The goal of responsive web design is simple yet heroic:Don’t just design for desktop. Design for handheld, tablet, desktop, and everything in between.

So many nonprofit websites are moving to responsive, but how does responsive help organizations raise more money? Moreover, does the value of responsive justify a possible investment?

This month, I gathered some compelling data across 105 nonprofits to help answer these questions.

What were the killer takeaways from our research?

1. Responsive websites had significantly better conversions

Nonprofits without a responsive website had an average donation form conversion rate of 7.45% while responsive websites had a rate of 10.09%.  That means donors were 34% more likely to make a gift after reaching a donation form when the website was responsive. Whoa.

2. Many more nonprofit websites are responsive than expected

Of the 105 websites researched, we found that 56 of the organizations were responsive. That means 42% of the small and mid-sized organizations we randomly selected were responsive.

Both numbers were pretty eye-opening and impressive to this designer.

Why are conversion rates important?

When a donation page visit doesn’t result in a donation, it’s an indicator that a potential donor intended on giving, but changed their mind. The reason could be as simple as the visitor landed on the wrong page or a serious as the donor lost trust and abandoned your website.

What conversion rate should your organization expect for your website? The average conversion rate across all organizations we studied was around 9%, while the top 10 organizations with the highest conversions had an impressive 33% average. Ambitious, but it’s an excellent goal for your organization.

Where did we get our data?

We conducted an analysis on almost 5,000 donations processed by Blackbaud’s Online Express between August 26th and October 25th of 2014. Why Online Express? Because this product allows a single donation form to be embedded on any website anywhere on the web. A highly usable yet consistent donation form allowed us to evaluate the website design alone.

How did we decide if a site was responsive?

With a lot of patience. 105 websites had to be evaluated one at a time, but the data was worth it.

Want to learn more about our research?

To help spread the learnings, we created a cool infographic with some more pearls below. More research like this coming in the near future.

OnlineGiving-Responsive-Conversions-2014

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandon Granger curates @Design_for_Good and is a Senior Interaction Designer at Blackbaud for Luminate Online, Online Express, MobilePay, and other products. Brandon has been crafting user experiences for the web and mobile apps for nonprofits for 15+ years. He has a passion for user research, usability testing, high-fidelity prototyping, responsive design, mobile design, and web accessibility. Brandon graduated from the University of North Texas with an undergraduate degree in Film Studies. You can follow him at @bkgranger.

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