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Five Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Should Prioritize the Mobile Web in 2013

January 10, 2013

5-Reasons-WhyYesterday’s free webinar entitled Five Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Should Prioritize the Mobile Web in 2013 was attended by 433 nonprofit professionals. To some, that may sound like a good turnout, but my free webinars usually hit the maximum of 1,000 attendees, so 433 was low – not surprising, however. In general, its been very difficult to get nonprofits to prioritize the Mobile Web. My blog posts on mobile technology are always the least trafficked, least retweeted, least liked and my regularly scheduled webinar on mobile communications and fundraising is the least attended of the entire series of ten webinars. There are nonprofits out there boldly pioneering the Mobile Web, but unfortunately most nonprofits haven’t put much though into how their online communications and fundraising campaigns are affected by the rise of smartphones and tablets.

My guess as to why is that many nonprofits are still trying to master the Social Web and all its tools. Mobile websites, group texting, mobile fundraising, and smartphone apps can feel daunting and are often relegated to a far off, in the future “To Do” list. There’s also a common misunderstanding that adopting mobile technology is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not “Free!” like social media, but it doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. That said, nonprofits can’t postpone adopting the Mobile Web much longer without damage to their online communications and fundraising strategies.  To illuminate why, below are the notes sent to yesterday’s webinar attendees:

1. The Mobile Web Will Rule by 2014

2. Mobile Email is on the Rise

3. Most Social Media Will Soon Be Viewed on Mobile Devices

4. Group Texting is a Tool Still Unmastered

  • The majority of the nonprofits that are pioneering group texting and/or text-to- give do not have mobile websites and have not yet mastered group texting. If you are linking to a desktop site in a text message, you are doing it wrong. (View CDC Text, CDC Mobile Website)
  • Priority #4: Start collecting mobile phone numbers and launch a group texting campaign.

5. Mobile Giving is the Future

Conclusion: Nonprofits pioneered the Social Web, but are woefully behind on the Mobile Web – an unfortunate result of nonprofits becoming accustomed to “Free!” tools and a lack of paid communications and fundraising staff that can make mobile communications and fundraising a top priority.

Related Links:
Must-Read Online Fundraising, Social Media and Mobile Technology Reports for Nonprofits
LinkedIn Group: Mobile Technology and Mobile Fundraising for Nonprofits

17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2013 8:54 am

    Great post with very important facts. I think a lot of great nonprofits neglect to truly understand the importance of mobile, especially when it comes to impulse views.

    We now have access to the internet from almost anywhere at any time through our phones, which means consumer interactions need to be optimized for these devices. There have been countless times when I have heard about a company or product in passing (from a friend, billboard ad, etc.), looked it up on my phone, and was immediately turned off by the experience. Consumers no longer want to wait to go home and check out something on their computers. By not having a mobile-optimized experience, you are missing out on tons of impulse, in-the-moment, customers.

  2. January 11, 2013 8:33 am

    Great webinar Heather, thanks. I was wondering – do you have examples of nonprofits that are doing a good job with making their e-newsletters mobile friendly? I’m having a tough time tracking down good examples.

  3. Chris permalink
    January 12, 2013 3:00 pm

    Heather, I so wanted to attend but got caught up in a personnel issue that I had to deal with at that time. So sorry I missed it because we are getting ready to start a mobile website and I have always found your webinars useful. Better luck next time to me!

  4. sunya325 permalink
    January 14, 2013 10:20 am

    Thanks for this post! I work for UCLA in annual giving and we have been thinking a LOT about how to optimize our e-communications with donors for mobile devices over the past 18 months. We have done much to include media queries in emails and transition to a website that is responsive design (all in progress) but we could use our group text communications program better. We are also finally starting to tabulate and document the challenges and solutions for using mobile wallets. The excuse “It’s too difficult to reconcile” is starting to rile other people besides myself.

  5. January 14, 2013 11:25 am

    Great post! I think the power of mobile will change a lot of non-profit dynamics going forward. Crowdfunding has become an extremely popular and powerful vehicle for fundraising. How will mobile impact crowdfunding in the future?

  6. January 24, 2013 8:39 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for hosting this webinar. I am still sitting with some of the things that you spoke about…. very interesting.


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