Mobile strategy growing in importance for nonprofits

Mobile traffic is increasing all the time, and nonprofits are starting to adapt. Up to 30 percent of all Internet traffic may come from mobile devices by the end of 2014, according to npENGAGE. Many organizations are optimizing their websites and donation forms for mobile viewing. However, there are more changes in the mobile environment nonprofits should be aware of.

Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, which can impact how easily a website is found. Websites that have issues when viewed from a smartphone or tablet will appear farther down in the results. Google's algorithm factors an organization's location into search results, which can be important for nonprofits that serve a specific region, such as homeless shelters or animal rescue organizations. Additionally, boosting mobile search engine optimization can help charities attract more volunteers.

The mobile trend means organizations need to measure new metrics, such as the conversion rate of a mobile donation form and email click-through rates. It will become more important to know how these metrics differ from desktop viewers. 

In addition to having a website that is optimized for mobile, it is important for organizations to factor smartphone viewing into their email campaigns. Email click-through rates are lower on mobile devices than from a desktop, npENGAGE said. 

How nonprofits can prepare for the mobile trend
Organizations need to account for mobile because the day is approaching when more visitors will be viewing sites from a mobile device than from a desktop, according to Business 2 Community. A mobile-friendly website is important, but it isn't enough. More people are using their smartphones to read information about nonprofits and make donations every day. 

The growing popularity of mobile email viewing may lead some organizations to reassess their newsletters. Nonprofits often send newsletters with several long stories and large graphics, and this type of email takes a long time to load on a mobile device. Organizations should create shorter newsletters with a one-column template. To include more information, nonprofits can direct recipients to the website. 

Many of the same principles of driving mobile donations are the same as other online fundraising strategies. Although mobile communications should be short and to-the-point, nonprofits need to include one clear call to action. Each email campaign should have one goal, whether it is encouraging people to volunteer, sign up for a newsletter or donate. Since mobile use will continue to grow, it's important for organizations to begin adapting now. 

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