By: Jori Hamilton, freelance writer
Think back to the days before you could punch your location into Google Maps and find the fastest route. Go back 20 years, and we all relied on roadside maps. Ten to 15 years ago, we would diligently print off directions from MapQuest and carefully keep our eyes peeled for exit numbers and street signs — no prompt needed. Today, if your phone OS lags or Google Maps is slow to update, you feel absolutely lost, even in the heart of your own city.
The transformation of our world from paper maps and directions to instantaneous directions provided with real-time traffic updates is the perfect way to describe the new 5G technology. Many people see 5G solely as the latest iteration of mobile internet, but it’s so much more (and so much faster) than anything we’ve used before.
5G will offer a profound change for the way we experience the internet. In turn, these changes will impact the way we run nonprofits.
What 5G Offers and Why It Matters
You remember when 3G transformed your phone by offering mobile data, and if you live in urban areas, you may not even remember what it was like to use your phone before 4G delivered the mobile internet. 5G is the newest mobile network generation, and it offers unprecedented levels of efficiency and performance that will do things like:
- Expand data sharing capacity
- Reduce latency to almost nothing
- Allow new connections between people and regions
- Deliver new user experiences (such as virtual and augmented reality)
As a nonprofit, you might wonder: what does it matter? Why does everyone care so much? While mobile carriers are doing their best to show off the potential of 5G to consumers with attempts at shifting their sales models, it’s organizations that rely heavily on their online presence that are likely to see the biggest changes — at least at first.
5G Can Help Remote Teams Work Faster and Smarter
The use of 5G will make it easier than ever for teams to communicate and collaborate, no matter how they’re structured. The rollout of 5G will ensure that more people have better access to faster internet, which will improve the ability of teams to work remotely without sacrificing productivity. Why will 5G remote work be better than 4G?
Basic internet access already lets teams work remotely, but 5G will unlock productivity and communication tools that will make working from home (or anywhere) preferable. The hyper-fast download speeds of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) are an obvious boon, but its upload speeds will better improve tasks like collaboration and video calling. As many people have learned in the face of shelter-in-place orders, your home internet isn’t as fast as you think it is, particularly when the demand for data is high.
Your team’s ability to work remotely means a lot for nonprofits where collaborating is non-negotiable but funds are limited. It allows you to run smaller physical premises by keeping only the essential people in the office, which saves on overhead like rent, utilities, and supplies. You also get more from your teams because they don’t waste time commuting, so it costs less to deliver a project or host an event. As a charity or nonprofit, any avenues to keep costs down are certainly worth exploring!
That’s not to say that 5G will bring costs down across the board. An initial investment in 5G compatible devices is required, and if you’re incorporating a remote work policy, you may see an increase on you and your staff’s home internet bills, if only incrementally.
Why 5G Will Help You Reach More Supporters
Cutting through the noise is one of the biggest challenges nonprofits face today. Between all of the other content people encounter online and the rise of services like GoFundMe, there’s never been more competition for your supporters’ attention or their wallets. 5G offers a chance to help you overcome those obstacles without requiring a huge investment.
First, 5G helps enable a mobile-first marketing strategy that’s important for reaching new supporters. In a 5G world, your mobile sites load faster and rank higher, text-to-give is speedier, and custom mobile apps are more affordable and accessible. Remember that latency can be costing you: the longer it takes for a page or app to load, the less likely you are to have a new donor or sponsor when it does.
Once online, 5G also allows you to play with your content in new ways by using live streaming, virtual and augmented reality, and real-time events to engage with your supporter community.
Another unseen benefit of 5G in the nonprofit world is and will be the data technology it empowers. As a nonprofit, you have unique reporting requirements and an obligation to your sponsors and donors to be transparent. 5G will power data technologies that help you assess the impact of your donations and demonstrate accountability to donors and grantmakers. They’ll also help make your organization even more efficient, which further empowers you to invest your funds well. Many of these tools are available now, but the rise of 5G networks will make them more powerful.
Although the ecosystem for 5G is still in its early days, there’s a lot to love about the potential of 5G to empower your nonprofit and drive both support and donations. But more importantly, it will impact your overall ability to advocate for and invoke change, and that’s what really matters.
About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced freelance writer from the Northwestern U.S. Coming from a marketing background, she enjoys writing about business and marketing strategies but has a particular passion for all things technology related, including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, Data Analysis, and Cloud Computing. You can follow Jori on Twitter and LinkedIn.