Chapter 3: Moving Your Nonprofit’s Website onto a Mobile Platform

March 26, 2022

In 2016, for the first time, more users accessed the internet using mobile devices (web browser-enabled smartphones and tablets) than they did from desktop or laptop computers.[1] In the U.S., most time spent consuming digital media is now done from a mobile device[2] such as an iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Kindle Fire. Almost all Americans (95%) own cell phones – with 77% of those being smartphones.

What “Mobile Responsive” Websites Are and Why Nonprofits Need Them

People of all ages now use mobile devices to access online content. 74% of those aged 50-64 own a smartphone, and 42% of those aged 65+ own a smartphone. If you want to attract as wide an audience as possible, your website needs to reach people where they are – and that’s on their mobile devices. Yet a survey conducted by Nonprofit Hub found that only 42% of respondents said their website already includes responsive design,[3] and 84% of nonprofits’ donation landing pages are not optimized for mobile.[4]

Mobile Responsive

A mobile responsive website can be viewed easily on a wide variety of smartphones and tablets. The size and shape of the website will automatically change to fit the size of the screen on which it’s viewed. A mobile responsive site isn’t just a smaller desktop website – it’s designed so that users can find the information they need while on the go. This might mean changing the navigation, content, and images so mobile users can find the information they need quickly and easily. A mobile responsive website will help increase your website’s visibility in other ways as well – Google now uses a search algorithm that makes mobile responsive sites perform better in Google searches.[5]

Mobile Responsive Sites and Increased Donations

Giving to nonprofits through mobile devices has also risen steadily. In 2015, 14% of donations were made on a mobile device – a 45% increase in one year. A study conducted by Blackbaud (makers of fundraising database software Raiser’s Edge), found that nonprofits saw a 34% increase in their donor conversion rate when using a mobile responsive website.[6] A mobile-friendly website also enables you to easily reach potential donors and bidders for online auctions. Nonprofits that use a mobile platform (such as BidPal, Bidding for Good, Charity Auctions Today, 501 Auctions, etc.) at fundraising events have reported up to 30% more revenue when using mobile bidding.[7]

How to Determine Whether Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

Look at your site on different devices – enlist colleagues and friends to look at the site on smartphones and tablets from several manufacturers. You can also test the mobile responsiveness of your website with a free Google tool. Visit https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and enter the URL of your website. An emulator, like http://quirktools.com/screenfly/, will allow you to see how your website looks on a variety of smartphone and tablet screens.

Moving Your Organization’s Website to a Mobile-Friendly Platform

The size and complexity of your organization’s website, as well as the size of your web team and IT department, will be factors in moving your site to a mobile-responsive platform. Before you begin making your website mobile responsive, establish a baseline of how many people are visiting your website from mobile devices. If you already use an outside vendor to manage your organization’s website, you can ask them to send you a report that provides this information. Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com/) is a free resource for tracking mobile visitors to your website,[8] and many tutorials are available for setting up and using Google Analytics. Having a sense of how many visitors to your website are mobile users can help your organization decide how urgent the need is to make your website mobile responsive.

Mobile-Friendly Platform

Methods for the conversion itself include the following options:

  • If you have a web vendor already, the vendor can probably make your website mobile responsive. Ask for an estimate of costs and a timetable for the project.
  • Create a mobile-friendly version of your organization’s desktop website using a conversion platform like Duda Mobile.[9] While this is a budget-friendly and quick and easy way to get a mobile responsive site, it may require the maintenance of two separate websites, which could be less than ideal.
  • If you use a content management system (CMS) for your website such as WordPress, Drupal, Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace, you should be able to easily convert your website to a mobile-friendly design. Some content management systems offer specific themes and plug-ins that promise a mobile responsive site. Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of your CMS software and a recent theme that supports mobile responsiveness.
  • Redesign your site using the principles of responsive web design.[10] Think of pouring water into different vessels – a cup, a bottle, or a teapot – and how the water fills each of those vessels. The content of your website is like the water, and should be designed to fit into any screen.

Tracking Results

Once your website is mobile responsive, keep tabs on the number of visitors to the site and whether your online donors are donating to your nonprofit via mobile devices. Use the Google Analytics tools you set up earlier, or your analytics reports from your web vendor, to assess the number of visitors to your mobile site vs. your desktop site. Analyze your donations page, and see how many mobile visitors visit that page as well.

Tracking Results

Keep Adjusting for a Mobile Audience

Don’t just make your website mobile responsive once and assume you never need to update it again – continue to look at the site and come up with ways it can be improved. Think of ways you can make the experience better for mobile visitors to the website. Can your menu be streamlined? Should your images be updated? Is it easy for donors to find a way to donate immediately? And is the donation form easy to fill out on a mobile device? Keep adjusting your website for an increasingly mobile world.


  1. ^ “Mobile internet usage surpasses desktop usage for the first time in history” – BGR https://bgr.com/tech/internet-usage-desktop-vs-mobile/
  2. ^ “Majority Of Digital Media Consumption Now Takes Place In Mobile Apps” – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2014/08/21/majority-of-digital-media-consumption-now-takes-place-in-mobile-apps/
  3. ^ “Survey: Less Than Half of Nonprofit Websites are Responsive” – Nonprofit Hub http://web.archive.org/web/20210123202419/http://nonprofithub.org/nonprofit-technology/survey-less-half-nonprofit-websites-responsive/
  4. ^ Online Fundraising Scorecard https://www.dunhamandcompany.com/fundraising-research/online-fundraising-scorecard-2/
  5. ^ How to make your WordPress site mobile friendly – Flywheel https://getflywheel.com/layout/make-wordpress-site-mobile-friendly/
  6. ^ “3 Reasons Your Nonprofit Website Needs Responsive Design” – npEngage https://npengage.com/nonprofit-technology/nonprofit-website/
  7. ^ 6 Reasons to Use Mobile Bidding at Your Next Fundraising Auction – WinSpire https://blog.winspireme.com/6-reasons-to-use-mobile-bidding-at-your-next-fundraising-auction
  8. ^ Tracking Mobile Visitors in Google Analytics: A Checklist Guide for Mobile Insights – Distilled http://web.archive.org/web/20170611193259/https://www.distilled.net/blog/mobile/tracking-mobile-visitors-in-google-analytics-a-checklist-guide-for-mobile-insights/
  9. ^ Make Your Website Mobile-friendly Now; 3 Ways – Practical Ecommerce https://www.practicalecommerce.com/make-your-website-mobile-friendly-now-3-ways
  10. ^ Make Your Website Mobile-friendly Now; 3 Ways – Practical Ecommerce https://www.practicalecommerce.com/make-your-website-mobile-friendly-now-3-ways
Was this guide helpful?
Contact Support:

Our customer support team is available 24/7 and our average response time is between one to two hours.
Our team can be contacted via:

Support Forum: https://www.jotform.com/answers/

Contact Jotform Support: https://www.jotform.com/contact/

Send Comment:

Jotform Avatar
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Comment:

Podo CommentBe the first to comment.