Special Biweekly Contest: What can mobile forms do for your nonprofit?

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ProntoWhen the guys at TrueContext talked to us about doing a review of their custom mobile forms service, Pronto, we had a few problems. We don’t do much in the way of field sales, or surveys, or data collection. In fact, we pretty much just hunker down at BBCool HQ, jack into the blogosphere, and don’t see the light of day until the wee hours of the morning. TrueContext even offered to make us a fully customized form that we could access on our BlackBerry and use to beam data to home base. So that got us thinking, if we can’t do anything with what looks like a very useful service, who could use Pronto? At this point, the devs told us about their plans to help out nonprofit companies with their Pronto Give Back Program.

This is where you, kindly and ingenious BBCool readers, can step in to help out your fellow man. If you’ve ever used a spreadsheet program, you know what can be done with that kind of information and how useful the output can be, let alone being able to access and enter that information wirelessly from your BlackBerry. Your mission for this special two week-long Weekly Contest is: choose your favourite nonprofit organization and outline a Pronto form which would help their front-line workers do what they do best. This could be a donation tracker, or volunteer timesheet, or anything that you think will help your particular organization. This isn’t limited to charities, either - there are plenty of lobby and special interest groups out there that could use a hand in the field. This Friday’s contest will run two weeks, so we can gather up as many entries as possible.

The prize, you ask? Well, the best suggestion will actually get implemented. That’s right, TrueContext has agreed to work up the form and offer it to your nonprofit organization of choice free of charge. Not enough? Well, we’ll throw an iPod shuffle your way, just to spice things up. Put on your thinking caps, everyone - let’s see what you’ve got.

Kyle S. will be walking away winner from last week’s contest, giving a full-bodied view on the pros of RIM’s increased pace of product releases. We’ll be hooking you up with some Bplay games real soon, Kyle!

  • Liliana Castellanos
    i never had an i pod only mp3s but my mp3 already messed up... :(
  • Scott T
    At one point in time I was the technical director of a non-profit service provider.
    I think a killer non profit form would be an event roster.
    Non-profits often fund themselves by holding events.

    It would be killer to have a form that allows event organizers the abilty to do the following.

    1. View who is currently planning on attending/signed up/registered for an event.
    2. At the event...the abilty to record attendence of the event.
    3. Fill out notes about attendees.

    I think this concept could be used to help a lot of non-profits.
  • Lee Ajaye
    I would give these devices to an organization that is designed to assist people in learning how to correct their plight, rather just another one of those organizations designed to provide relief without educating the people that we're seeking to help. The organization that I'm thinking of is called UNICEF. They do a lot of other things besides just handing out food.

    I would design a software program that could tie into an SQL backend and keep everyone that's connected upto date. It would also have the option to update immediately, or at a regular intervals, or to wait for the user to request an update. As for the tables, since I don't work directly from them, those would need to be defined by them once a study was conducted to determine a best plan of attack. I also believe that there should be a part of the program that will allow those in the office to send messages (sort of like a netsend on steroids) to others that will allow either that person or those persons, or groups, identified to be notified of changes. It would also have the functionality to create packages of data (facts or snippets from that same database) that was created by a user (order of deliver can also be specified) that could be presented to other, should they decide to hold some sort of a informational, as in non-video VTC (or basically a voice meeting), meeting of sorts via this device. Now that would a truely worthwhile functional program that I believe would be usable by any organization! ;0)
  • Doug G
    Just having watched the Thanks giving Parade in Kitchener and watching the food bank drive at the end of it I realized a reminder would have been useful and a suggestion of what would really be useful would be nice. I think most people would like to donate but in the rush of the event forget to bring something (like me) and under standing what is really needed would help my indecision when I do remember. Another helpful hint would be to post locations of food bank and salvation Army drop offs. Have you tried to donate cloths lately?? Can't find a box for the life of me.

  • kasey
    My organization is the March of dimes. They are a nation wide organization that through the help of donations study ways to prevent premature birth as well as medical issues those babies face.
    I have several form ideas. First of all I think there could be a form for donations that people could use to keep track of donations made to them by individuals that could be entered to the main database of the local chapter of March of dimes. quth the option to either update daily, weekly, or monthly. Another form would be for their annual walks for families to use to sign up and gain donations and then be able to send to the local chapter as well.our family has done this walk and to have had something to get donation information without carrying a pen and form or when we didn't have access to the pc would have been a great time saver. That way when walk day comes all the donation information is done without the problem of forgotten forms to worry about delaying donations! Also a form for each local chapter to send out with monthlyg donation updates and news would be an added plus for volunteers.
  • Alex D.
    One of our favorite nonprofit organizations is a local no-kill animal shelter called Save-A-Pet (any no-kill shelter gets props from us). They are that do great things for dogs and cats who need home. They provided us with our great dog.

    Of course they could implement mobile forms for the standard uses such as the volunteer time sheets and donation forms, etc. But where a true mobile data tracking solution could be invaluable would be when they host remote adoption events where they take the animals on the road and host events where people can come and see the animals and adopt them on the spot. They could use forms to first of all track information regarding the animals and have instant access for potential adopters. They could also have the necessary forms ready to fill in regarding the adopter's information. This could definitely speed up the adoption process and get the animals into their new homes ASAP.

    Anything to help these poor animals find new homes would be outstanding!
  • Jess
    My favorite nonprofit organization is Food for Life. They definitely have a presence in almost every country and is provides help, food and compassion to everyone. It's committed to improving the quality of life and is the world's largest vegetarian food relief organization.

    I don't know too much about Pronto, but my outline of the Pronto form that would help their front-line workers do what they do best involves:

    - donation tracker that gives updates every week
    - volunteer timesheet would be quite useful, maybe it can show when one has applied to volunteer too so that they can get back to them right away
    - surveys that will tell them where they should go to next, types of healthy food people like, etc.
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