Reach Out, Touch Faith and Donate on the Mobile Web

Governments and non-profit organizations could be the next sectors to build touch-enabled applications for the mobile web, according to a Taptu report released today. Unlike specific mobile handset platforms like those of Apple, Google and others, the Internet is agnostic, making it useful for low-budget organizations to engage the masses. Though the web’s agnosticism is somewhat ironic in this case, as religious groups are so far the most dominant users of touch applications — accounting for 72.5 percent of all government and non-profits with mobile, touch-friendly sites in Taptu’s data pool.

And what better platform is there for sharing religious messages or raising charitable contributions than the mobile web? A touch-optimized site for mobiles paired with payment services like Twitpay can result in big bucks with a few taps on modern handsets. Such ease-of-use is what helped raise tens of millions of dollars for Haitian relief efforts this past January through simple text messaging — another money-making mechanism usable with virtually any phone.

So why use the touch-enabled web in lieu of focused applications? Given limited budgets, non-profits can focus development efforts on a single platform — the mobile web — which reaches the widest potential audience. Creating a platform-specific smartphone application requires more time and money than these groups may have. Even without a custom iPhone or Android program, well-designed mobile sites still work well on those iPhones and Android handsets, not to mention most touchscreen phones. In fact, this sector might be the perfect example of one benefiting more from the web than from custom applications —  a rare feat in today’s app economy. Using the mobile web as the lowest common denominator could be the answer to a non-profit’s prayers.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user flickr user Mindful_One

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