Breaking Past Your Barriers to Nonprofit Technology: Three Common Problems and Solutions

ByGrassroots Unwired

Breaking Past Your Barriers to Nonprofit Technology: Three Common Problems and Solutions

You’ve read up on the latest nonprofit technology trends. You know that mobile fundraising, digital marketing and electronic payments are the wave of the future that has already arrived. You admit that even your low tech door to door canvassing would be more effective with the right technology behind it. So what’s holding you back from taking your nonprofit to the next level?

Chances are that your concerns are ones that other organizations, even small, grassroots ones, have faced and overcome. Let’s look at three common barriers and how you can effectively address them.

1) Budget – Yes, the dreaded “b” word. “Small” would be a kind word to describe your technology budget. That incredible software solution that you did include in your budget may require all sorts of hardware that is not in your budget. You are not alone, and, in response, many resources have been developed to help organizations like yours. There is an entire world of programs and websites which offer free or discounted software, services, or hardware. Some of the better known resources include Techsoup, Idealware, or Google for Nonprofits. There are also many, many grants out there for non-profits in all sectors which can help fund the technology solutions you need. Grantwatch, for example, has an extensive, real time database of thousands of grants.

2) Training – Your staff is dedicated and passionate about your mission, but not so tech savvy. Your volunteers are enthusiastic, but they freeze when they see that new device.  Or maybe you, yourself, feel overwhelmed by the nuances of the digital world. Not a problem! Certainly any industry specific software or hardware that you purchase should include staff training as part of the package, but what about more basic training? Again, the nonprofit tech community has you covered. The Center for Nonprofit Resources has a great list of training programs available to nonprofits in all areas.

3) Mobile Solutions – Your most effective work isn’t done only in your office. Out in the field is where you can reach the most people with your message. But that is also where your digital service breaks down, rendering your technology useless. It can make you yearn for a pen and paper that never needs wi-fi coverage or loses functionality in a bad cell. On the other hand, with pen and paper you also get lost information and hours of data entry. Fortunately, digital solutions are available that work even when digital service is not. Grassroots Unwired, for example, offers a mobile app that works offline when needed and allows all the data collected to integrate back to your CRM.

Any discussion of nonprofit technology support is incomplete without mention of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). NTEN is a membership group of nonprofit technology professionals created to help nonprofits use all aspects of technology more effectively. Their annual Nonprofit Technology Conference is attended by thousands and showcases a huge variety of nonprofit technology solutions and innovations.

Moving your nonprofit forward requires forward thinking technology. Take advantage of the many resources that are out there to help you along.

ByGrassroots Unwired

The support you need, when you need it

When organizing a grassroots campaign with a team of canvassers you need the right support, and you need it ASAP.

Grassroots Unwired was founded with a deep understanding of the challenges that canvassers face on a daily basis. That’s why we have a dedicated Customer Success team dedicated to provide:

  • Technical support, onboarding and training for your admin users
  • Phone and email support Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM EST.
  • Phone and email support for weekend canvassing as requested
  • Online portal for support and customer feedback & device orders

Anthony is here and ready to help! Meet the rest of our team.

ByGrassroots Unwired

Team Mission

As a startup, we are constantly developing our tech and growing our team to support it. Our intern recently posted the following questions on the conference room wall, handed out post-its, and asked the team to anonymously place our answers underneath each question. The team’s responses were overwhelming and speak volumes about who we are as a company.

This exercises clearly demonstrates that our team upholds the same values that led our CEO to start this company; justice, integrity, serving the greater good, and above all else, reliable tech.

My personal favorite question, “Why do you get out of bed to come to work each day?”. It seems likely that the responses to this question would be something along the lines of, “to pay my bills”, or,”for my family”, which are both valid responses. However, the answers our team gave to this question is what sets us apart; we believe in our tech, we get out of bed to make the world a better place.

It is clear that the employees here at Grassroots Unwired care for the community and the non-profit organizations that we work hard for everyday. We aren’t just, “punching the clock”; there is passion in the work that each and every one of us do and we are grateful to do it.

Diana McMillan
Director of Operations

ByGrassroots Unwired

Mobile Platform for “Day of” Run/Walk/Event Fundraisers

Get more out of participants and spectators on the day of your event with the Grassroots Unwired App. Our integrated mobile payment solution eliminates checks and cash. And works even if you don’t have cell or wifi coverage.

Our clients came to us with a problem: how do they extend the online tools they use to organize an event and register participants, to the day of the event where currently, everything happens on paper: multiple spreadsheets across the process, writing down credit card numbers and taking cash and checks, rushing new registrant info to the timing company, and when it’s over, doing all the back end data entry needed to get everything into the CRM.

