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How Responsive Is Your Mobile Donation Page?

Published by Michelle Harvey

Your social media engagement is growing. The engaging content you’ve been posting has more likes and comments than ever before. But you wonder: why aren’t the likes, comments, and even clicks to your donation page not translating into more donations?

You’re not alone.

Since 2017, mobile traffic has made up the majority of web traffic1, but only 28% of donations are made on mobile devices2. If more people are using their phones than their computers, why isn’t this number higher? As I started my research for the ​​Nonprofit Mobile Donation Experience Research Journal, I hypothesized that nonprofits often neglect the mobile donation experience. But I actually found that most mobile donation pages are responsive, and organizations are doing the essential to optimize their mobile experience.

If I’ve learned anything from 4000+ online fundraising experiments, is that there are always ways to improve the experience.

In the Nonprofit Mobile Donation Experience Research Journal, I assessed and analyzed the mobile donation experiences of 143 nonprofits. As the donor, I looked at how a mobile site visitor feels when visiting your donation page and what steps one has to take to make a donation.

I divided the analysis into 4 key areas:

  1. Finding where to give: the homepage experience
  2. Choosing your donation: gift arrays and frequency
  3. Completing your donation: form fields and functionality
  4. A look into the mobile messaging

Out of all the findings, there are a few takeaways that stand out. For instance:

For instance, 28% of organizations made it difficult to find where to give on the mobile device, taking longer than 3 seconds to find the donate button.

While most sites were mobile-friendly and congruent to the desktop experience, it took me more than 3 seconds to locate the donation button on more than 1 in 4 websites. My motivation to give was high, however, this is a potential barrier for your mobile visitors.

When you have a chance, I encourage you to take a moment to visit your mobile website, and ask yourself these questions:

  • Where is the donate button located? Is it on the top right corner of the page or is it in a drop-down list?
  • Does the donate button use clear language like “Give” or “Donate”?
  • Does the donate button stand out on the navigation? Is the color high contrast compared to the other buttons and links?

In our experiment library of over 4000+ online fundraising experiments, I’ve seen that making the Donate button stand out in your navigation can lead to a 25% increase in donation page traffic.

Once I could locate the donate button, I found interesting insights into the functionality of the donation form. But first, let’s take a quick look at a recent experiment where an organization reduced friction for their mobile visitors.

In the experiment below, the organization tested an additional call-to-action button for mobile users at the top of their donation page to reduce friction and navigate site visitors directly to the donation form.

Typically, the organization had a much lower conversion rate on mobile than on desktop. They believed mobile visitors were abandoning the donation process because of the length of scrolling required before making it to the donation form. Leaving the copy and layout the same, the treatment button led the site visitor directly to the donation form to avoid scrolling.

Removing this barrier of friction led to a 50% increase in donations. This experiment could lead you to think that a simpler donation page with minimal copy is always better. But other experimentation shows that the copy on your page can often have a greater impact on mobile visitors than on desktop visitors.

Interesting how a button can make such a difference, right?!

When I actually got to the donation form, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of organizations using mobile-friendly buttons for the gift array. But I did find….

49% of donation pages DID NOT have mobile-friendly buttons for the donation frequency selection (one-time vs. monthly).

​​Something to consider is using tabbed buttons as a donation frequency option. This donation button layout also gives you a chance to include a callout about the recurring gift option to encourage donors to make monthly gifts.

Once I selected our gift amount and frequency, I noticed one of the biggest opportunities for improving the mobile donation experience was the form fields.

Even though testing shows single-page donation forms perform better, 40% of organizations require multiple pages to complete the donation. As mentioned in the experiment I shared, friction can ultimately lead the mobile visitor to abandon the donation.

I also noticed that 43% of organizations included a phone number field on the donation form; even some organizations required the donor to input a phone number. If you’re including a phone number field, I suggest using a numeric keypad. Using a numeric keypad is one way to improve the mobile experience and eliminate any obstacles your mobile visitor may encounter.

Your mobile visitor has come this far, and it is safe to say there is motivation to give. Reducing any possible friction that lies within your mobile experience will lead to higher mobile conversions.

Nonetheless, I also noticed room for improvement in the final steps leading to the mobile visitor pushing the submit button.

In nearly 1 in 4 donation experiences, I experienced something annoying that most users can ultimately agree upon–CAPTCHA verification. Again, reduce any possible barriers or obstacles that can lead a potential donor to abandon the donation even this far in the process.

After confirming I was in fact human for some donation pages, 71% of organizations led me to a confirmation page immediately after I made a gift. Of that percentage of organizations that had a confirmation page, 43% DID NOT include a call-to-action to continue engagement.

Using your confirmation page is a great opportunity to continue the conversation. There are a number of steps you can take as a call-to-action such as– completing a survey, signing a petition, or enrolling in a free course. You can also take that moment to ask the donor to make an additional donation to a specific fund or project.

But, before you begin improving the functionality and usability of your mobile experience, I encourage you to place a stronger emphasis on your copy. While others suggest minimizing copy to simplify the mobile experience, experimentation is showing that the nuance of your copy might have an even greater impact on mobile visitors. Having a smaller viewport force mobile visitors to focus more on your messaging.

In fact, many of the experiments on copy and messaging in our library led to increased donations with mobile traffic having the most impact. Placing callouts for donation frequency or having a headline with value proposition copy are some tactics you can begin testing today.

Good luck!

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  1. According to a study by Statista (https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/)
  2. According to a study by Blackbaud (https://www.blackbaud.com/newsroom/article/2022/02/15/blackbaud-institute-2021-charitable-giving-report-reveals-record-year-for-generosity-with-9-growth-in-giving)

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Published by Michelle Harvey

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