Fundraising has long been essential for charities and nonprofit organizations, and that remains true to this day. Fundraising methods, however, have come a long way since approaching strangers with a clipboard or holding a bake sale.
Over the past few decades, technology has advanced enormously, and brought with it fresh opportunities for nonprofits to fundraise. Two key new technologies that can really help take your fundraising to the next level are VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).
VR and AR are fairly similar concepts, but with one major difference: with VR, the user feels as though they themselves are embedded in the virtual environment, but with AR, specific virtual features are made visible in the real-world.
Read on for six ideas to help incorporate VR and AR into your fundraising efforts.
1) Build Awareness
“Before people donate to your cause, it’s essential that they have a clear understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve,” states Amy Cortez, business writer at Best legit essay writing services.
AR apps can be used to encourage people to spread the word in an interesting way that reaches out to potential donors. For example, in its efforts to raise awareness of threats facing leopards, the World Wildlife Fund has launched an app that allows users to take photos with a virtual leopard. People were entered into a prize draw if they shared their photo online. This has helped spread the message to over 100,000 people who may otherwise have had no idea of the WWF’s mission.
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2) Encourage Empathy
“Some studies have suggested that VR can make people more empathetic. Nonprofits can really make use of this by creating VR and AR experiences that make the user feel like they’re experiencing, and not just reading about, a certain plight,” according to Linda Camacho, tech writer at Simple Grad.
The Red Cross has recently taken advantage of this by creating an AR app that allows the user to pass through a “portal” and into the bedroom of a child whose country is being ravaged by war. The idea is that this will drive home the harsh realities of war and what children in warzones endure far better than a leaflet or some statistics.
3) Spread Information
If you decide to go ahead and create an AR or VR app for your nonprofit, you can update it regularly to ensure users receive up-to-date information.
For example, CoppaFeel, a charity focused on breast cancer, have hooked up an AR app to a billboard, which is updated in real time with current statistics. This can be a great way to emphasize how important and time-sensitive your campaign in.
4) Get Serious
Using technology such as AR and VR signifies that your nonprofit is super serious about the work it does and is willing to go the extra mile to spread the message.
Harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology can impress potential donors and catch the eye of those who may otherwise have not been interested in your charity’s message.
5) Experiment With Geofilters
One option for using VR and AR is to create an app that allows the user to see certain things based on where they are. This means that a nonprofit can attract more attendees to their events as people will be enticed by the VR experience. As an added bonus, if you make the geofilter shareable, attendees can increase the charity’s reach by sharing the filter online.
6) Hold A Scavenger Hunt
This sort of technology was used with great success by Nintendo in the creation of Pokémon Go.
Nonprofit organizations could do something similar and really drive up engagement with their cause. For example, by using special transmitting devices, known as beacons, you can spread interactive visuals around your desired location. Anyone who downloads the complementary app would then be able to interact with these beacons. Due to its game-like features, this is a great way to get people, particularly children, involved in charity.
VR and AR has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It has proven itself to be a powerful tool in promoting a nonprofit’s activities and is a fun and interactive way to raise awareness that any savvy nonprofit should consider using.
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6 Ways For Nonprofits To Utilise VR And AR For Fundraising was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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