Last month we announced something geeky and exciting: a fully responsive version of VolunteerMatch.org.
Almost a year in the making, this update to a fully optimized, mobile-friendly version of the Web’s largest volunteer engagement network is our natural response to the fact that so many people these days access the Internet via their phones. Mobile is not just the future, it’s the present, and we’re making sure VolunteerMatch.org is a part of both for nonprofits, volunteers and companies.
And our members are responding in droves. For example, 25% of folks using VolunteerMatch.org do so via a mobile device. These are the same people who come to the website looking to connect with organizations like yours, and will sign up for your volunteer opportunities as a way to make a difference.
But it’s not just the increased number of people accessing VolunteerMatch on mobile that matters. A responsive VolunteerMatch helps your nonprofit in other ways, too:
Diversify Your Engagement
Recent data from Pew Internet Research shows that mobile phones are becoming a major way many people access the Internet. In fact, mobile phones are a key tool for lower-income populations, younger generations, and those with disabilities.
A mobile-friendly VolunteerMatch can help your organization connect with a much broader range of people than just those who go online on their desktops or laptops. In addition to income level, age and physical mobility, your expanded audience will include people from a more diverse geographic range, from different ethnic groups (since these can follow income trends, age trends, and geography trends…), and people who lead very busy lives and are always “on-the-go.”
Optimize Your Communication
Mobile also makes a difference when it comes to communicating with your volunteers, too. Now that they can connect with you from anywhere (as long as they have their phones), you can respond to them in real time, too. So take a page from VolunteerMatch’s book, and update your volunteer communications plan to include mobile options like texting, tweeting, Whatsapp-ing…
For example, you can update your volunteers during an event. Or text them alerts as a particular opportunity gets closer. Or ask them questions quickly and simply. Having more ways to communicate with your volunteers is never a bad thing, right?
Reach Professional Audiences
Finally, you may know that VolunteerMatch also has an extensive network of corporate volunteers who also see your volunteer opportunities when you post them. We’re also extending our mobile odyssey to our VolunteerMatch Solutions products with the new tool MobileMatch. This ensures that no matter what sort of professional skills you’re looking for, or what someone’s day job is, they’ll be able to connect with your cause and sign up easily. This is especially useful for non-traditional, non-office workers like retail employees, factory workers, artists…
Check out this post for tips to optimize listings for mobile – and go for it! You’ll see firsthand the difference mobile will make for your volunteer program and your organization.