given category, you’ll be taken to a menu of subcategories. For example, click on “Fundraising” and you’ll be taken to a menu with the following options:

  • General
  • Strategy
  • Donors
  • Grants

Click on any of these subcategories, and you’ll be taken to a list of questions. For example, click on the question “What are a fundraiser’s basic ethical responsibilities?” You’ll be taken to a meaningful excerpt from The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management by Stanley Weinstein. You’ll also be given links to learn more about the book and links providing you with a variety of options for buying a digital or print version of the book should you have an interest in doing so.

Alternatively, you can search the App using, you guessed it, the search bar. For example, plug-in the term “planned giving,” and you’ll be taken instantly to a list of relevant FAQ questions. For example, if you are interested in the question “What are the steps to creating a planned giving program?,” just click on the question. In this example, you’ll be taken to an excerpt from my book Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing, which is on the official CFRE Resource Reading List and for which I won the AFP-Skystone Partners Prize. In addition to the answer to the question, you’ll also be able to link to more information about the book including ways to purchase it. Hint. Hint. :-)

I think this App is a terrific resource for nonprofit professionals and volunteers which is why I’m sharing it with you. But, I’d like to know what you think of it. So, I invite you to download the App and play with it. Then, please let me know what you think of the functionality of the App and, most importantly, the content. If there’s something you’d like to see in the App that’s not there, let me know that, too. I’ll be sure to share your feedback with the folks at Jossey-Bass/Wiley in addition to posting it here.

I have one final thought I need to impart. While Wiley is my publisher, I have received no compensation for this post. I have not been involved in the development of the App. I have not even provided Wiley with any advance notice of this post. I’ve simply discovered the App, and I have loaded the free App on my Droid Incredible 2. I liked it, and simply wanted to share this new tool with you. And, I wanted to solicit your honest feedback.

That’s what Michael Rosen Says… What do you say?

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9 Responses to “You Don’t Really Need Another App … or Do You?”

  1. Hi Michael,

    Interesting post and good app no doubt! Just a remark after having downloaded the app. The links are not working properly and sometimes is hard to navigate through the areas and to go where you want to go. Probably is just a version that needs an update but it is something to consider when talking about an app. If it’s hard to navigate is easy to pass and find another thing.

    Cheers,
    Michela

    • Michela, thank you for taking the time to check-out the App and share your thoughts. The first version of most Apps usually have a few kinks. It’s through feedback that future versions of an App can improve. The better the content and the smoother the navigation, the more likely someone is to continue to use an App, as you’ve suggested. Unfortunately for the nonprofit sector, there’s been very little developed just for us. So, folks don’t have many alternatives. However, I have found two other interesting Apps for nonprofit organizations:

      The Agitator. I like their website, so I was looking forward to playing with their free App. The Agitator App looks good and is content rich. It contains fundraising and nonprofit tools as well as information including Agitator articles, calculators, readers, surveys, mobile tools, and samples. Unfortunately, some of the links do not work. And, it’s particularly problematic that the font size is tiny and not adjustable. Given that I have 50 year old eyeballs, I think I’ll have to wait for a future version in order to be able to use this App.

      iVolunteering. Is an interesting free App from City Vision College, a distance education provider. This App allows users to listen to thousands of free workshops from the top Black and Latino social justice leaders in the world along with leaders in the nonprofit world. In addition, App users can search local volunteer opportunities, watch videos about social justice topics, and listen to free course lectures on nonprofit management from City Vision College. I haven’t spent much time with this App, but I’m intrigued by it and will play with it more in the weeks ahead.

      Over time, I hope that the existing Apps for the nonprofit sector will improve. I have confidence they will. And, I hope we will see additional Apps that the sector will find useful. I think that’s likely.

  2. Got the app. A little slow to load, but that might be my location. It is easy to navigate and a nice snap shot for each topic and has interesting information (specially where to buy the books with the information in more depth like yours!). It is nice to have at my fingertips. I recognize all the authors and see information I need to brush up on. Thanks for the tip and the app link.

    • Pam, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you appreciated the post, and that you are enjoying the App. As far as load speed goes, you might want to test the App in a wi-fi v. 3G environment. Your speed issue could have to do with your connection speed or your device. Good luck!

  3. Thanks for doing a write up on this app, I just downloaded it and while it’s very basic in functionality, I guess it does the trick for what it’s offering – which is educational content. I will say it’s not very in-depth – I would have expected a more varied set of questions under each main topic – and while it’s fine, let’s not forget this is a new way of marketing the sale of their billable resources/ digital and hardcopy books ;-)

    • Tonia, thank you for checking-out the App and for your comment. From the description I’ve read, Jossey-Bass/Wiley intend to regularly update the App with additional content. However, while the information will likely become more varied, I suspect it will not get too much deeper. Jossey-Bass/Wiley are definitely in the business of selling books, and that’s what this App is intended to do while at the same time imparting some useful free information. To drill down deeper into a given topic, readers will need to purchase a book or visit the library. The thing I like about the App is that it is a way to get some quick, basic information along with a taste of a book on a particular topic. It’s kind of like taking a car out for a test drive.

  4. Thanks, Michael, for your great review of our app. We’re thrilled to get feedback–good or bad–so that we can make changes and improvements that will make The Nonprofit Manager’s FAQ as useful as possible for everyone. I’m happy to tell you that we have just completed an update which includes some subtle design upgrades as well as new content. The update will be available in the coming weeks. We plan to add new content on regular basis and each update is chance to add new features, so if you have suggestions, please feel free to send them to nonprofitfaq@wiley.com.

    • Nonprofit Books, thank you for your, well, thank-you comment. The App you have developed is of potential value to nonprofit professionals and volunteers alike. I appreciate your willingness to follow the reader/user comments here and to use the feedback to enhance the App with future versions.

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