5 Ways Nonprofits Can Harness Mobile Technology

July 10, 2020  |  EveryAction Team

The 2020 M+R Benchmarks Report signaled an increase in the use of mobile technology by hundreds of nonprofits, including efforts in fundraising, advocacy, and general engagement. Half of all nonprofit website visits came from mobile in 2019, mobile click-through rates outperformed other digital channels, and mobile audiences continued to grow. These trends reflect a growing trend toward general communication and interaction on mobile devices. Here are five things that all nonprofits should be doing to stay on top of mobile trends.

1. Optimize website and donation pages

In this year’s M+R benchmarks study, researchers found that mobile users grew as a share of web traffic by 11%, as a share of donation transactions by 17%, and as a share of revenue of 21%. Due to these increases in mobile giving, nonprofits must consider how their website and donation pages perform on mobile devices. Eliminating possible barriers such as slow load times or oversized pages can lead to more successful conversions.

Donation pages should be simple and clean, without extraneous content to distract from or crowd the donation form. On a small mobile screen, the more content being displayed, the smaller and harder to interact with it becomes, so minimize as much as possible for a positive mobile experience. All of EveryAction’s donation pages are automatically optimized for both desktop and mobile, so your members are guaranteed to have a smooth donation experience no matter the device that they are using.

2. Use an SMS texting program to effectively reach and convert your list

Nonprofit mobile messaging programs are growing along with mobile audience sizes. In fact, the M+R report found that nonprofits spent 14% more mobile messages per year in 2019 than the year before. The increased frequency didn’t seem to result in any drop in conversions, in fact, mobile message click-through rates outperformed email by quite a bit (4.2% compared to 0.56%). However, M+R emphasizes scale in this area by pointing out that the ratio of mobile subscribers to email subscribers was 72:1000.

EveryAction Mobile Messaging allows users to immediately harness the power of mobile technology to instantly connect, increase conversions, and optimize audience engagement.

3. Send mobile-friendly emails

More than half of emails are opened on a mobile device, so mobile optimization cannot stop with your website alone. Speed is everything for mobile users, and large images will load more slowly on phone screens than they do on desktops, so it can be helpful to reduce your image file sizes where possible to minimize loading time and keep your members’ eyes on your content. We’ve all opened an email on our phones, only to find an image so large that the screen must be zoomed out to see fully, making the text too hard to read. For instructions and helpful tips for mobile optimizing your emails, read more here.

4. Enhance your social media presence

The amount of time that Americans spend on social media has risen as more and more people access it via smartphone apps. In fact, the emerging dominant population segments millennials and Gen Z are plugged into social networks at all times. Make sure that your social media content is accessible to mobile users to get the most engagement on your posts.

Video content, for instance, is known to perform well on Facebook and Instagram. The latter is the image and video-focused application that Gen Z checks most on a daily basis and is the second-most used platform by millennials after Facebook. It’s important for nonprofits to understand the mechanics and technical aspects of video content, like considering screen orientation, closed captioning, and more. Check out our guide to learn how to make a professional-quality video with just a smart phone. Your page’s cover photo is another area that is displayed differently on desktop and mobile, so make sure it is sized to ensure that no critical information is cut off of the smaller mobile display.

When it comes to social media, make sure that you're getting your message out, but also harnessing the data that you need. Database tools like social media profile matching, social share tracking and facebook events integration help nonprofits find their supporters on social media, see how they interact with your content, and integrate social media with your other organizing techniques.

5. Use an app for events and organizing

Your nonprofit’s internal workings can be made easier and more efficient with mobile technology too! From the registration table at your next event, to your volunteers or organizers collecting petition signatures at a farmers’ market or festival table, to a door-to-door fundraising canvass, events and activities can be powered by a mobile app like EveryAction’s MiniVAN Street Team. Taking your database on-the-go with a mobile app minimizes the amount of time you’ll spend doing data entry and ensures that no information gets lost to messy handwriting or a stray sheet of paper.

Everyone these days owns a mobile device: 98% of Gen Z, 93% of millennials, 90% of Gen Xers, and 68% of Baby Boomers. It’s becoming increasingly evident that mobile will be a big part of present and future communication for nonprofits. Meet your supporters where more and more of them are at: on mobile devices. If your nonprofit is interested in building a mobile messaging program, apply to our Early Adopter Program to start using EveryAction Mobile Messaging to reach your supporters instantly and maximize your impact. Check out our Mobile Fundraising Guide for a primer on how to prepare a mobile-focused fundraising strategy and raise more money.