FEATURE : Innovative Tag Technology for Educational Communicators

The GCF team is always looking for the latest tool that will help transform the way we communicate with potential donors and prospective students. Lately, we’ve been exploring the idea of 2D tag technology. According to Bob Blonchek of Razoron Mobile, “The number of barcodes scanned grew by 700% last year. There were over a billion and a half Microsoft barcodes published in the last year. It’s becoming ubiquitous, tying the virtual world together with the physical world through mobile phones.”

In an interview with Brenda, Bob explained how his company’s “razcodes” can help us make QR tags more interactive and more interesting to higher education audiences. Initially, razcode users set up a profile with all of their personal contact information, including a link to their PayPal account. Then, each time a razcode is scanned, the user can decide how much information to share with the institution that provided the code.

In the case of potential donors, Bob explains, “razcodes turn the donor’s smart phone into a digital wallet. The potential donor can simply scan a mobile tag and make a donation using PayPal.” This expands the potential for gifts, because unlike Give by Cell programs, razcodes allow donors to give unlimited amounts. Additionally, a donor can choose to remain anonymous rather than providing his or her personal information with the institution.

Razcodes have potential for creativity in recruitment settings as well. “We all know that college-age kids are mobile addicted,” Bob points out. “Now you can put a barcode on your booth at a college fair, and a student can walk by, scan in that barcode with his or her phone, and say please send my information to that university.” This sharing of information goes way beyond the usual QR tag, which typically takes a visitor to an existing web page or video.

How successful would an anonymous donor campaign be? Would allowing donors to remain anonymous open new doors? Would more prospective students share their information with colleges if they could do so with the touch of a few buttons on their smart phone? The truth is, we won’t know until we try it. But we do know that razcode users can interact with the institution in ways that were not possible before.