How to increase charity donations on the mobile web

Written by Mish Maudsley on 22nd January 2013

(Last updated 9th February 2016)

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Recent findings indicate that people are 67% more likely to make an online purchase if the website they’ve reached on their phone is smartphone-friendly. Liquid Light explores what this means for the future of online charity donation. The UK Giving Report for 2012 by NCVO puts the proportion of people giving online at 7% (an increase from 4% in 2009)  and it is set to increase.

“The leading charities are now working to ensure their fundraising materials, and their communication in general, is accessible through mobile devices as well as desktop computers, so they can connect with the next generation of givers. It is an opportunity charities cannot afford to miss.” Nick Aldridge, Chief Executive Officer, MissionFish

The issues

The reality however, is that with tight budgets and cuts in funding, a charity's website may sometimes get left by the wayside. This would certainly have a detrimental effect on a charity’s ability to communicate with their online users and, more importantly, in attracting online donations.

With 20%-25% of global web users now browsing the web on their smartphones, it is vital for charities to place a bigger emphasis on providing a quick and efficient mobile-friendly donation facility. But how can a charity make sure theirs is up to scratch?

The solution

The answer is simple, to make sure that the website is “Mobile Friendly”. There are 2 distinct methods currently in use to make your whole charity website (and therefore your donation page) mobile-friendly.

Option 1 - The dual site approach

One website designed specifically for mobile, one for desktop. Good examples of charities that have specific mobile sites are MacMillan and Just Giving.

Option 2 - One responsive site fits all

A single responsive site that is adaptable to the screen size of the device. A great examples of this is the Rednose Day website.

Make it easy

Having a nicely optimised website is vital, but the design and strategy of the donation page itself and how you drive traffic there from other areas of the site is also paramount to its success.
There is nothing more prohibitive for a willing donor using a smartphone, than to be faced with an intimidatingly long, clumsy donation form that needs zooming to use. We are all familiar with the user sentiment of “This is too much hassle, I’ll do it later on my computer” and this is the fatal blow for the donation and the conversion is lost. Instead, the donation form should evoke the sentiment of “Wow, this looks easy!” resulting in the donation being made right there on someone’s smartphone whilst they’re on the bus. Simple!

You could even go one step further and introduce the hassle free service of donation by text, which negates the need for someone to go through the sometimes fiddly process of entering your card details into a form altogether.

Some recent research carried out by Accenture suggested that more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds say that the introduction of services like text and online donations has encouraged them to donate spontaneously.” Steve Bridger, Director of Spring and Beyond Profit Partner at Visceral Business

See for yourself

Clearly, having a mobile friendly web presence and an optimised donation facility is increasingly essential for charities and a range of other organisations, and we have highlighted here the main ways in which this can be achieved with help from your web agency or IT department. But don't take our word for it, see what you find yourself when you try donating to a particular charity. Let us know if there are any great examples of mobile friendly charity donation pages. Or if you think your website could do with a helping hand, why not talk to a reputable web design agency and see what advice they can give you.

by Mish Maudsley


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