Why nonprofits should consider responsive design

Responsive web design can significantly improve the online giving experience. The page adapts to match the screen size of the device used to access it.

Because people are increasingly relying on their mobile devices to surf the internet (over half of internet searches are now completed on a mobile device!), you need a way to accommodate these individuals on your online donation form.

In the past, organizations designed their websites for desktops. If they offered mobile, it was typically a separate site. This can harm search engine optimization efforts because Google prioritizes page load speeds, and a redirect can add a few seconds to this time. In addition, this approach doesn't account for the different screen sizes. The lines between smartphone and tablet have been blurred as phone sizes increase. 

Not only does responsive design improve the experience for potential donors, but it also may lead to a rise in gifts. Responsive design makes people 34% more likely to convert. If someone visits your donation page but doesn't give, it's an indication that they were discouraged because of elements in the form. It can be difficult to complete a transaction from a mobile device unless the form is responsive. If it isn't, potential donors may abandon the page or intend to come back later and forget. A responsive site allows them to make a gift immediately.

The research revealed that responsive design contributed to a higher average gift size, although there isn't a clear reason why. However, responsive design significantly improves user experience, which can build trust and loyalty with potential donors. A great online experience can translate to more donations.

Why you should choose responsive over a separate mobile site
No matter what form of design you choose, a mobile website is crucial. Some donors may use their smartphones as their primary way to access the internet. Online donations have huge growth potential for charities, but prioritizing the mobile experience is essential. The majority of adults have a smartphone. This gives nonprofits the chance to reach contributors through a new channel.

Responsive design cuts down on the work it takes to update your website. If you have a separate mobile and desktop site, any changes you make on one needs to be reflected on the other. With responsive design, you only need to make changes once, and they will appear no matter what device a visitor uses. You don't have to worry about missing pieces in the visitor experience.

It's important to test your donation form to ensure it functions across different devices or you could lose gifts. In the past, a mobile site was a competitive differentiator, but donors will expect it now. Providing this experience ensures you can maintain a sustainable gift pipeline and decrease your page's form abandonment rate. You should consider mobile experience for 2015 if you haven't already.

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