I’ve never met a fundraiser who likes to think small. Small is bad. It’s inadequate. It’s a waste of time and resources. Big is definitely better. There are no limits to big. Big is where it’s at, until now.

The early process in nonprofit fundraising is shrinking. The way that we get to know, like, and trust people has moved from being personal and face to face to be diffuse over the Internet. Now, we are careening headlong to a state where we have to master the small screen – mobile devices. Beyond making phone calls, texting, and managing email, mobile devices are now the dominant mode for using social networks. Small is where it’s at.

Nonprofit FundraisingCommunicating on the small screen is an animal all its own, stripped down and endlessly vertical. It lacks the lushness of the big screen world of laptops and desktops. Even with Retina Displays and Ultra Pixels, the quantity and quality of information that can be displayed is compromised. Ultimately this has the potential to adversely affect brands, including your organization’s. Is your organization ready for the small screen? It’s time to check.

Begin with your identity system. By now, it should be web friendly. Is it mobile friendly? Is your logo simple and recognizable to serve well as an avatar? In many mobile applications your avatar is the only graphic real estate that you have available in order to be recognized. If your logo struggles to work well in video or online, then it will probably die a quick, blurry death on mobile devices. It’s hard to get to know, like, and trust a blur.

  • Is the name of your organization short enough to function without editing for display on a mobile device?
  • Do you use your organization’s name as your Twitter handle or have you had to edit the name?
  • Has your name grown over the years as you’ve had to honor major donors by attaching their name to yours?
  • Has your board insisted on attaching a tagline to your name at all times?
  • Is the font for your name one that works well small or was it designed 200 years ago as a display face for headlines?

Nonprofit FundraisingThese are the nuances of your identity system that need to be adjusted to play to win on the small screen. It’s a matter of being able to be found. It won’t matter how important your cause is to making a better world or how compelling your ask is to get donations if you’re not recognized in a split second at arm’s length on a 5” screen. It’s a little bit of housekeeping that could go a long way toward determining success or failure in an increasingly mobile world.



Photo Bryan Jones via CC


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