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Mary Beth Westmoreland Mary Beth Westmoreland

It wasn’t all that long ago that any conversation around mobile computing involved lugging around 10 pound laptops. Clunky cell phones were expensive and only to be used during extreme emergencies. Times have changed – dramatically.

Mobile has quickly moved from the edges of society to the mainstream. The emergence of cloud computing coupled with mobile devices (smaller laptops and netbooks as well as sophisticated tablets and smart phones) has forever changed the way we access information and data in both our daily and business lives. We live in a time where it’s possible to perform any computing function almost anytime and from anywhere.

The reality is, mobile continues to cause an ongoing transformation in the nonprofit sector from the way supporters engage with their favorite nonprofits to the way nonprofit organizations fundraise, market and manage information. And this will only continue to evolve in 2014. Think back even five years ago, 10 years ago – how different is the nonprofit technology landscape now compared to then? It’s pretty amazing.

Consider this: More than 45 percent of emails are now read on mobile devices, according to data from Litmus. And according to the Wireless Association (a nonprofit trade association that represents the wireless industry), there are more than 326 million wireless subscriber connections in the United States alone. Eighty-nine percent of folks in the U.S. have a mobile broadband subscription, and more than 38 percent of all U.S. households are wireless only.

This means having a mobile-friendly approach to engaging donors has never been more important. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the platform of choice for computing and collaboration versus sitting behind a desk, and will change how organizations leverage data and drive mission delivery.

The organizations that understand, and fully and truly embrace mobile will be best positioned to succeed for the foreseeable future.

The preceding is a guest post by Mary Beth Westmoreland, Blackbaud’s vice president of product development. She is responsible for Blackbaud’s global product engineering, quality assurance engineering, user experience and user education teams.

Topics: Trends