Directing outreach plans to mobile users in a nonprofit community

September 15, 2014

Directing outreach plans to mobile users in a nonprofit community

A nonprofit organization that wants to remain successful in the long term needs to put a significant amount of effort into its mobile outreach plans. This includes a variety of different components, such as a responsive website, educational and outreach content formatted for mobile consumption and an easy way for contributors to make their donations through a smartphone or tablet. Having these items in place is crucial for engaging with the general population as the use of mobile devices continues to grow. Here's a look at three ways to improve outreach and fundraising through the devices that a majority of the population carries and uses dozens of times per day:

  • A responsive website: Having a Web presence that is easily navigated on a mobile device is crucial. When a new visitor hears about a local program or is referred to a nonprofit by a friend on social media, the website is usually the first place to learn more. When the homepage can't be accessed quickly or is not viewable, there's not much left for a prospective donor to do except quit the site. Having a functional mobile site also allows for nonprofits to be more confident in directing all Internet users to their websites through social media and email outreach.
  • Easily digestible content: The Nonprofit Marketing Blog highlighted one of the unique features of mobile devices – smaller screens – as a reason to have shorter articles and news stories about nonprofit activities. It's harder to read long articles on a smartphone screen, and even tablets have limitations. Instead of having one long piece that describes a recent success or the announcement of a new program, it's a better idea to break up information and present it in the form of smaller pieces. This approach allows visitors to read the content that is most interesting to them, thus boosting engagement.
  • Simple donations: Just as content needs to be easy to read, so do the donation forms used by contributors. Adapting the same pages used by desktop and laptop computers may not be enough, as the lack of a dedicated keyboard and reduced visible area make any sort of in-depth data entry efforts time-consuming and difficult. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that a majority of nonprofits, including large, nationwide organizations, haven't taken the step to optimize donation pages for mobile visitors. This lack of simplifying mobile engagement likely means lost donations.
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