How to Approach Mobile Optimization for Nonprofits
by Mike Montalto
February 20, 2020

We’ve all been there. Pinching, scrolling and pinching to zoom again on a website or email that just doesn’t work well on a smartphone. Yet, many organizations are still far behind when it comes to mobile optimization for nonprofits.

Consider the following:

  • 25 percent of donors complete their gift on a smartphone, according to Nonprofits Source.
  • Over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, according to
  • The average webpage takes 15 seconds to load on a mobile device, according to Think with Google.
  • 53 percent of mobile users will leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load, according to Think with Google.
  • 54 percent of nonprofit emails are opened on mobile devices, according to Nonprofit Source.

Potential donors will leave as soon as they arrive on your website if it doesn’t perform well on a small screen. And unoptimized emails may get opened. But you won’t get the clicks you need to drive users to your online giving page!

It’s time for an upgrade if your website or emails look like they were designed in 2005. After all, you’re probably missing out on donations from mobile users who had a hard time navigating your site or reading your email.

So, what can you do about it? Here are some ways to approach mobile optimization for nonprofits who have yet to get on board!

Use a Responsive Design

Here’s some good news. Today, most web hosting services know how important mobile optimization is. So, they offer responsive web designs that are created with mobile users in mind. These sites are intended to read well on a desktop or any mobile device.

The days of are behind us. Responsive website layouts have made creating a separate mobile version of your website an unnecessary step in mobile optimization for nonprofits.

Responsive websites automatically determine and accommodate a user’s screen resolution and size. That’s why they look great no matter what device you view them on!

If you have a relatively new website, chances are your site was built with a responsive design in mind. If not, the most common web hosting services, including WordPress and Wix automatically incorporate them on new websites.

Switching to a responsive design is the easiest way to alleviate the need for users to pinch, scroll, and zoom to navigate your website.

Smoother Navigation

It needs to be easy for users to fulfill the action you want them to take. This means getting them to click on specific buttons and links. This is crucial to help donors reach your online giving page from an email or navigate there from your homepage on their own.

Clickable call-to-action buttons make it easy for a donor to tap and follow a link on their smartphone. So, make them large, bright, and surrounded by some whitespace so they really stand out.

You will also want to reduce the number of clicks it takes a user to fulfill the desired action once they land on your website. So, ditch those drop-down menus and make your donation forms as short as possible.

Don’t Make Them Wait

Improving the load speed of your webpages and emails is an essential part of mobile optimization for nonprofits. As we mentioned earlier, many of your visitors will get tired of waiting and give up after only a few seconds.

If you notice that your site takes forever to load and you want to do something right away, start by compressing images on your site and in your emails. Do you have images with huge file sizes? If so, you can significantly cut back on the resolution without effecting quality.

That alone could improve your load speeds considerably. However, you should bring your concerns to your web developer if your pages still take too long to load. They can assist in things like minimizing code, leveraging browser caching, and reducing redirects.

Try a Single Page Website

Simple, single-page websites are a great way to improve the experience for mobile users.

Remember, your audience won’t stick around if a webpage takes too long to load. So why would you make them wait again every time they want to see a different part of your site?

Single page websites show visitors information in the order you intended it to be viewed. You can create clickable buttons at the top of the page to help users navigate to different sections. Rather than open a new page, these buttons will scroll down to the desired section for the user automatically.

This approach will also help you cut down on the clutter and focus only on the information that is most important to your visitors. However, to do more with less, your web designer will need to have excellent editing and organizational skills.

But mobile users will be intimidated by huge walls of text, even if they are filled with great information! So, if you use this approach to mobile optimization for nonprofits, you will need to keep it short and sweet by prioritizing what is most important for users.

Stuck in the Stone Age

If your organization is struggling to raise money online, you should look into what you can do to become more mobile friendly.

Because the truth is, mobile optimization is vital for nonprofits in the modern fundraising landscape.

Our smartphones become more essential for completing simple tasks every day. Yet, 84 percent of donation pages are still not mobile friendly according to MobileCause.

In a world where we pay bills, send emails, organize our calendars, take photos, post to social media, and so much more all on the same device, can we really expect donors to put down the phone and boot up a computer just to make a donation?

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