App for the 12th Man Foundation

By Alex Ecklund, Austin Caver, Stephen Brownlee, Suh Sukongnwi, and Troy Robinson

Apps are replacing mobile websites and the 12th Man Foundation needs to react.

Mobile websites are being replaced by applications on mobile devices. In 2015 the average cell phone user spent more time on an apps than on websites. This is shown by a study done by Flurry Analytics which showed that smartphone users spent 80% of their time on smartphones using apps in 2013 and 2014 (Stephanie Jansen). Not only are apps dominating the the mobile market, they are also growing extraordinarily fast. Growing for 4.5 billion total downloads in 2010 to 180.6 billion total downloads in 2015 (Statista). The 12th Man Foundation needs to have a mobile app to meet what users want. I believe the most important fact however is the growing use of mobile devices to donate to nonprofit organizations. In 2015 15% of donations to nonprofits came from mobile devices (Granger). Not only did apps make up 15% of mobile donations in 2015, they were also up 45% from the previous year. (Granger) . This growth in a market you have a little growth in should be a wake up call.

What will the 12th Man Foundation App offer?

Improvements an App would provide for general information about your foundation

Having a mobile app would allow for new, and interactive options for patrons of the foundation. A mobile app also allows for a much more focused, and user oriented experience that can't be done a mobile website. Here is a list detailing a few improvements that an app would allow.


  • User forum for questions and answers. Users could submit questions they have to a forum where you, or other users could answer questions they have. This would help address the issue that questions are only answered on weekdays and by phone. Another advantage to this forum would be allowing for frequently asked questions to be easily accessible to users, and search if they have a question that is not urgent.
  • Integration to social media could also be improved. Users can use the app to find contact information including email, phone number, twitter, and Facebook allowing for a more consolidated, and easier access to contacting your organization. The most popular apps on the app store are social media, and by including social media you can greatly increase your exposure to more potential users (Perez) .
  • Easier to use. Apps can be simplified down much more than the current website has. The current website is a good website, but a poor mobile website. An app would allow for a consistent experience for users in the use of buttons to take them to where they need to go. This is different than the current website that uses drop-down menus that are difficult to use of mobile devices.
  • Consolidating what your users need. Currently their is a major issue in order tickets on a mobile device in that you need to use 2 different mobile websites, and a mobile app to use online tickets. This can be fixed by the 12th Man Foundation having one app that does the ticket ordering, exchanging, and can be the ticket itself. This would cut down on confusion, and allow for a much more user friendly ticket buying experience.

Outreach

By creating a mobile app for the 12th Man Foundation, we'll not only deliver a more convenient, integrated experience, but we'll be able to reach whole new swaths of users—namely, those using mobile devices. While previously only having a website meant users must be at a computer to use 12th Man's services, with our app they now have a new channel of access. Because of this, our app unlocks a host of new directions of growth for the 12th Man Foundation that were never possible before and will lead to unprecedented community involvement. Not to mention, improving community outreach will increase fundraiser involvement and increase potential donors, bringing in money to offset associated costs our app incurs. We plan to revolutionize 12th Man's network by addressing three core problems:


  1. There is currently no way for users to access 12th Man's services in a convenient, on-demand fashion, which cripples user base growth.
  2. Going mobile may alienate those who aren't traditional mobile users (Moschis), so those users must be considered when designing the app.
  3. There is currently a void when it comes to events and volunteer coordination and management.


Our solutions to these problems are as follows:


Extended User Base


  • Creating a mobile app allows more users than ever before to quickly and conveniently access the 12th Man Foundations services on the go, which will increase the 12th Man user base, both directly and indirectly.
  • Our app will come integrated with features that support community functions, such as event coordination, social network features, and a user-editable wiki.
  • Mobile apps are one of the main channels necessary to access millennials, who will make up a key portion of future users (Tandon).
  • As an example, some churches who have introduced apps have seen 50% or more of data usage come from mobile, which makes sense considering 67% of people in the US don't go an hour without checking their phones (Peeples).


Reaching Alienated Users


  • In order to maximize reach, we will make conscious design decisions to ensure our app is accessible regardless of user demographic.
  • Our app will be multi-platform and come in as many languages as exists demand for.
  • Over 8% of Brazos Country residents are 65 or older (US. Census).
  • We will be reaching out to organizations and social functions in the community that include the young and elderly such as VFW, local sporting clubs, libraries, school reunions, public meeting areas, Lion's Club, Moose Lodge, and Boy and Girl Scouts of America to increase community involvement and the frequency of hosted events.


