Responsive Design. No doubt you’ve heard the phrase before. “Responsive Design” refers to a design and development technique in which the layout of the website is fluid, and is coded to adjust based on the screen-size it is being viewed on.

With all of the iPhones, Android phones, Windows tablets, Apple tablets, plethora of laptops, etc. that people are accessing the internet from, it doesn’t make much sense to build a site catering to one, or a select few of these devices. It’s a good idea to consider a responsive site, which adjusts its layout to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.

It’s hip. It’s hot. But is it necessary for your nonprofit’s website to be responsive? In one word… YES. Here are 5 reasons why your nonprofit’s website should be responsive.

Fixed Width Websites are Large; Your Phone Screen is Small

Fixed width websites are built to exact, un-moving specifications. While your 960 pixel-wide website may look gorgeous on a desktop screen, it gets scaled down to almost nothing on a smartphone, making your site very difficult to navigate and read.

Mobile Usage Continues to Climb

Let’s look at the big picture. As of May 2013, a study by Google showed that 56% of people owned smartphones. 67% of those people used their smartphone to access the Internet each and every day. These percentages will only continue to rise.

And when it comes specifically to donating, another study by Google showed that 25% of online donors in 2013 made a donation from a mobile device. One in four people used a mobile device to discover nonprofits they were not previously aware of.

People are increasingly browsing and engaging with nonprofit websites on their smartphones.  A responsive website will help provide these visitors with the best experience possible.

Social Media Sharing

We all know how much people love their social media. Social media users are always sharing photos, thoughts, and even more importantly for your nonprofit, content and links they find meaningful in some way.

  • As of January 2014, 757 million people were using Facebook on a daily basis. 556 million of these people were using Facebook mobile.
  • Twitter currently has 255 million active monthly users, 78% of which access their tweets on-the-go.

That is undeniably some serious sharing potential. And with such a high percentage of users sharing content via mobile devices, there is significant potential that users will also click your shared content as they are perusing social media on their phones, tablets, etc. If your site is not responsive, your content is going to be way too tiny on their screen, and people will not stay for long. The easier you make it to access your site across mobile devices, the more likely it is that more people will share and engage with what you have to say.

Responsive Design Will Accommodate Devices Yet-to-Come

As we talked about before, responsive sites have a fluid structure. They adapt their layout to any of today’s devices, therefore you can take comfort in knowing that your responsive site will also respond to whatever devices are on the horizon.

Boost Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Today’s search engines rank sites by taking interaction with your content (sharing, liking, commenting) into account, not just relying on keywords and content alone. So, it stands to reason that mobile—and tablet—friendly websites return better rankings since more and more people are accessing the web via mobile devices day-to-day. The more flexible your site, the easier it is for people to access (and therefore interact with and share) your content.

As time wears on, it will be increasingly important for sites to be easily accessible to visitors on both desktop and mobile devices. According to OMI, 85% of people abandon a site that is not well designed and easy to use. A responsive site could mean more donations, volunteers and general support for your nonprofit.

Does your organization have a responsive website? Have you seen positive feedback because of your responsive site? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.


  1. Responsive design is must for all type of businesses no matter how big or how much local a business is. It delivers the best user experience across devices & screen sizes and gets lower bounce rate & more conversions than a non-responsive website.

    In terms of SEO mobile friendly responsive websites are way better that the non-responsive ones mostly because of the UX and URL structure (canonical).

    Businesses should be careful on different things if they are looking for redesigning their old websites into a new mobile friendly responsive design. Especially on the URLs.