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“Mobile” Isn’t Just Mobile Giving—Ensuring Donors Can Access Your Organization From Anywhere

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Fundraisers don’t have to become IT specialists, according to Tonia Zampieri, but they do have to understand the different ways donors are going online and ensure that their organization’s website and online resources are accessible and consistent, no matter what technology donors are using. 

Zampieri, mobile strategist with Atlantic BT in Raleigh, N.C., says fundraisers need to consider how donors access the Internet during a typical day. “Maybe in the morning they’re checking their smartphones; then it’s a traditional computer or laptop during the day. They may be using a tablet if they’re on the road, and then back to a smartphone at the end of the day,” she says. “Each of these different platforms is a different experience, and you have to ensure that donors can actually reach your website using these platforms and that their experiences are consistent.”

In other words, as Zampieri explains, your website may look dramatically different on a smartphone than on a laptop computer, and both may look different on a tablet. So your communications, branding and messages also will be different or, in the worst case, not even accessible on certain technology platforms.

“We hear the word ‘mobile’ and we tend to think of cell-phone giving or text-to-give, but we need to reset the context for what mobile really means,” says Zampieri. “Being mobile for charities should mean developing a strategy that will ensure donors and the public receive consistent messages and branding from a charity’s online resources. It’s not about knowing the details of the technologies, but about knowing your donors and their online preferences and how your organization can adapt to those preferences. That’s fundraising 101.”

Mobile Strategies

Zampieri will be presenting a webinar on Aug. 8 covering these issues and helping charities develop a mobile strategy. “The New Face of Fundraising and Engagement—Smartphone and Mobile Web Technology” will 

  • help participants understand why implementing a mobile strategy is critical to raising funds today,
  • highlight available tools and resources to implement mobile technology easily and inexpensively and
  • discuss mobile strategies that nonprofits should consider.

During her webinar, Zampieri will be showcasing great—and not-so-great—examples of mobile strategy. She’ll encourage interaction and questions, pausing after each section of her presentation for Q&A. “I want to keep our conversations high level and not get bogged down in technical details, because that’s not what fundraisers need to focus on. But a lot of this is new content for most fundraisers, and I want to be sure participants understand why mobile is so important.”

Technology Available for All

Zampieri also emphasizes that effective mobile strategies and using different mobile channels are well within the reach of medium and small charities.

“What’s really exciting is that the evolution of technology has reached a point where charities of all sizes can benefit,” she says. “In the past, you’d have to build your traditional website and then create a different website for mobile access. That hurts branding, requires managing different content and takes up valuable staff time.”

Now there is “responsive design,” whereby charities create one website, and it responds to whatever device you’re on. In some cases, according to Zampieri, you can actually see a website “collapse” into tablet or smartphone form while retaining all of the branding and format of the original.

“You don’t need an expensive application either, though they’re great if you can afford them,” says Zampieri. “With responsive design, you cover all of your bases in an effective and cost-efficient manner. Plus, you’re focusing on the donor experience, and ultimately that’s what fundraising is all about. Mobile strategy is no different, and I think it’s going to be a critical part of the fundraising toolbox very soon.”

Tonia Zampieri will present “The New Face of Fundraising and Engagement—Smartphone and Mobile Web Technology,” on Aug. 8 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Click here for more information and to register.