By Jeff Kline


5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Needs A Mobile-Friendly Website

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

holding a tablet computerHave you ever used your phone or tablet to view your nonprofit’s website? How did it look? Was it easy to read and navigate, or did it require a lot of squinting and hitting the back button after your big clumsy fingers clicked on the wrong link?

Of the 2.1 billion mobile web users in the world, there’s a good chance some of them will be coming to your website. And guess what? Their fingers are just as big and clumsy as yours. That’s why you MUST make sure your website is mobile-friendly, whether your solution is larger, easier-to-click text and buttons, a responsive web design, or a separate mobile website or app.

In this post, you’ll find 5 reasons why your nonprofit needs to embrace mobile strategies. Once you’re up to speed on the importance of a mobile-friendly online presence, these statistics and facts can also be a great way to make the case to your board or staff members.

Reason #1: Mobile Web Browsing Continues To Rise In Popularity

There’s no time to waste when it comes to optimizing your nonprofit website for the Mobile Web.
According to Mobify, mobile adoption is growing 8 times faster than web adoption did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

2014 Mobile Device Ownership (via Pew Research Center)

  • 91% of American adults own a cell phone
  • 55% of American adults own a smartphone (compared to 35% in 2011)
  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader
  • 42% of American adults own a tablet computer (compared to <10% in 2011)
  • 67% of cell phone owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, notifications, or calls—even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
  • 44% of cell phone owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or notifications during the night
  • 29% of cell phone owners describe their cell as “something they can’t imagine living without”

Click here for a chart showing gadget ownership over time.

Reason #2: A Variety Of Screen Sizes Are Being Used To View Your Website

A variety of devices with different screen sizes and resolutions are being used to visit your website. No screen size has more than 20% of the market share. (Mobify)

Even among the smartphone family, there are differences in size—the iPhone 5 is longer and narrower than the iPhone 4, and the Galaxy Note 3 is so big it has been called a “tablet phone” or a "phablet."

(Click here to view a chart comparing the top ten screen sizes of mobile devices used worldwide.)

The solution to today’s device diversity is a responsive web design that adjusts to fit any screen size.

Reason #3: A Non-Mobile-Friendly Website Won’t Rank As Well In Google

In June of 2013, Google announced that websites that aren’t properly mobile-optimized will drop in rank in mobile searches (searches performed using a smartphone or tablet computer). This is part of Google’s ongoing mission to rank user-friendly websites higher than sites that provide a poor user experience.

Are members of your target audience using mobile devices to search? Probably—according to Social Media Today, 99% of smartphone owners use their mobile browser at least once a day. Mobify reports that 25% of all searches are done on a mobile device.

It’s time to start paying attention to mobile SEO. Fortunately, the Google Developers site has an entire section on optimizing your website for smartphones. Check it out!

Reason #4: Optimized Sites Create A Better User Experience

Most people wait 6-10 seconds for a page to load on their mobile device before giving up. A website that is optimized for mobile will load faster than a website that’s not mobile-friendly.

Creating a positive mobile user experience is important:

  • 61% of people have a higher opinion of a brand when that brand delivers an enjoyable mobile experience. (Latitude)
  • 57% of people say they won't recommend companies with poor mobile sites. (Authority Labs)

Reason #5: More People Are Checking Email On Their Phones

In January 2013, mobile opens accounted for 41% of all email opens. Now, 51% of all email opens are happening on mobile devices. (Litmus)

Your website isn’t the only thing that needs to be mobile-friendly—you also need to make sure your emails look good on different screen sizes. There are two good methods for accompilshing this: either develop an email template that is a maximum of 600 pixels wide, or develop a responsive email template. (Just like a responsive web design, a responsive email template adjusts to fit any screen size. So whether someone is reading your email on a laptop or an iPhone, it will always look great!)


The Mobile Web isn’t the future—we’re living it now. 91% of the world population owns a mobile phone, and nearly 30% of the world’s population are using smartphones and tablets to browse the web, check email and make purchases.

With the proliferation of mobile devices worldwide, there is also an increase in “leisure web browsing.” People are using their phones to surf the web while they’re standing in line, waiting on a ride, commuting to work, etc. It has become easier for people from all over the world to stumble across your website. And because they’ll most likely be using their phone, you better be sure you are providing a good mobile experience.

Don’t let your nonprofit miss out on any opportunities—make optimizing for mobile a top priority!



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