Technology is taking over everything, and the fundraising industry is no exception. So, you've been seeing more and more talk about different fundraising technology terms.
However, if you are new to the world of fundraising technology, you may not have any idea of what some of these terms you hear thrown around are. So, I've put together this beginner's guide to fundraising technology terms - with easy, basic definitions to 10 of the most common tech terms you might hear.
This way, you'll be able to, hopefully, follow the basics of these conversations no matter how technology-confused you are!
10 Nonprofit Tech Definitions to Help You Enter the World of #NPTech
Let's take a look at the definitions in a little more detail, and then, right below this section, is an infographic for you to save and use as your reminder!
This refers to the things you do to remove barriers and make your site user-friendly for everyone, including people with disabilities. This might mean things like making your site able to show large text or having oral transcripts of the text. While it is important to be as accessible as possible for everyone, it is especially important for organizations that support a particular group of people. For example, a charity that raises awareness for dyslexia would want to take special steps to make sure their website was user-friendly for people with dyslexia.
Digital fundraising is the act of using digital technology to accomplish fundraising goals. It encompasses online fundraising and mobile fundraising (defined below). Things like taking donations through online forms on your website fall under digital fundraising.
Mobile bidding refers to technology that allows people to bid on auction items right from their phone or tablet, usually from wherever they are, instead of requiring people to be at a fundraiser or auction. For more on this, read our "What Is Mobile Bidding?" post.
This is a subset of digital fundraising and refers to all of the fundraising methods you can do utilizing mobile devices. For example mobile bidding and text-to-give (defined below) are both types of mobile fundraising.
This is a popular hashtag used on lots of social media platforms. It stands for nonprofit technology. You can use this as a means to follow the growing conversation on the nonprofit technology community.
PCI stands for payment card industry. This security standard monitors the group of regulations surrounding credit card processing. If you are going to accept credit card donations or payments (and why wouldn't you?), you need to make sure you are meeting all of the rules. Doing so makes you PCI compliant.
This is a means to mobilize your supporters to fundraise on your organization's behalf. This helps take some of the fundraising pressure off of you, lets you reach not only your network but your network's networks, and lets your supporters get a chance to personalize the message and meaning behind their support for you.
Responsiveness (aka Mobile Responsiveness or Mobile-Ready)
This term refers to how well your website goes from one screen size to another. For example, is your site just as user-friendly when someone looks at it on their phone as it does when they look at it on their computer? Because more and more people are using their phones in place of computers, it is important to make sure they have a great user experience from anywhere. Images, text, and forms should all be created in a responsive design.
This stands for Search Engine Optimization. You may not have to do a lot of this yourself, but it is still good to know a little bit about it. SEO refers to a search engine's (Google, Yahoo, etc.) ability to find and recognize your site. Through things like keywords and image tags, these search engines 'read' your site to determine if you would be a good fit when someone conducts a search online. So, if you want people to find your organization when they are searching "Best Animal Rights Organizations in Cleveland," then you need to make sure you are following SEO best practices.
This is a subset of mobile fundraising, and it refers to allowing donors to make a donation by texting a specific code and the amount they want to give straight to your 5 digit shortcode. At that time, they would get an auto link to a donation form that would let them enter the rest of their information.
The Terms in an Infographic
Now that you have an idea of what some common nonprofit tech words mean, feel free to download our infographic to help you remember them. You're on your way to talking like a fundraising technology pro!
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