Why mobile sites have gone from a "nice-to-have" to a "must have" for nonprofits


In January, we shared some statistics on the explosive use of mobile devices and how important responsive design has become for mobile commerce. Now we’d like to share why mobile sites have gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for nonprofits.

Think about how you use your own smartphone or tablet. Chances are you’ve been frustrated when you landed on a site that you couldn’t easily read or interact with. Whether you’re responding to an email, watching video, shopping, or following a Facebook post, if the site doesn’t respond you’re gone.

STAT: One report estimates that 60 percent of mobile users expect a site to load in less than three seconds!

Now imagine you’re using Facebook on your iPad. You see a post in your news feed about an urgent need at an organization you follow and feel compelled to donate right then and there. You click on the link provided, but your iPad can’t display flash, so you can’t view the page or complete the action required. You give up, get distracted by something else, and the impulse is gone. So is the donation.

STAT: The percentage of donations made on mobile web browsers has grown 205% in the last 12 months. (Source: Artez Interactive) Because mobile devices encourage speedy decision making and make it easy to act in the moment, they have the potential to unleash generosity. But if you’re not mobile, you’re losing out.

Next imagine getting an email with an invitation to an event from your favorite nonprofit on your smartphone. You click on the link to register, but the site isn’t optimized so the type is too small to read and you can’t click in all of the required fields. Frustrating, right? Maybe you’ll look for it later when you’re back at your desk, maybe not.

STAT: 80 percent of mobile users leave a site if it isn’t optimized for mobile. If you get really lucky, they’ll bookmark it for later, but later may never come.

One last scenario. You’re on your lunch break, surfing the web on your smartphone. A friend recommends watching a video explaining why you should get involved with his favorite charity. Intrigued, you decide to check it out, but receive an error message from YouTube stating that the video cannot be viewed on your mobile device. The result: another potential new volunteer or donor clicks away.

STAT: 65 percent of social networking occurs on a mobile device, especially during commutes, lunch breaks and evening hours. If your site’s not mobile-ready, you’re missing out on the interaction and decisions that your fans and followers are making in real time via a mobile device.

Bottom line, mobile devices are changing user behavior. If your site isn’t mobile-ready, you’re not getting seen, and if you’re not getting seen, you’re losing a large portion of your market. Factor mobile into your communication and fundraising strategies, and make sure your content and messages can be viewed and acted on in real time – from any device.

Tell us: are you mobile optimized? If so, how has it changed your site visit numbers?

Coming up in our next post: tips for going mobile, and great mobile sites you can learn from..

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