“Mobile first” is a trend that is only going to get stronger. Right now, 79 percent of Americans have a smartphone and 13 percent access the Internet exclusively through their mobile device. When you look at millennials — a prized demographic for many nonprofits — that number increases to 21 percent. By 2018, according to Gartner Research, more than 50 percent of all Internet users will use a smart device for all online activities.

Organizations that are not employing a strong mobile strategy are missing out on a significant portion of fundraising opportunities. Mobile fundraising increased by 205 percent in 2016, per a Donor Drive 2016 DIY report, and 51 percent of nonprofit emails are read on smart devices.

Due to progress made in the for profit sector, users now expect the same level of quality and experience on their mobile device as on a desktop. Sites need to be fully mobile responsive, not just mobile optimized. It is critical for the digital fundraising experience to align with mobile users’ expectations. If they don’t, participants could find the process frustrating and stop fundraising, or choose not participate in a future event.

As more and more constituents connect with organizations and conduct fundraising from their smartphones and tablets, providing a mobile-responsive fundraising environment is essential to effective fundraising and communication efforts. Participants who receive coaching emails on their smart device and then click through to their participant center may be frustrated when they try to use their fundraising tools on their phone.

For example, Lupus Foundation of America has fundraisers who are increasingly visiting their website from mobile devices; because of this mobile-first need, Charity Dynamics supported the organization by implementing a fully responsive participant center within the Walk to End Lupus Luminate Online TeamRaiser Platform, to provide their fundraisers with a better user experience. Learn more about our work with the Lupus Foundation of America.

If your organization experiences more than 40 percent of its site traffic from mobile devices, you need to be mobile ready. Or if you raise a minimum of $50,000 annually through peer-to-peer programs and are launching a new P2P, program with a minimum first-year goal of $50,000, you need to be mobile ready. Unfortunately, a custom mobile-ready strategy may not be financially viable. But cost-effective solutions are available.

For Blackbaud TeamRaiser clients, we developed a low-cost, turnkey mobile-responsive P2P fundraising solution in Blackbaud TeamRaiser’s Participant Center, which is not currently mobile responsive. This responsive participant center is a customizable solution allowing for organizational personalization and can be used for different TeamRaiser event types (Walk, Endurance, DIY).

Accessible on smartphone and tablet devices for iOS and Android, the responsive participant center quickly helps nonprofits provide constituents with an optimized mobile experience. Within 30 days of launching its responsive participant center, one client reported that the percentage of walkers who updated their personal page increased from 60 percent to 71 percent compared with the same period last year, and that walkers’ average fundraising goal was 33 percent higher over the previous year.

With cost-effective solutions like the responsive participant center, nonprofits don’t have to forgo a mobile first mentality. Instead, they can embrace it.