From transparent and foldable screens to easier ways to donate, the next five years will be a busy time for charities as they continue utilising the power of mobile
The public’s appetite for mobile technology has grown markedly in recent years.
At least eight out of ten adults use a smartphone and spend more than two hours online on their devices each day.
Charities have adapted well to this rapid mobilisation. With mobile tech existing across fundraising, service delivery and managing staff.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for digital technology. Charities should continue to expand their operations around mobilisation.
Here we look at some of the ways mobile tech is evolving and set to shape the next five years of charity operations.
This year, charities ensure their services, communication and fundraising are mobile friendly. This includes making sure staff can be organised and volunteers can be managed easily via their smart phone.
Mobile has been an excellent add-on to existing communication tools. But over the next five years, charities need to think less of mobile as an add-on but as the main source of operations. In short charities need to think – mobile first, not last.
The concept of mobile first is not new – to design online content with mobile users as a priority. Over the next five years this theory will become more mainstream among all organisations.
The Royal British Legion worked with tech firm Progress and digital agency Manifesto to design a “high performing, mobile-first website that is easy to navigate and manage”, according to Progress.
The design of the iphone and most android devices will be familiar – rectangular, thin, with a casing on the back and a screen on the front. Charity operations on mobile currently favour this design.
But over the next five years, charities need to prepare for new, exciting designs.
A key change is set to be phones becoming even easier to carry, as just a translucent or transparent screen. This drive towards this kind of sleak design includes 2021’s release by Samsung of the Galaxy s30 Ultra Transparent.
Foldable designs are already emerging and look set to increase in popularity. This gives charities the chance to provide mobile content in new ways, away from the familiar flat, one-screen format.
Charities need to be aware of how their content will look on emerging designs. Things to consider:
Mobile tech grows to meet the public’s appetite for data and content. 5G, the fifth generation of mobile phone networks, significantly ramps up the speed which content and services can be accessed. Further generations will improve speed and data capabilities even further in the coming years.
For example, 5G is currently 10 times faster than 4G. For charities it means content can become longer and more detailed. A full HD film can be downloaded in around three minutes with 5G, compared to more than 15 minutes on 4G, according to the Vodafone network.
Increasing speeds and data also bolster home working as well as blended and flexible working options for charity staff. More work and projects can be accessed via mobiles. This means that tools such as Onboard, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Asana will become increasingly mobile focused.
Smart phone developers are making it easier to access audio content on mobiles. Wireless headphones are currently more expensive than their cheaper wired counterparts. But as costs come down, their popularity rises.
The next five years will see wireless headphone tech evolve so that they can be recharged on the smartphone itself. Without the need for a separate charging case.
With audio even easier to access, charities need to consider their use of audio content. Does your charity have a podcast? Have you started a webinar program? Or do you run virtual conferences that carry a bunch of audio content? All these things strengthen your audio reach.
It is worth noting that earlier this year Xiami patented the tech to use a smartphone with built in wireless earphones.
The growth of mobile banking will only go from strength to strength. As security tightens, more people will feel safer making payments and organising their finances.
According to Deloitte many banks were already investing heavily a year ago in mobile tech innovations, including chatbots, mobile wallets, banking apps and voice activated banking. These are already coming to fruition and will continue to do so over the next five years.
“Across the globe, the retail banking industry is fast embracing a mobile-centric customer experience,” says Deloitte.
With access to funds on one click, the opportunities for fundraising are evident. With expected mobile banking integrations, donation buttons and exciting new multi-content campaigns. Charities can look to make it easier for supporters to donate via their phones.
Already thinking of how your charity will fit in a mobile-first world? Let us know in the comments below.