Coordinated Volunteers


  • The 12th Man Foundation depends on volunteers to run many of its services, so we want to make it easy for volunteers to be proactive contributors.
  • Members will all have access to a master event calendar that can be filtered by event type and members attending, similar to Meetup.com.
  • We will offer a platform for users to create and host their own events while also taking advantage of our RSVP system.
  • Having access to a mobile app makes horizontal coordination across the organization a much more feasible task than previously, so that, as more people get involved, more new users are drawn to the network (Ogden).

Ticketing

With the size of the Bryan College Station area growing at the second fastest rate in the nation, the demand to go see the Aggies play football will increase with it (Guilfoos). This will be a lot of added work when it comes to the distribution of tickets on your end. This is one aspect where an App can really start to be a major help. Here is how the app will be a major help when it comes to ticketing in the 12th Man Foundation:


  • The new mobile app will allow students to now be able to pull tickets from their phone instead of having to do it in person.
  • Pulling tickets can take multiple hours per week for a student to pull their ticket. With tests, papers, and the other stresses of school, this is valuable time that a lot of students just don’t have to spare. Pulling tickets from a mobile device will not only save students that time, but it will also help save the 12th Man Foundation time and money every week.
  • As the number of students that pull tickets decreases with the mobile app, that lowers the number of workers that are needed to work the ticket booths for the 12th Man Foundation. This decrease in number of man hours that will be saved each week will help save the 12th Man Foundation more and more money each year.
  • Secondly, the app will allow students to trade sports passes and tickets and will allow non-students to post tickets for sale all in one place.
  • As of today the best way for students to sell and trade sports passes is on a Facebook page. This is very inefficient and can take all day to find an available sports pass. A central place where this can be done to make it easier on students would be large improvement that would come with this app. It would allow students to easily trade and sell sports passes and would the 12th Man Foundation be able to monitor any sales and trades.
  • This portion of the app will also allow non-students to sell any tickets they may have. There are many different websites that already allow people to do this but the main advantage of having it be a part of this app will be that now all the tickets will be in the same place and easy to find. This will allow a larger chance of each ticket being found and purchases.
  • These large improvements will mostly help out the 12th Man Foundation’s customers, but this increases customer appreciation will hopefully lead to more donations to the Foundation.
  • Lastly, in the ticketing portion, there will be a section added to allow for any questions about tickets for that week’s game.
  • With over 100,000 people in attendance of each football game, there arise a lot of questions of whether guest passes will be available, how much will they cost, and a wide variety of other questions that need to be answered promptly.
  • And with one phone number to call for ticketing question, a new way to ask any questions would be a great help to the 12th Man Foundation. It could greatly help cut down the number of workers they need manning the phone at all times and leave happier customers.

Donations

Kyle Field currently ranks as the largest stadium in the Southeastern Conference, largely owing to the most recent renovations which yielded an expansion in both its capacity and prestige. Nonetheless, operational expenses accompany this growth and our mobile app offers a visionary approach as it incorporates a solution to a problem while it is still in its early stages. Our mobile app will provide a suitable basis for your organization to raise donation funds in a reliable, quick and inexpensive fashion as we implement several user friendly features that foster your goals.


  • By allowing for the acceptance and resale of a select niche of donated items, your organization could benefit from up to a twenty percent spike in funds, an approach adopted and now heavily used by the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity ( Shearer and Carpentier, 55 ).
  • The donation feature will be more pronounce and accessible within the interface of our mobile app, a strategy which will further draw in willing but undecided donors. Moreover, by keeping a more basic outline on the donation tab as a whole, it should be a lot easier for potential donors to navigate and select from a wide variety of donor options, with distinct accommodations for both monthly folks and the one-timers.
  • A point-reward system will be incorporated into our mobile app which will allow for us to track and keep a running record of bronze, silver and gold badge donation members as well as anonymous donors. By allowing for user management of pledge forms and other ‘promise-to-give’ features from within the app, it will be easier to setup friendly reminders for app users.
  • Football is a sport loved and watched all across the nation, therefore our mobile app will be fine-tuned to solicit from far and wide. This will be accomplished by using a translation feature to better serve foreign language speakers either visiting or living in the United States.
  • A variety of cash donation methods will be made available to preserve donor preferences and in the process facilitate generous inclinations by eliminating hesitation due to unfamiliarity. All large web-based transaction organizations will be made available. This should make growing the donor base easier.
  • Non-profits like Vote Smart have used some of the aforementioned strategies on their desktop website, including a more accessible and visible donation tab. As a result, they have attracted sponsorships from a large number of companies including much bigger non-profit organizations like the Carnegie Corporation of New York (Vote Smart). Accordingly, there are several entities out there interested in contributing heavily to college athletics, and our mobile app can turn that interest into a monthly or yearly donation.


