When asked to describe Impact100 – a women’s collective giving movement – the words “incredibly powerful” come racing to mind. The organization unites groups of 100 or more women, who then pool their funds to drive radical and positive change in their communities. With over 60 local chapters in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to date, these women have invested nearly $80 million in transformational high Impact grants to the non-profit community.
When Growth Creates Member Communication Concerns
With growth and expansion came the need for more rigorous, streamlined communication within the chapters, and ultimately one day between chapters. In this respect, Deborah Johnson, co-founder of Impact The Palm Beaches, was troubled. Despite countless hours updating all social channels, the website, and member emails, it seemed some members remained out of the loop and disconnected.
But why was information reaching members so unevenly?
To start, it bears noting that Impact The Palm Beaches enjoys a diverse member base, whose ages ran the gamut. Their technology “diets” were all so different, with some members shying away from social media, and millennials relying on it almost exclusively. Impact The Palm Beaches faced a communication conundrum – how could they ensure all information made its way to every member, every time?
A Mobile App: The Silver Bullet
The last thing Deborah wanted was yet another platform that would require update and management, so it was critical to find a solution that could integrate with, if not replace, everything else they were using. It wasn’t long before she stumbled upon the answer: the same idea that helped giants like Yelp, Facebook and WhatsApp dominate their respective marketplaces, and become magnetic with users:
A mobile app, dedicated to all things Impact100.
Delivering a top flight member engagement experience was the #1 goal. If Impact The Palm Beaches created an easily accessible mobile app, members could interact, view chapter news, and check event schedules in the palm of their hand. This would eliminate the inconsistency of communication that had hindered the organization prior. Rather than reiterating the same information on countless channels, the team could simply point members to the app – the one place where everything they needed to know about events, meetings, sponsors and much more was consolidated.
But who was to be their app provider? And could they afford it?
An Ideal Partnership With Association App Provider, MobileUp
In Deborah’s own words, Impact The Palm Beaches was “lucky enough” to happen upon a rep from MobileUp, a leading mobile app provider for chapter-based groups and associations. As she explains:
“[MobileUp] could do exactly what we wanted the app to do.”
That included the integration she was looking for, making it an easy choice. “It’s a partnership, not a contract.” She continues warmly, citing the MobileUp team as a determining factor in why she chose them over a larger or more impersonal app development shop. The app brought a consistency of communication that the organization desperately needed. During the build process, they distilled the app down to its most powerful and practical features, creating something that could serve Impact The Palm Beaches’ needs.
An Award Season Launch, with Resounding Success
“We thought long and hard about how to launch the app,” says Deborah. And ultimately, they arrived at an excellent solution – one that other chapters could benefit from when they’re looking into launching their own apps: Introduce your app during one of your large events or gatherings, when you have a captive, engaged member audience. Amid the giveaways, laughter and good cheer, Impact the Palm Beaches launched their brand new mobile app at their annual awards and had members download it that evening. This helped ensure widespread and early adoption among members. The app is now a part of their member orientation process. Irregular communication has been eradicated, and members are enjoying a stronger connection and more engaged experience.
If Deborah and the Impact The Palm Beaches team’s initial struggles sound similar to your own, it may be worth having a discussion with your association team about adopting a mobile app.