Why NGOs and Government Organizations Should Use QR Codes

Why NGOs and Government Organizations Should Use QR Codes

If you aren’t using QR codes for your organization, you’re missing out on a handy way to share, catalog, retrieve important information, and make it easier for patrons to participate and donate. QR codes are more than just print-to-digital links for ads, packaging and mobile payments. There’s a world of possibilities QR codes can give your organization.

Aside from the usual uses for QR codes in mobile marketing, there are other uses that organizations can use to streamline business, and office operations. “What are those uses?” you obviously will ask. First, let’s look at some great uses for QR codes, and see if it strikes any ideas within your head.

Interesting uses, aren’t they? Now that your mind is racing for uses that will suit your organization, let’s spotlight some uses for your organization.

Internal Office/Organizational Uses

Many NGOs deal with volunteers and interns, so it’s important to make their efforts as easy and pleasant as possible. Using QR codes to transfer the right information for them to follow, or to learn certain procedures is imperative for a smooth running organization. Here are some tips for incorporating QR codes into your day-to-day operations.

Go paperless

Yes, QR codes in digital form are quick and easy links for mobile users. With the rise of mobile technology and usage, all NGO employees, volunteers and anyone else can use QR codes on a digital database to create and store needed information on their own mobile database.

Track your inventory

Denso Wave (a subsidiary of Toyota) designed QR codes to allow high-speed component scanning. Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes now are used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile-phone users (termed mobile tagging). With limited operating budgets, it’s important to keep a close eye on certain supplies and equipment. Tagging computers and other expensive office equipment and supplies, much like tracking car parts in vehicle manufacturing, can give you an instant database that can track where supplies are going and who has used them.

Simply attach a QR code (which can be generated for free) and the analytics will tell you whose mobile device scanned that code when the material was removed from inventory.

Make information available to your entire organization’s staff

Attach a QR code to an email that is sent to your staff email list and have people scan it for updated information. Analytics will tell you who hasn’t scanned to information, so they can be reminded to add the information to their mobile device, or add it to their database.

Store instructions

Don’t want to save binders full of instruction manuals? Attach a QR code to electronics (like laptops, desktops, printers, copiers, etc.) so users can refer to the manuals on their mobile devices.

Uses for Aiding Your Organization

It’s a link-click world, and to help make it easy for your targeted patrons to use your links, follow these handy tips.

Make the most of your events

Whether you are organizing a rally, auction, run, walk, or tabling at an event, chances are you are posting and distributing print materials and some take-away material. Get your QR code on these materials and drive people to a mobile site that gives them more information about your campaign, builds your email list, builds followers on your social media platforms, recruits volunteers, or solicits donations.

Fundraising Galas and Silent Auctions

When dealing with donation-based events, incorporate QR codes. For example, if you place donation envelopes on each chair (or at a table for attendees to take) at your event, use a QR Code to make it easy for people to make a donation via a special mobile website during the event.

You can also print up QR codes on labels and place them near items at a silent auction. Then when people scan the QR codes they can can learn more about the items up for auction and place a bid. This will also help you register benefactors for future fundraising events!

Business Cards, flyers, posters and brochures

Don’t lose opportunities to connect with people and drive them to specific campaign mobile landing pages, social media channels, donation pages, etc. Also, QR codes can be a great way to electronically store your contacts as you swap business cards with people at conferences and events.

Any printed material can and should have a QR code printed on them for extending your outbound marketing. Make it scan-and-click easy for people and improve your reach.

Advocacy actions

As more people adopt smartphones, nonprofits need to adapt their advocacy actions that are mobile friendly. Put your advocacy actions (whether it’s signing a petition, calling a Member of Congress, or participating in a texting campaign) into your offline ads, print newsletters, and any other printed materials you use to promote your advocacy campaigns.

Easy event registration

Create a QR code and post it on your posters, event space front door (for walk-in participants), or on signage at your organization’s entrance. Patrons can skip the line, or save time by scanning a QR code, rather than filling out a long form to be taken to your website, purchase tickets on their phone, and bypass the line altogether.

It’s another way to build a list of interested patrons for future events! Registration can be considered opting-in for future email or SMS contacts.

Pay for less but get more

Advertising space in newspapers and magazines charge by the size of the ad. By purchasing the smallest space that will allow a large enough QR code to be scanned (and a call to action), you can link to a mobile landing page or video and present an unlimited amount of information without having to purchase a full page.

Be Smart About QR Code Use

There’s a right way and a wrong way to use QR codes. We suggest you read this article about the proper way to use QR codes for effective placement, scanning, call-to-action, and other handy tips to make your mobile marketing effective.

Remember to give your QR codes a purpose. You don’t want to just send people to your website; you want them to do something when they get there! You can further promote the initiatives with specific mobile landing pages and use QR codes to offer access to exclusive content. Think about your marketing materials, determine a call to action, and try out some strategically placed QR codes.

Before you start, use this handy, free statistics app to see how your demographics have uses QR codes (filter by gender, age, and location).

Speider Schneider has created products and marketing material for Warner Bros., Disney/Pixar, Harley-Davidson, ESPN, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Mattel, DC and Marvel Comics and writes for global blogs on business practices, ethics, technology, QR codes and Augmented Reality.

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