Donors Increasingly Support Charities via Mobile Devices

Use of tablets and smartphones to interact with nonprofits ‘not just an under-40 thing’

Charitably inclined individuals, be they Gen Xers or their grandparents, are increasingly using mobile devices to contribute to their favorite causes.

Donations via by smartphone or tablet shot up by 80% since 2013, according to a survey released this week by Dunham+Company.

The results came in a poll conducted by Campbell Rinker in September of 400 U.S. adult donors who had given at least $20 in the previous year.

Eighteen percent of respondents said they had used a mobile device to give to a nonprofit’s website, up from 10% two years earlier.

Not surprisingly, the biggest increase was among donors 40 and under, rising from 9% in 2013 to 21% in 2015.

But even gifts by donors 60 and older doubled during that period, from 7% to 13%.

“This study makes clear that the adoption of smart technology by donors has really jumped from 2013, as nearly all donors are using some sort of smart device,” Dunham+Company’s president and chief executive, Rick Dunham, said.

“What’s especially telling is that donors are increasingly using their mobile devices to make donations on a charity’s website. This makes it all the more imperative for a charity to have a mobile-responsive website and giving form.”

Older users are increasingly turning to mobile devices to interact with charities online, the survey found.

Boomers’ use of mobile to interact with nonprofit groups increased from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2015, with use by those 66 and older growing from 0% to 10% over the two-year period.

All age groups in the survey were increasingly reading publications from charities on mobile.

Overall, mobile readership increased from 11% in 2013 to 20% in 2015. Under 40s led the way, their readership doubling from 11% to 22%.

But they were closely trailed by those 40 to 59 years old, whose readership rose from 12% to 20%, and those 65 and older, increasing from 0% to 18%.

 “The migration from the desktop is not just an under-40 thing,” says Tom Perrault, vice president for digital strategies at Dunham+Company. “As this trend continues, nonprofits will quickly reach a tipping point when it comes to the source of their donations.”

Smartphone Popularity Rises

The study found an overall significant uptake of smartphones, especially among older users. Boomer smartphone usage rose from 44% in 2013 to 78% in 2015, making them the fastest growing age group.

Over the past two years, boomers adopted smartphones at twice the rate of overall growth of their use: 62% in 2013 to 79% in 2015.

What’s more, boomers nearly caught up to their youthful counterparts in frequency of buying a mobile device. In 2013, 14% of Gen X and Gen Y consumers said they had no plans to purchase a mobile device in the next year, falling to 7% in 2015.

Twenty-eight percent of boomers purported to have no plans to buy a smartphone or tablet in 2013, but only 9% said the same thing in 2015.

The report said that the number of donors overall who do not use a smartphone or tablet has also decreased significantly, from 19% in 2013 to only 7% in 2015.

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