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Why you need a mobile website – not an app

Organizations have realized that offering the best possible mobile experience will lead to higher conversion rates and better responses. However, many organizations jump to the conclusion that they need an app to create that mobile user experience; before making that leap, it’s important to consider if an app is really what’s right for you and your constituents.

Many times, it’s a responsive website that you need and not an app. In fact, 87% of people prefer to visit websites via a browser rather than an org-specific app.

Why you should reconsider that app

Apps are a huge investment of an organization’s time and resources, so while seemingly the trendy mobile option, they often do not pay off for small to medium-sized nonprofits. Mobile applications need constant updating to keep up with changing technologies and platforms, and require a team dedicated to maintenance. Unfortunately, in a world already saturated with mobile apps, it is hard to get supporters to notice and commit to using yours.

In one case study, a nonprofit organization with 1,000 on staff decided to jump on the mobile bandwagon and create an iPhone app. The development cost them up to $4,000 and 30 hours of their staff’s time (which is still relatively low when it comes to app development costs), but it did not take long for the team to realize that supporters were not downloading the app and they were wasting their resources. They moved their funding towards creating a mobile website instead, and the results were overwhelming. Not only did they see an increase in site visits from mobile devices, but also a rise in donations made from mobile.

Instead of an app, make your website mobile-friendly

There are many benefits to the mobile revolution—those interested in supporting a non-profit can simply look up the name online in seconds and determine their impression of the organization. With limited resources, nonprofits should invest in the best tools to create a mobile-friendly website and marketing campaigns that will leave a lasting impression on supporters.

Non-profits should be creating sites that offer the best mobile experience to supporters. One of the most important aspects of this design is creating a site that is responsive, meaning it will adapt to whatever platform the visitor is on, whether that be desktop, tablet or smartphone. The perk of making your website adaptable to all platforms is that you only need to update and monitor one site that adjusts itself according to the visitor’s connection.

Don’t forget to send out mobile-friendly e-mails

One-third of all online giving comes from e-mail fundraising, so consider the fact that many of your supporters will be viewing e-mails on their mobile devices, as well as their desktops. Your e-mail marketing campaigns need to be mobile-friendly, with text that is simple to read and links that are easy to access. Here are a few other elements to consider in creating mobile-friendly e-mails:

  • Keep your font sizes large
  • Plain text, sentences and subject lines should be short and to the point
  • The e-mail should be simple as a whole and direct the viewer to your website
  • Your format should be single column.

With limited resources, nonprofits need to be resourceful and invest in the best mobile tools that will work for their supporters. Mobile-responsive websites get more attention than an app, regardless of the industry.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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