Top Seven Ways to Improve Outcomes on Your 4-H App

Every 4-H program has a website with lots of information on it, including PDFs, Word Docs, Videos, and more. In fact, most 4-H programs don't struggle with content, they struggle with getting the right information in front of the right audience. Websites are traditionally bad at this, especially when your state or county 4-H program has to live inside a larger website that wasn't built for the vast amounts of resources a 4-H program generates.

Grandstand has solved this by building an app platform aimed at the unique needs of a 4-H program. Knowing that 4-H and Extension professionals put an emphasis on outcomes, we have put together a guide for how to get the best outcomes and results from your 4-H app.

Here are the top seven reasons we have seen that your 4-H families and members will download and use your app:

  1. Member & Family Resources - Repurposing existing content into a format that makes sense for mobile users is the top reason your users will download your 4-H app. Even the newest of websites do not do a great job of presenting content in a mobile-first way. Through a combination of Grandstand's List Module, Lessons Module, and Quiz Module you can rebuild and repurpose existing content to improve your user's experience with 4-H. By thinking about what a user would need in different situations it is easy to think about ways to pull out the relevant content. For example, what are the things your 4-H Horse students are needing when they are working with their horse. It could be easier to access patterns, or quick diagrams on horse anatomy. It could be a step-by-step guide to weighing their horse or even just a way to get a quick weight estimate. In all of these cases, the student does not need lengthy PDFs, long prose, or lengthy videos. The student needs this content in bite-size chunks that is easy to view on the go and is easy to find via a quick search. Grandstand is working to make this even easier by providing shared libraries of great content that can be shared between apps in your state or region.

  2. Club Leader Resources - Whether you are a county, state or local 4-H group much of the experience comes in the form of small group meetings. Many leaders struggle for topics, icebreakers, and other ways to more efficiently run their meetings. Again, this is done in your apps through the use of Grandstand's List Module to create organized content that can quickly be sorted by type (via Tags and Subcategories) or found via a search at the top of the list. Having access to these kinds of resources makes your app an invaluable resource to your main audience.

  3. Calendar of Events - Quick access to upcoming events is the staple of any good reference app. Having one that is not difficult or time consuming to manage is another issue however. Grandstand has tackled that by adding integration with most major third-party platforms, including Google Calendar, Wordpress, Squarespace, Trumba, and more. Even better, this third-party content can be supplemented with additional events, creating a cohesive and comprehensive list that is actionable right from the users phone.
  4. Communication - A website is as one-sided as it gets. Your users can visit but you can't reach back out to them. Apps, on the other hand, give you the ability to reach out to different groups of users on a moment's notice. With Grandstand you can create groups of users that are interested in different topics and deliver timely push notifications to them in a way that even email can't deliver. For example, you could add an alert group for those wanting to get dog program updates. Or maybe you want to reach only leaders. With Grandstand you can add a password-protected alert group that only club leaders can opt in to, allowing you to reach them with notices on new content or major administrative changes. Included in good communication is the ability to have timely news. This used to just be your blog on your website but now you are likely posting content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube as well. Most users won't be following all these social channels but with an app you can bring them all under one umbrella and make sure your social content reaches as wide of audience as possible.

  5. Learning from Your Users - You are teaching your users but sometimes you want your users to teach you. With Grandstand you can survey your users at any time with custom forms or live polls to let your users tell you what's important. Ask what features they'd like to see next from a well-defined choice set or get immediate feedback on a new policy that affects Robotics participants. Responses are available in real time in the Grandstand Admin and can be downloaded into your own larger result tools.

  6. Exclusive Fair/Conference/Event Content - Most of the reasons above focus on year-round philosophies, but your app is the most valuable during your major events, including Fairs, Youth Conferences, and other events and competitions. By creating short-term areas in your app for event-specific content, you can have the best of both worlds by utilizing a tool they already have to serve a new purpose. Deliver event-specific calendars that are separate from the year-round calendar. Deliver maps of the venue. Or even deliver results from some of the competitions.

  7. Fundraising - Finally, your app will succeed if you can reach a larger audience than even your members and families. By including fundraising-specific content you can reach alumni and sponsors in ways that go beyond funding just the cost of the app. Ad placements exist throughout the app, all with an inventory you control. In addition, integrate with your fundraising groups or foundations to provide calendar events that appeal to this group.

Grandstand gives you many ways to create an essential tool for your 4-H audience. And even more importantly the tool is ever evolving to tackle additional challenges uniquely faced by 4-H groups. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes a great 4-H app by following us on Facebook and commenting.

Clients 4-H