Blackbaud Graph.jpg


Here’s a new maxim to introduce at your nonprofit’s next strategy meeting: mobile friendly is donor friendly.

The percentage of online donations made to nonprofits using mobile devices jumped 8% in just two years according to recently released data from the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact’s 2016 Charitable Giving Report

After examining data from 2,162 nonprofit organizations, Blackbaud found “approximately 17% of online transactions were made using a mobile device” in 2016. “This was up from 14% in 2015 and just 9% in 2014.”

The key takeaway for nonprofits: “Being mobile friendly is no longer optional for nonprofits. The sharp increase in mobile transactions shows how consumer behavior and donor behavior are one in the same.”

But what does it mean to be mobile friendly? There are several elements to consider.

First, ideally, your nonprofit’s website should be mobile responsive — meaning the layout automatically adapts based on the size of the screen it is viewed on. So on a laptop, the look of the website and the way content is presented looks different than it does on a tablet, which looks different than it does on a smart phone.

Mobile responsive designs enhance the user experience of the website by making them easier to read and navigate. Think of the potential donor sitting on the couch with your nonprofit’s latest newsletter on the coffee table. She pulls out her phone to go online and learn more about your mission. You don’t want her to squint and struggle to read your mission statement.

Second, choose, or create, mobile-friendly email templates to communicate with your supporters and potential donors. This means your email messages, like your mobile responsive website, will be easier to read on smart phones and tablets.

A Pew Research Center survey found “64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind” — and they are using them to read your emails!

Third, your nonprofit’s donation pages and donation forms should be optimized for viewing on mobile devices. Many nonprofits purchase fundraising software to use for online donations. Make sure the company providing the software implements mobile-responsive technology.

Fourth, and perhaps most important, integrate all of these elements to maximize the giving experience of your nonprofit’s supporters. Mobile friendliness is all about adapting to the needs and preferences of your donors — making it as easy as possible for them to understand and support your cause.

There are a growing number of mobile giving platforms and opportunities that nonprofits can explore, but first it’s essential that your organization “get with the times” and complete the steps above. Remember: mobile friendly is donor friendly.