cloud-app-technology-for-nonprofits-250Technology plays a major role for nonprofit organizations looking to cost-efficiently reach larger audiences, garner more support, and ultimately fulfill their mission.

However, nonprofits are notoriously budget-strapped and under-resourced, often lacking the necessary technical skills to take full advantage of the latest web, mobile and cloud technologies.

Caspio’s rapid application development platform empowers nonprofits by enabling non-technical users to create custom cloud applications without coding, and at a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional development methods.

Just ask Solar Oregon, a nonprofit that saved $100,000 in application development costs in just two months using Caspio. To learn how Solar Oregon achieved these results, read the case study.

Taking lessons from Solar Oregon, we are sharing the following tips for nonprofits looking to develop custom cloud applications.

Five Things Nonprofits Need to Know About App Development in the Cloud

1. Embrace the Cloud:
Nonprofits usually don’t have large IT staffs standing by to develop applications or set up dedicated servers at a moment’s notice. As a result, they must consider ways to achieve their goals through innovative technologies.  The cloud offers nonprofits a means to efficient solutions without adding the technical complexities that require a large in-house IT staff to implement and manage it all.

2.  Customization is Possible: 
Nonprofits often feel constrained by a lack of funding, having to settle for off-the-shelf software that doesn’t quite meet their needs rather than assume the costs associated with traditional application development.  There are a myriad of off-the-shelf solutions available to nonprofits — generic programs for fundraising or donations, for example.  But when a custom application for a particular audience or purpose is required, it’s important for nonprofits to know these solutions are within reach with a little “out of the box” and “into the clouds” thinking. In the case of Solar Oregon, they used Caspio’s point-and-click platform to create a custom web-based registration system to facilitate a bulk-purchasing program, all without writing a single line of code.

3.  Get the Most out of Your Budget:
With a creative approach to technology, nonprofits like Solar Oregon have proven that a small budget can make a big difference. Meaningful custom applications can be developed at an affordable cost by nonprofits willing to explore technologies like Caspio’s cloud-based rapid application development platform. Database platforms like these allow nonprofits to build applications and automate tasks that, due to costs or complexity, have been left undone for years.

4.  Create an Ecosystem:
Online applications can help nonprofits connect citizens, private-sector partners, government entities, fundraisers and donors — all the parties that need to share information in order to achieve the actionable results the nonprofit is fostering. One of the apps Solar Oregon built is a CRM that’s deployed in partnership with multiple communities, government agencies, and professional installation companies across Oregon.

5.  Start Small:
The best advice for nonprofits: Don’t try to do everything all at once; start with a project that will demonstrate the best return on investment, and then add new components as time and budget allow. Just like Solar Oregon, they started small from creating smart registration forms and took off quickly to develop other more complicated applications.

Read the full case study to learn how Solar Oregon transformed their entire data management workflow using Caspio.

For more examples of nonprofit applications, check out our blog on Why Cloud Database Technology is a Lifesaver for Nonprofits.

If you’d like to try the Caspio platform for yourself, sign up for a free trial and request a project consultation to help you get started quickly.

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