They’re everywhere… QR Code are taking over! | npENGAGE

They’re everywhere… QR Code are taking over!

By on Aug 5, 2011


It’s official QR codes are everywhere.  I first noticed these random black boxes in magazines.  They reminded me of those pictures that you would stare at and if you squinted your eyes just the right way you’d see dolphins swimming.  But, I digress.  This week, I’ve noticed QR codes everywhere.  They’ve jumped out of magazine and on to posters: at bus stops, in the metro cars and stations and at airports.  This week,  I received two emails about two different upcoming QR code webinars. They’ve also infiltrated my television.  Last night an ad asked me to scan my tv.   Today, I noticed one on my copy of Street Sense, a local paper.

If you’re wondering what is a QR Code, no worries.  It’s okay not to know. A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode that is readable by smart phones and QR code readers.  They’ve traditionally been used for commercial tracking –  package and auto parts –  and now found a new purpose in the consumer world.  Marketers and advertisers are targeting smart phone users with QR codes making it easier for individuals to take action.  The little black square holds information that once scanned may display text to the user,  add a vCard contact to the user’s device, to open an URL, etc…

It shouldn’t surprise you that a QR Code is on Street Sense, it’s a newspaper.  But, what you might now know about Street Sense is it’s a bi-weekly newspaper that is larger written and then distributed by the homeless in DC.  Street sense was founded to empower the homeless by giving them a voice, enable homeless to raise money by selling the paper and connect the homeless to rest of the community.  I usually buy a copy of street sense at least once a week, because I like supporting positives activities such as these.

I shocked and pleasantly surprised to see a QR code on Street Sense.  It goes to show you that QR codes are not just for corporate advertising; the non-profit world is embracing them as well.

So my question is: Are you using QR Codes?  If so, how are you using them?  Is to promote an upcoming event or maybe you’re making it easier for potential donors to donate.



Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

Comments (1)

  • M Jones says:

    Great article!  Since QR codes are popping up everywhere, competition to stand out has risen, and It has been shown that QR codes are most likely to be scanned if they are customized and branded.  QRlicious makes it possible to track the scans, change the URL of the code, and customize it into a work of art.

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