Nonprofits should migrate toward mobile

In today's digital age, it is hard to go out in public and not see someone on their mobile device. Smartphones and other portable technology has become fully integrated into everyday culture, and even business and nonprofit organizations are beginning to utilize its reach to drive revenue and accept online donations

Mobile devices are so common now that patrons are using them to access broadband from nearly any location. In fact, a recent report released by e-commerce platform ShopVisible found that 30 percent of its Web traffic came from a portable device in 2013 - a figure split evenly between mobile phones and tablets at 15 percent apiece. Smartphones give consumers the ability to access myriad information from just about any location, and nonprofits would be wise to begin planning an interactive, robust mobile strategy to connect with potential donors.

Mobile interaction important for future growth
In a way, organizations have already begun to implement mobile campaigns in an effort to reach out to donors. Across both the nonprofit and private sector, mobile ad spending has significantly increased over the past few years. More specifically, portable device marketing is expected to reach $18 billion in 2014 - a more than 37 percent increase from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013, according to recent Gartner statistics. That figure is projected to grow to nearly $42 billion by 2017. 

Small and midsized nonprofits may not be able to flex that kind of financial muscle due to limited resources, so it's important that organizations invest wisely in their future mobile strategies. Portable device advertising doesn't have to be limited to filling space on mobile websites, either. There are other ways that charities can reach out and interact with benefactors via smartphone and tablet. For example, patrons are using their gadgets now more than ever to access information from remote locations. Thanks in part to extensive data plans and readily available public Wi-Fi, donors can view a nonprofit's website from just about anywhere - which is why it's important for a group to have a mobile-friendly website, the Nonprofit Hub suggests. When nonprofits optimize for devices, the user experience becomes much easier for the donor.

In the same vein, charities would be well advised to direct resources toward optimizing for mobile emails as well. A growing majority of the general public are constantly connected to the outside world due to smartphone technology, and organizations have a great opportunity to reach them, wherever they are at a given point in time. According to email marketing firm Movable Ink's "U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report," 66 percent of messages were opened on a smartphone or tablet in the first quarter of 2014. 

Generally speaking, people now feel the need to remain constantly connected, so even during down time, they're browsing their portable devices. Nonprofits need to take advantage of a growing mobile market now that benefactors are spending more time on their phones and tablets. These technologies are a great way to increase donation processing down the road, so charities should begin planning their mobile strategies today.

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