Mobile giving is on the rise. Statistics show that between 13 and 18 percent of donations are now made via mobile devices. It’s no surprise given that 79 percent of Americans use smartphones and that 21 percent of Millennials are mobile only for many of their day-to-day tasks. That demographic is already transitioning into a core fundraising group for many nonprofits. So how can your organization take advantage of the changing mobile landscape to improve future fundraising efforts?

We recently looked at statistics on people’s preferred giving channels versus ones actually used. Online giving (which includes both desktop and mobile devices) far outranked any other channel in both preference and usage, with more than 50 percent preferring to give online and more than 40 percent doing so. But mobile-only text giving, while ranking a close second in preference, lagged in actual usage. One possible reason for that disparity could be that organizations have not made text giving as easily available to their supporters.

That’s where taking a “mobile first” approach comes in. Email marketers think “mobile first” on everything they do and it pays off with a higher ROI for their campaigns. In fact, 49 percent of all emails are read on mobile devices, and 16 percent of donors give via emails viewed from a mobile device. At Charity Dynamics, we examined our own client data to see if these numbers held up. Indeed they did. We found that 54 percent of people read client newsletters on mobile and 46 percent read end-of-year campaign emails on mobile.

But, a mobile-optimized email is just the first step in developing a mobile-optimized customer journey. Supporters also use their phones to register for events (19 percent) or to purchase memberships (12 percent). So organizations need to think through the entire process, from the first ask to conversion to where supporters end up on your website. Can all of these things be done easily via a mobile device?

To improve your organization’s mobile readiness, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Review your Google Analytics to understand your own mobile usage (for websites, donation forms, email campaigns, events) and do some self-benchmarking. Are people viewing an email in mobile but not converting?
  1. Run reports to understand mobile usage of your emails.
  1. Map your key user flows. For example, you send an email that asks people to register for an event, and when they do, you send a thank you that asks them to update their personal page in the participant center.
  1. Examine those user flows to identify any gaps in the mobile experience. Using the same example, perhaps the email is mobile friendly but not fully responsive, and the registration process has been made fully responsive so it’s easy to complete on mobile. But the participant center experience has not been made responsive yet. So there are two potential areas for improvement
  1. Develop your plan for highest-value activities. After analyzing where your mobile readiness gaps are, you can then prioritize where to invest in better mobile responsiveness to have the greatest impact on your organization.

By embracing a “mobile first” outlook, your organization can provide the fully responsive environment that your supporters prefer and make their giving experience that much easier.