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How Aid for Africa Goes Mobile with New Site

One of the simplest marketing rules of thumb is to reach your audiences where they are. With recent data showing that nearly 40 percent of internet users go online via mobile devices, nonprofit organizations are looking for ways to reach individuals who access the internet through their smart phones and tablets. Aid for Africa is one of those nonprofits that wanted to reach mobile users and donors.

Aid for Africa, an alliance of some 85 charities working to solve complex challenges facing the continent of Africa, has worked with OmniStudio for a number of years on web and print products. When they approached us recently about donation goals and challenges via mobile devices, we strapped on our thinking caps.

Aid for Africa has a beautiful and informative website, so developing a new site was not necessary.

“We love our site, which Omni helped develop, and we weren’t interested in changing it,” said Barbara Alison Rose, Aid for Africa’s executive director.

While it is possible to retrofit websites to make them responsive (or flexible to various screen widths) this option was cost prohibitive for Aid for Africa. Similarly, developing a mobile app, which requires high-end development, design and marketing to get supporters to download the product, was too expensive.

In our talks with Aid for Africa staff, we learned that there were a few simple goals they wanted to achieve with a mobile tool. Armed with five tasks and a limited budget, OmniStudio staff crafted a solution around a simplified mobile site. “We wanted to make it easy for smart phone users to learn about our mission and easily make donations through their phones, and that’s what we got,” Rose said.

Aid for Africa’s mobile web solution, which brings the user to an abbreviated home page with key links, is easy to use and seamlessly integrates with the systems Aid for Africa already has in place (such as email marketing and donation tools).

With this new mobile site, staff doesn’t need to include a special URL to direct users to the site. The platform automatically knows when users are on mobile devices and routes them to the appropriate platform.

Most importantly, donors have a simplified process for making donations on their phones. A recent study by Pew found that 56 percent of adults in the U.S. own smart phones and more of them than ever before are donating to causes like Aid for Africa the easy way—through their phones.