Navigating your mobile website has been an unsatisfactory experience for a good percentage of Aggies who are into Aggieland sports. This by itself is a major deterrent to many who might be willing to make any kind of contributions to the growth of your organization. By selecting this mobile app to represent your organization, we are sure you will see a sizeable upshift in donation funds from both current Aggies as well as people residing outside of Aggieland.

Notifications and Updates

The 12th Man Foundation is lacking on their technology side. Your website is overwhelming with all of the options and it doesn’t even work as a mobile site. You could really use some help in keeping everyone updated as to what is going on. This could be advanced by a phone application, this way you could access it from anywhere and you could receive updates from it too. Incorporating our app would not only help you, but would also make your customers happier, which is never a bad thing. Our app would help out with the following:


· Traffic:

  • On game-days, traffic is a lot worse than usual. We would incorporate a way to get traffic updates on the application so that you can find the fastest way to the stadium.
  • This would not only be available on game-days, this is just when it would be used most. Students could use it when running late to class and traffic is bad on their usual route. You could see ahead of time and take a different way to reduce time.
  • You would also be able to use it when the 12th Man Foundation holds events. There usually aren’t many people, to my best knowledge, that attend these events. Not enough to really effect traffic. However, traffic does get bad at random times so you could check before you left and when you get close just to make sure you will not run late because of traffic issues.

· Parking:

  • As you know, parking is also especially hard to find and a frustrating experience on these days. Our app would keep an updated list as to which parking lots are full. This would help out a lot, because most people try the lots that are the closest to the stadium and then slowly work their way out. This would eliminate this process and give you the closest lot that isn’t full.
  • This system would also be available at others times besides game-day and would cater mostly to students. I know many times I have had a meeting or class on campus and was late because where I usually park was full.

· Updates:

  • This would mainly be for game-day use only. It would be for game delays and other issues like that. So if a game is delayed for weather or some other reason, you will know even if you haven’t gotten to the stadium yet. The app would also notify you when the game was about to start back up, and you could head back to the stadium at this point.

· Alerts:

  • The alerts would be for ticket purchasing mostly. It would send students alerts when the sports pass registration opens up and send alumni alerts when they are able to purchase tickets for the upcoming season.
  • It would also help with selling tickets you might not be using or students exchanging sports passes. You could tell the app you were looking for a ticket or sports pass for a certain game and when there was a match, it would notify you.

Work Cited

http://www.statista.com/statistics/266488/forecast-of-mobile-app-downloads/

Jansen, Stephanie. "Apps Dominate Smartphone Usage | Bluebridge."Bluebridge. 2015. Web. 01 May 2016.


Granger, Brandon. "Mobile Donations Up 45% in 2015 Giving Season [INFOGRAPHIC] | NpENGAGE." NpENGAGE. Web. 21 Apr. 2016


Guilfoos, Kristen. "College Station Touts Status as Second-Fastest Growing US City." College Station Touts Status as Second-Fastest Growing US City. KBTX, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.


Moschis, George P. "Gerontrographics: a scientific approach to analysing and targeting the mature market." Journal of Consumer Marketing. 10.3 (1993): 43-53. Apr. 28. 2016


Ogden, Timothy N., and Laura Starita. "Social Networking and Mid-Size Non- Profits: What’s the Use?" Philanthropy Action. Nov. 2009. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.


Peeples, Matt. "The Value of a Mobile App." FiveTwo. 13 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.


Perez, Sarah. "Mobile App Usage Up 58 Percent In 2015, With Emoji Keyboards Leading The Pack." TechCrunch. 2016. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.


Shearer, Robert and Kelly Carpentier. "Determining the optimal Donation Acceptance Policy for Nonprofit Stores.” Nonprofit management and Leadership Fall 2015 vol.26 Issue 1:59-71. Web. April 2016.


Vote Smart. Web. April 2016.https://votesmart.org/help-us?gclid=CKPL-ebYoswCFUI9gQodRWgG3w#.VxpVE3ogS8A


Tandon, Atul. "Millennials: A Force Non-Profit Leaders Cannot Ignore." The Huffington Post. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.


U.S. Census Bureau. Quick Facts for Brazos County. 2014. http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045214/48041. Web. 7 Jan. 2012.