Think Mobile: How Smartphones are Impacting Your Donor Experience

Read Time: 3 minutes


When you use your smartphone to shop online, check your bank account, or donate to a nonprofit, do you change the way you think about yourself? Do you put on your customer hat when shopping and your donor hat when gifting? Neither do your donors.  

As modern consumers accustomed to the ease of mobile transactions and customer-centric service experiences, we have become used toand now expectconvenience when interacting with organizations. Always.  

Think back to your recent online activities. What do you do when a webpage takes too long to load or isn’t the right format for your device? You exit and find another website that works better. Your donors will do the same if their experience on your nonprofit's website isn’t seamless.   

Mobile optimization is now non-negotiable for all websites. Organizations with a less-than-ideal online experience are leaving money on the table and diminishing their ability to cultivate positive relationships with their supporters.  

Keep reading to learn more about mobile optimization and why it matters for online fundraising.

What is mobile optimization? 

According to Moz, mobile optimization is the process of ensuring that visitors who access your site from mobile devices have an experience optimized for the device. 

Smartphones come in different sizes, all much smaller than a typical desktop or laptop computer. Optimizing a website for mobile guarantees that each page displays correctly on mobile screens, loads quickly, and is generally easy to navigate. This means no pinching and zooming to read text, view an image, click a link, or complete a transaction 

Why should mobile optimization be on your radar?  

The M+R Benchmark 2018 Study shared several datapoints that underscore the importance of mobile optimization for nonprofits: 

  • 50% of nonprofit website visitors in 2017 used laptops or desktops—a 4% decrease from 2016 
  • During the same time period, traffic from mobile rose 9%
  • In 2017, 40% of visitors to nonprofit websites used mobile devices 

Mobile is steadily becoming a larger portion of website traffic, and it’s on track to surpass desktop traffic in a matter of years. Even more importantly, the M+R study reported that, from 2016 to 2017, the proportion of online donations from mobile users jumped 50%.  

The end game of mobile optimization is not only a user-friendly experience for your donorsit’s capitalizing on this growing opportunity. 

So what should you do now? 

If you’ve read to this point, you get it. Mobile optimization isn’t just a buzzword or a concept that only web developers should worry about. It’s something that all nonprofits and their fundraisers need to focus on. 

Run a quick test on your website’s homepage and donation page using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool will quickly assess whether these key pages are easy to use on a mobile device. But even if you receive a “Page is mobile friendly” message, we still recommend that you dig deeper. 

Pull out your smartphone (if you’re not already reading this article on it!) and head over to your nonprofit’s website. Does the homepage load quickly? Is the text large enough to read without zooming in? Are buttons big enough to tap easily? Next, navigate to your donation page and make a small gift, noting areas of friction you encounter.  

If you were frustrated by any part of this experience, you can bet your donors feel the same way. Ask a friend who has no familiarity with your nonprofit’s website to perform the same exercisechances are, they’ll notice even more points of friction than you did 

Because each nonprofit has a unique website (with unique challenges), it’s not possible for us to share quick tips to fix these sticking points. For specific recommendations, feel free to contact us at 

Campbell & Company’s Online Fundraising team is always here to help on your journey to mobile optimization. And remember: being mobile friendly is being donor friendly!

Blog, online fundraising

Lauren Collette

Lauren Collette is a Consultant at Campbell & Company. Lauren works with nonprofit organizations to develop both online and traditional fundraising strategies and build strong relationships with donors and leadership.