With tablet sales being projected to exceed 100 million this year and a majority of U.S. mobile subscribers on smartphones, you have to address the elephant in the tech room: how do we deliver a website to all those different platforms? You want to make sure that your mission is being heard and actions can be taken from any platform, leaving road blocks to fundraising and registrations at bay.

Responsive Web Design, sometimes just known by its acronym RWD, at its easiest definition, is a website design that responds to whatever device your audience is using to view your site. So no matter what device – your PC, iPhone, Android or Kindle, for example, the site ‘snaps’ to fit the viewing window.

We’ve been thrilled to be a part of this new trend for a multitude of reasons, which we’ve categorized here as …



  1. WHY do we need to do Responsive Web Design? One of the best reasons is that it will save you time and money. You and your staff will no longer have to maintain multiple designs and pages that have been modified to deal with just one device. With RWD, in one design, it uses media queries to set the design layout based on the viewport size and adjusts the design to fit within their device. Your staff will love you even more since they won’t have to battle multiple designs with different code sets! Imagine what other tasks they can tackle instead of swimming through lines of code and updating multiple designs. Time saved. Money saved.
  2. WHO has already started this transition? There have been a few great NPOs that have jumped in feet first into the RWD pool. Dixon Center, a partner website with Easter Seals, has a responsive site that we developed with them to ensure that no matter where you are or how you are reading their updates; you’d get them appropriately sized to your device. We are also bringing RWD to American Diabetes Association’s Step Out program in 2013 using Blackbaud’s responsive TeamRaiser and donation forms. Now all of their fundraisers will get information as quickly as possible without having to pinch or magnify the page on their iPhone or Android phone. What’s the main reason ADA and Easter Seals are jumping on the bandwagon? They want to have their content accessible and easily digestible by their audience. They know that RWD will help with their missions and allow for their audience to make donations and register without any roadblocks.
  3. Where do we go from here? As we mentioned above, Blackbaud is making it easier than ever to jump right into RWD without any crazy coding or overrides specific to devices. Their most recent upgrade has made it possible to have responsive donation forms and TeamRaiser now includes personal pages and registration forms that are responsive, clean and state next steps clearly. Before enabling those features, you will need to refine your existing design to be responsive so that any page viewed is a picture perfect fit in any device! Don’t get overwhelmed – take small steps towards RWD by working on a responsive donation form or a landing page for a campaign. You won’t ever regret it!


The Creative & Strategy Practice at Charity Dynamics is dedicated to mulling over current trends, fleshing out recommendations and vetting new opportunities in the digital nonprofit world. Partner with us and gain insight into what’s new, what’s worth pursuing and what your organization can do to change the world.