Three ways to bang your online fundraising into mobile shape


I’m pretty sure you’ve heard every mobile stat under the sun by now – four out of five people use their smartphones to shop, there are more mobile devices than people in the world and 75% of people admit to taking their phone into the bathroom with them (the other 25% could well be lying).


Online fundraising

Every year since 2009 has been ‘the year of the mobile’.

Forget the stats – the bottom line is, pretty much all your supporters and potential supporters are glued to their smartphones, right at this very moment.

Here are three top tips to make sure your mobile fundraising is in tip top shape to take advantage of that fact.

1. Write your web pages for mobile only

Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you that your website needs to be viewable on a mobile device. Because it’s 2015, of course it is already (right?).

But that on its own is not enough – just like a book needs to be actually good as well as readable – your fundraising pages also need:

  • the right word length – no more than 250 words if you want to keep the attention of a mobile user.
  • good paragraph headings – summarise paragraphs with descriptive headings in large font to satisfy the skim-readers (everyone).
  • long links – highlight as many words as possible in hyperlinks to make them thumb-friendly.
  • extremely good copy – mobile users spend less time on pages. Give them something worth reading or they’ll bounce.

2. Accept mobile friendly donation platforms

Have you ever tried filling out a form on a mobile? It is a massive pain in the proverbial, even on mobile friendly forms.

It’s just a big a pain for your supporters. So if you want to be getting donations from your legions of mobile users, make sure you accept mobile optimised payment platforms.

JustGiving themselves are a good example – one-touch donate means your JustGiving registered supporters can donate without having to input their credit card details (a requirement that will look positively neanderthal in years to come).

Other platforms are available too, notably PayPal. Over 165 million people use the original online payment platform, and if you’re set up to use it, a donation is just three clicks away.

3. Make emails mobile first

More email is read on mobile devices than on desktop. So to stay agile for mobile, your email fundraising needs to be nubile too. Every time you create an email with a fundraising ask:

  • be super-succinct – I’m talking 50-100 words, with a good reason to click through to a mobile optimised website.
  • use subheadings – just like for your website, but more so – everyone gets too much email and will probably skim read yours. Make them count.
  • put the browser link at the bottom – most email templates include those funny links at the top, in the ‘snippet’. Put them at the bottom, and use the snippet to encourage the reader to open your email in the first place.

Which of these emails pictured in the screenshot below build on the subject line and make you want to open them?

Email inbox on phone
So there you have it. Remember, these aren’t tips for the future – your donors are browsing your website and reading your emails on their mobiles as you read this. More are doing so with every passing day.

Once you’ve implemented these tips, it’s then just a matter of crafting the perfect donation ask for the donor on the go. But that’s another blog post.

Make donating or creating a Fundraising Page as simple as possible for your supporters by downloading our fundraising buttons.

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Matt Collins is managing director at digital marketing agency, Platypus Digital, and tweets @charitychap