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I talk about QR codes fairly regularly, but how many of you have scanned one? Have you ever created one? Why? I’m of the belief that the tool is not successful or a failure, it’s how the tool is used. The same holds true for technology. Whether you’re talking about social media, QR codes, mobile websites or augmented reality, you should always be evaluating and re-evaluating your goals.

I read this article that offers some good advice using real life examples for nonprofits interested in using QR codes. The examples are organized by goals. After reading, I’d love to hear your ideas for QR code use for nonprofits or any other industry.

As read in the Idealist Blog:

Recently at the Social Media for Nonprofits conference in NYC, as Andy Steggles talked about developing mobile strategies for nonprofits, I tweeted: Is your nonprofit using QR codes? How?”

featured(Photo: Brian Suda, Flickr/Creative Commons)

Spread awareness

  • CAMBA Inc., a Brooklyn-based human services organization, recently included QR codes on transit posters for an HIV anti-stigma campaign. (Click that link to see the Facebook note that accompanied the campaign as well as the poster.)

Inspire an action

  • Hope & Heroes, the children’s cancer fund at Columbia University Medical Center, is considering adding a QR code to a save the date postcard for an upcoming walk event. Anyone who sees the postcard could scan the code and go straight to the registration page.
  • Miss Representation, a documentary film and nonprofit aimed at raising visibility of women leaders, tweeted: “We used QR codes to help spread a petition! Check it out: http://j.mp/mOBrgV.” They posted the codes around San Francisco and, though it was hard to track, found that it increased the number of signatures.
  • Larry Schooler of Austin, TX, noted: “We’re a city government, not nonprofit, but we use QR codes to send people to websites where they give input on city policy.”

Share a video

  • Independence First, an organization that serves people with disabilities in greater Milwaukee, WI, said: “Honestly we use them on almost everything now. Ads, flyers, event invites, brochures. Love em!” A second tweet clarified that for each of those examples, the QR code takes you to a video – one might be an invitation to a big event; another a more general “About Our Work” video.
  • Small Change Fund, a collective giving campaign based all over Canada, added a QR code to the backs of their staff business cards. The code “links to video of our founders explaining who we are & why we exist!”

More ideas, plus a caveat

  • Rebecca Saidlower, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at The Jewish Education Project, wrote “we discussed using them on conference badges as mobile business cards.”
  • And finally, a word of caution from social media manager Josh Ness, who says that if you’re thinking about developing a QR code, you should “try to avoid these QR mistakes!”
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