This article is about the ways nonprofits can use remote assistance software.
The advances to our social technology tools – including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and social media app platforms – are upping the ante for nonprofits and community organizations around the globe. These technological innovations have created unprecedented opportunities for nonprofit organizations to connect with communities, raise awareness, and encourage giving.
Remote assistance software is based on AR, where anyone with a smartphone or tablet can view a merged real-time video stream of their device interface shared with a device from another individual. The primary user can record what they are seeing while the guiding or interacting user can provide clear visual demonstrations or imagery that appears on the screen as if it existed in real life. This tech can be applied by nonprofits in many unique ways.
The possibilities for nonprofits to use remote assistance software are endless. Here are 5 ideas to get the ball rolling:
There are many creative options for incorporating augmented reality into your fundraising events to increase attendee connection. You can create a challenge for the event or a game that gets participants more involved. You could design a remote assistance-type challenge where event participants walk around the space with their phones recording different physical environments that correspond with digital visual cues.
For example, an organization oriented around service dogs could have various set-ups related to service dog training modules. Participants could go through the process of simulating a unique training session, while the visual interface provides guidance and interaction with the virtual pet. This could encourage event attendees to feel they have put themselves in the shoes of those carrying out the organization’s mission to train dogs.
Nonprofit organizations must often coordinate legions of volunteers to come together and further the group’s purpose. This could take the form of anything from building homes to designing a community garden. Especially if there are multiple locations or multiple volunteer events happening at the same time, it can be challenging for leadership to manage or provide immediate help.
Nonprofits can use remote assistance software enabling nonprofit leaders to meet volunteers where they are virtually and provide clearer cues for specific tasks.
Nonprofits may struggle to maintain a connection to donors after a donation. But augmented reality can extend the donor experience, in some cases. You can now give donors an opportunity to directly engage with those they’ve directed support.
For example, a nonprofit that provides funding to build schools in a foreign country could have teachers from the intended schools walk the donors around their community or the construction site. Donors would get the sense that they are there with the people they’ve donated to and feel what it’s like to move through their surroundings. They could even take part in choosing specific features of the school and helping builders make design choices.
Another example is helping an organization offer a virtual tour of their facilities, allowing the organization’s executives to show off a few high impact uses of donor dollars. For example, South County Outreach in Southern California operates the largest food pantry in South Orange County as well as a transitional housing program. These two programs help homeless families get back on their feet with the tools and counseling they need to succeed.
Interactive campaigns are growing in popularity as a means of marketing an organization’s mission at a more personal level. There’s the famous example of the UK’s National Health Service blood drive billboard where volunteers handed out stickers people could put on their wrists to simulate donating blood. When the individual scanned the sticker, their phone screen showed a virtual graphic of them donating blood and the billboard image changed from someone sick to someone healthy.
Though this is quite an advanced situation using augmented reality, simpler alternatives can be just as effective. Volunteers could create a booth at a conference or a street set-up where they provide tablets. Passersby then engage with a merged virtual scenario related to their organization’s mission.
One of the most impactful applications of remote visual assistance is to use the technology to provide a needed resource to the community. Use this tool to reach people who it would be difficult or impossible to help in person otherwise.
A great example would be a nonprofit that provides free tutoring to disadvantaged middle schoolers. They could give tablets to the children. This allows volunteers to provide virtual tutoring to these children after school.
Another example involves an organization we’ve supported with our technology. Help Lightning collaborated with UAB’s Youth Safety Lab and Safe Kids International to help parents install child car seats correctly.
This also means that organizations can substantially expand the number of people who could offer aid, not just those available locally.
Curious how remote visual assistance can distinguish your nonprofit and support your mission? Contact us for more information or request an interactive demo. You can also learn about our community-based program, SidebySide, that provides free or discounted access to our remote assistance technology for nonprofit organizations around the world.