Making a Case for Mobile Internet: Digital Inclusion at Philadelphia FIGHT

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 9:27am

By Michelle Warner, Director, Mobile Citizen

Today’s nonprofits always need to be connected, even when they are not in the office. And their tools need to be too. If the goal is to work more productively and cost-effectively, nonprofits using a laptop or netbook and their own personal Wi-Fi network for use wherever and whenever they need it, have more options.

  • Empower field staff with instant access to online databases
  • Provide community-based access points for your programs
  • Access connectivity for onsite special event registration
  • Stay productive while in the field
  • Monitor & update social networking sites
  • Stream video for use in outreach, fundraising and training
  • Control administrative costs
  • Create virtual office or telecommuting policies

If your nonprofit needs to be more productive, or cost-efficient, while on the go, it’s time to make a case for mobile Internet. Here’s how one nonprofit -- Philadelphia FIGHT -- made its case by demonstrating digital inclusion and enabling staff mobility.

Philadelphia FIGHT is like many nonprofits, providing consumer education as a key component of the social services they deliver in the community. So when a large percentage of the individuals they served did not have access to the Internet, one of the most powerful consumer education tools available, they brought it to them. Since 1987, their Critical Path Project has harnessed the power of the Internet to get the latest information to a wider community, yet research showed them that more than 40% of Philadelphia residents still did not have Internet access.

Having access to the Internet and the Critical Path AIDS Project website means easy access to the full range of potentially life-extending or life-saving HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and referral information. Low-cost mobile Internet from Mobile Citizen helped Philadelphia FIGHT’s Critical Path Project roll out two mobile computer labs bringing access to education and the reliable health information and resources they provide, to 10 underserved communities.

In addition to the mobile computer lab, Philadelphia FIGHT staff members made a case for mobile Internet as a business tool enabling staff mobility. For example, outreach staff often travel to attend events and conferences in the marketing and delivering of their programs. Additionally, call center staffers are called upon at all hours of the day, and not always when they are physically in the office. Mobile Internet keeps key mobile staff connected and productive.

To read complete case studies from these nonprofits and others, visit http://mobilecitizen.org/nonprofit-case-studies

Michelle Warner is the Director of Mobile Citizen, a nonprofit organization providing affordable mobile Internet. She has spent her career helping nonprofits of all sizes and is passionate about helping them build their capacity so they are able to innovate and grow.

Mobile Citizen is expanding nationally and making their reduced price program available to NTEN members across the country. This leading edge, 4G-powered service is only available to nonprofits at the rate of $120/year ($10/month) with unlimited usage. But it gets better. They are extending this great price to include 3 extra free months. That means 15 months for only $120. That’s less than $10/month which is a 70% savings from retail. This service extension is available until October 31st, 2012, so visit www.mobilecitizen.org/NTENfriends to check coverage, complete a short application form, and get started.