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Why Nonprofits Should Shift to Mobile

Should your nonprofit shift to mobile platforms?

Mobile-Optimized WebsitesAre people’s behaviors warranting a re-thinking of how your organization “does business” with your donors?

Paypal and Network for Good recently completed a study of customer / donor behaviors that would seem to indicate that you’ll be left behind if you DON’T make the switch to mobile devices — or at least add them to your communications and fundraising strategies.

These findings from Paypal may help your nonprofit fundraising efforts:

  • More mobile transactions: 10% of PayPal transactions now occur on mobile devices 1. Paypal processed $14 billion in mobile payments last year — 250% morethan the $4 billion facilitated by Paypal in 20112.
  • Increased smartphone browsing: Nearly half of all American adults (45%) now own a smartphone. The majority of them (55%) go online using their phones, and 17% of cell phone owners do most of their web browsing on their cell phone3.
  • Growing mobile communications: 4 in 10 emails are now being opened on mobile devices. That’s a 300% increase in the past two years4. Paypal’s experience showed that up to 30% of people viewed their emails on mobile devices, compared to around 15% at the beginning of 2012.
  • Cross-device usage: Payments are multi-channel, as 67% of users start transactions on one device or venue, then switch midstream5.

The lessons here are clear: Mobile usage is here to stay.

Your nonprofit should keep pace with this trend to strengthen your fundraising efforts. Try these tips:
  • Offer a secure and easy-to-use mobile site, and your contributions are very likely to grow.
  • Optimize your site for mobile. For example, minimize the use of Flash and limit data collection fields.
  • Use responsive design for your emails so mobile users don’t have to deal with small type and off-screen sentences.
  • Keep users’ cross-channel movement in mind, and make your donation experience seamless across all channels.

1On the PayPal earnings call, it was reported that 10% of PayPal transactions now occur on mobile devices. Also reported in “The Making of a Payments Powerhouse” at MotleyFool.com, February 5, 2013

2 Statistics from “Letting the Numbers Tell Our Story” by Davis Marcus, The PayPal blog, January 16, 2013

3 55% of Americans reporting going online using their cell phone, and 17% of cell phone owners reported doing most of their web browsing on their cell phone in “The New Digital Wallet,” Comscore study, December 2012

4 Statistics cited in “More Emails Being Opened on Mobiles then Through Browser-Based Webmail” article on Marketingcharts.com, December 12, 2012

5 67% of users reported starting transactions on one device or venue, then switching midstream in “The New Digital Wallet,” Comscore study, December 2012