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Aussie Charities Missing Out on Mobile

10 October 2013 at 9:39 am
Lina Caneva
Over 73 per cent of Australians own a smartphone but only 16 per cent of charities offer a mobile optimised website, according to a new survey.

Lina Caneva | 10 October 2013 at 9:39 am


Aussie Charities Missing Out on Mobile
10 October 2013 at 9:39 am

Over 73 per cent of Australians own a smartphone but only 16 per cent of charities offer a mobile optimised website, according to a new survey.

The survey by international digital consultancy Reading Room says it’s clear that charities are missing out on mobile.

Reading Room reviewed the web presence of 30 of Australia’s most prominent charities and found that only a small minority are using either the mobile web or mobile apps to engage with their audiences. It found that Australian charities are failing to use mobile to reach, engage and raise revenue from the general public.

Reading Room says this revelation comes as the number of people using their phones as their primary way of accessing the internet is increasing day by day.

“This represents a significant missed opportunity for charities as mobile offers them a new touchpoint through which to fundraise and receive donations,” Managing Director of Reading Room, Ian Laslett said.

Recent statistics from PwC on retailing show that mobiles made up 21% of eCommerce traffic in the first quarter of 20134 and over a third of Australian smartphone users shop whilst they are on the move.

“Australians have few qualms about paying for goods or services through the mobile web so charities are missing a big opportunity to raise revenue through this channel,” Laslett said.

“Charities should use mobile to cater for ‘impulse donations’ – those moments when individuals feel inspired to give because of something they’ve seen, something they’ve heard or been exposed to campaign material in a different setting, a billboard perhaps. 

“People prefer to drop coins into a bucket than to fill out direct debit forms – the same applies online. Simple mobile optimised donation forms should enable individuals to give with the minimum of fuss and entice them to sign up for updates via email or social media,” he said.

According to the reading Room report many brands are redesigning their websites according to responsive design principles which means content resizes and repositions to fit all screen sizes.

“Developing such sites requires fairly significant time and resources – during this time potential donations will go missing as individuals struggle to give online. A set of mobile optimised templates including a donation form and link to a payment gateway could be developed cost effectively and in a short timeframe so charities can quickly take advantage of this channel.”

Download the report here:

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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One comment

  • Duncan Owen says:

    What this article doesn't mention is that a lot of charities are seeing 25%+ of their website traffic already coming from mobile devices… the time to consider being mobile optimised/responsive design has already passed. The good news is that it doesn't have to be complicated. While you are getting your home page sorted out you can work with providers like Artez (who I work for) who provide their clients with mobile optimised donation forms and community fundraising personal pages. We're seeing 10% of donations to community fundraising events coming from mobile devices, so working with the right provider ensures that you don't have to do much at all to capitalise on this shift in giving behaviour.


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