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Your fundraising game plan for winning with mobile


People don’t "go online" anymore — we are all wired in. In fact, analytics for this site predicts 76% of visitors will do so on a mobile device. Put simply, mobile fundraising isn’t something you can afford to ignore. You have to be doing digital media, and you have to make sure mobile fits into your overall digital strategy.

It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. We’re here to help. All you need is a mobile game plan.


Your Opponent: The Mobile Metrics Landscape

Conversion Rates Are Lower


A user’s tolerance on mobile is razor thin. Users don’t typically browse on mobile. They are seeking a specific piece of information or want to consume content from a specific source. Diverting from that course to make a donation or sign up for a nonprofit newsletter requires motivation they don’t have.

Bounce Rates Are Higher

Mobile users are choosy. They will bounce from a site if the content isn’t exactly what they are looking for.


Google Punishes Mobile Stragglers

April 21, 2015: Mobilegeddon. Google updated its search algorithms to give much higher preference to sites with mobile-optimized design. It was a huge wake-up call for many nonprofits to get on the ball when it comes to mobile. Page load times and user experience are now critical points Google uses to evaluate your website.

This has big implications for your digital media program. Google’s change is impacting quality scores, which increase ad costs. Mobilegeddon has rippled across every ad platform forcing programs to make adjustments.


Improving Your Team

Now you know how the rules have changed. You need to make some decisions about how digital media is going to fit into your overall mobile strategy.


Digital Media

We recommend you start with media as it’s so much easier to get up and running versus other steps you’ll ultimately need to take. Use it to drive traffic, target specific users, and promote mobile-friendly experiences.



Digital media lets you step on the gas and get as much traffic as you want. More importantly, it gives you the power to dictate what kind of traffic you get. If you need to drive more desktop traffic while you retool parts of your program, digital media can do just that. When you’re ready to go full bore after mobile traffic with higher average gifts – iOS users – you’ll be in the perfect position to do so.



Digital media puts the ball where you want it every time. You’ve got many different user groups to think about. It makes sense to start with the highest value groups. Mobile keyword targeting makes the user’s life easier and gets them where they want to go.



Digital media is a team player. It works well with every other channel you’re suiting up. It amplifies email with supplementary mobile reactivation strategies. There’s no guessing when it comes to budget, either; spend exactly what you want and modify it on the fly.


Ready Now

Once you get digital media on your team, you can launch new campaigns in a single day. Just try doing that with any other channel. Go ahead; we can wait. While you do, your mobile ad campaigns will be getting results. The point is that digital media gives you much needed flexibility. You can quickly build new campaigns or extend current campaigns.

Your Mobile Game Plan

You’ve taken a look at what you’re up against, and you’ve committed to using digital media as a tool. Here are the first three steps to act on a new mobile strategy:

 1) Stop the bleeding
Open up your analytics account, and see what needs help. Take a look at your mobile bounce rates and conversion rates. For many organizations these stats are much lower than they need to be.The fix is creating campaigns that are mobile friendly and knowing which campaigns are only effective with desktop traffic right now. After you’ve made that analysis, it’s much easier to know where you should be driving traffic.

 2) Optimize your landing pages
When we look at the statistics, it continues to reinforce how crucial mobile is. More than half a billion people access Facebook only on a mobile device. This has big implications for your social ad campaigns. 40% to 50% of search traffic comes from mobile devices. This is a wake up call. Make sure your landing pages are friendly to mobile users.

 3) Start with mobile ad copy and creative
It’s time to get in the game. Start producing image ads for mobile specifications – 300×50 is the most common. Another optimization tip is looking at exclusion options once your campaign is launched. You do not want your mobile campaign running on game apps aimed at kids for example. Targeting is crucial for mobile. Deeply examining the ad experience for the user is key. Display ads can be passive, non-intrusive. But mobile ads can interrupt the user’s experience if not carefully targeted. Plan your campaigns to be relevant, engaging, and valuable for the user.

Your Playbook

At RKD, we want you to be your biggest cheerleaders and see you succeed. But cheering isn’t enough; to win in the mobile world, you’re going to need new strategies. There isn’t a cookie cutter play we can hand out that will ensure you’ll thrive in the mobile space.

Many nonprofits have seen great luck running campaigns that promote downloadable PDF’s. This is great for desktop users. But for mobile it can be a disaster. Have you ever tried to load a PDF on your phone? It can be miserable. Ask yourself, “Is this how  my users would prefer to experience this content?”

When you take a look at your program through a mobile-first lens, you’ll find what has always seemed to work before is falling flat with your mobile users. When mobile traffic is increasing this rapidly, you can’t afford to continue operating that way.

Digital media is the key to growth and success into today’s constantly evolving landscape. Distinguish your organization from the rest by promoting your brand, engaging new audiences, and ultimately acquiring new constituents for your program.

All you need is the right media plan and the right mobile strategy.

Jarred Schremmer

Jarred Schremmer has worked in multichannel fundraising, communication and direct marketing for a distinguished list of health, international relief, faith-based, arts and culture, and collegiate athletic clients since 2005. His experience across multiple nonprofit communication channels adds even more depth to his strategic leadership.

As Senior Vice President, Client Partnership, at RKD Group, Jarred currently leads dynamic teams who serve an international base of nonprofit organizations. His teams have a remarkable record of success helping organizations increase media reach, multiply fundraising and marketing revenue, and grow digital and multichannel donors. Jarred, who is committed to making data-driven strategic decisions, employs sophisticated donor attribution models to increase response and strengthen donor relationships for his clients.

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