Grassroots Unwired built a solution: With new functionality added to our already groundbreaking mobile platform, Grassroots Unwired has delivered the first truly mobile solution for the day of your big event.

Key Features:


“After years of running our “day-of” run/walk activities on paper, it was a relief to leverage Grassroots Unwired to make the whole experience more efficient and accountable. And I LOVE not having to do data entry after a long day at the event.”
Nicole Kerstin
Sr. Manager – Development, Be The Match Foundation


ByGrassroots Unwired

Grassroots Unwired at NTEN 2018

Grassroots Unwired is pleased to announce that we will be at NTEN’s Non-profit Technology Conference for the second year in a row!

Come see us at booth #607 to see what all the buzz is about our technology. We’ll be happy to show you in person how we can upgrade your face-to-face program or advocacy work with our cutting edge technology and new multi-lingual features.

See our mobile app in action and sign a petition supporting Moms Demand Action and asking Congress to implement sensible gun laws.

For every petition signed, Grassroots Unwired will make a donation to Moms Demand Action because we believe that together we can make our communities safer.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

ByGrassroots Unwired

Canvassing in over 60 Languages – Grassroots Unwired Has It!

We Just Took Advocacy and Organizing to a Whole New Level!


Our most groundbreaking new feature since 2016.
Allow the canvasser to instantly change the script language from English to over 60 other languages/writing systems based on canvasser or voter preference.

Whether your targeted voter is more comfortable using a non-English language or your canvasser is, having the ability to flip the script to that language will make your advocacy efforts more meaningful and your canvassing more valuable.

Contact us today to learn more


ByGrassroots Unwired

Blackbaud Integration

Mobile Enterprise Technology

We started with a simple principle: Technology can and should create a social impact:
Grow a constituent base, raise more money, advocate for a cause, and most importantly, be mobile.

The Problem

Tools geared towards non-profits only focus on the online or CRM space. There are no tools that help non-profits reach donors where they are.

The Solution

A mobile first tool for face to face advocacy:

  • GPS-enabled, real-time, data collection tool
  • Robust scripting options
  • PCI compliant card swipes
  • Unique integrations with social and digital
  • Features built specifically to support face to face efforts

Read More

ByAlex Castner

New Feature: Nearest Neighbor Lookup

Grassroots Unwired has a released a new feature that we believe changes the game in helping your organization gain new supporters and it’s called Nearest Neighbor Lookup.

There is nothing more powerful than additional validation when it comes to getting new supporters to donate to your organization. When you knock on a potential supporters door, how do you let them know about others around them who have already joined your cause?

Read More

ByAlex Castner

Grassroots Unwired goes on tour

As a major band’s concert tour kicked off in Vancouver in May, then continued to travel through the US, Europe and South America, the ONE Campaign, the campaigning, and advocacy organization of nearly eight million people around the world, has been setting up shop at stadiums across North America to generate support from concertgoers in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. To facilitate the actions taken by concertgoers, ONE has been traveling with the Grassroots Unwired mobile platform!

Concertgoers are asked their country of origin and based on their response are presented with a digital letter or petition that they are asked to sign. ONE loaded 13 different letters into the app and using GRU’s randomization technology, ensures that there are a variety of messages being delivered. We even give them the ability to customize each letter by allowing people to write a personal message within the text of the letter.

Those letters are then sent to a member of the U.S. Senate or another public official and all the data is added to the ONE’s ActionKit instance in real time.

ONE is dedicated to making a real difference around the globe and we couldn’t be prouder that they are using our tech to make their work more efficient and effective.

Request a meeting below to see how Grassroots Unwired can enhance your field program too!

ByAlex Castner

Human Rights Campaign: A Grassroots Unwired Client Spotlight

Use Case: Event-Based Member Recruitment and Grassroots Advocacy
The Challenge?

Online advocacy tools are ubiquitous. But what do you do at a huge outdoor social event where you can’t be in front of a computer and connectivity is always dicey plus the pace is super fast and you have multiple locations across the country at the same time?

Human Rights Campaign needed a solution to collect member and supporter information that was safe, secure, accurate, and available on a national level in real-time. It was also important that their new donors were followed-up with and thanked as soon as possible after the interaction at a Pride booth.

Grassroots Unwired worked with HRC to ensure that our platform met every need they had. The “off the chart” numbers they produced this past summer tell the story.
HRC has been using the Grassroots Unwired platform for their street canvassing efforts for about a year now. When the Pride team saw the awesome impact our tech was having on their canvassing numbers, they wanted in.

Use Case: Event-Based Member Recruitment and Advocacy

Between March and November of each year, HRC has a presence at 250 Pride events in 48 states, DC and Puerto Rico. Read More