While responsive web design (RWD) can now be seen on many sites across the web, many non-profits implementing RWD are the first among their peers to offer their audience this exceptional user experience. That means that organizations acting now have the opportunity to see big benefits from this technology today, while future proofing their site as RWD becomes the standard for user-friendly web pages tomorrow.

Getting started with RWD can be intimidating even for nonprofit-staff who have been involved in previous web projects. But it doesn’t have to be. Read our top tips for incorporating RWD into your site to ensure that your next web project is a success.


  1. What matters most? Examine your constituent behaviors by reviewing your Google analytics / site statistics. If you find that your donation forms are more likely to be viewed on a mobile device than your event pages, this can help you determine the type of project that will give you the greatest return on your technology investment.
  2. Dip Your Toe In. You don’t need to redesign your entire website to start taking advantage of the improved user experience offered by RWD. Consider testing a single responsive experience such as a responsive fundraising campaign email, landing page and donation form. Review the results of the campaign and solicit donor feedback to determine if expanding your responsive footprint makes sense.
  3. Responsive is in the Design. The design itself must be developed with a responsive user experience in mind. Remembering this fact during your design phase will ensure that you aren’t disappointed with the end result.
  4. Avoid Personal Bias. Your specific online experience may not reflect the most common experience of your users. Look objectively at the browsers and email clients that are most common to your audience, and focus your energy on creating the best experience possible for them.
  5. Focus on the Overall Experience. Don’t let your responsive email send your user to a standard donation form; make sure to continue a consistent and positive user experience through to the thank you page and beyond.
  6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus your attention on the majority of your audience and save time and money in the process. For example, less than 1% of US users use IE6. Focus your energy on the other 99% of internet users to maximize your results.
  7. Don’t get Sticker Shock. Remember that RWD means that you don’t need to create two versions of your site, a desktop and a mobile version. So while RWD can cost more than a desktop site alone, you only need to build it once! Plus its future proofed against devices of all sizes, no matter what Apple releases next. Putting the cost into proper perspective will help sell your stakeholders on the wisdom of the investment.
  8. Find a great partner. Your partner should have a portfolio of previous responsive design and implementation work, as well as strong internal processes for ensuring your next project is a success.


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.