Canada's charities are missing the opportunity of mobile: only one third have mobile-friendly websites

New report from .CA and Framework highlights technology opportunities in the non-profit sector

TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Although fifty-seven percent of Internet users between the ages 18-34 now typically access the Internet through a mobile device, only one-third of non-profit organizations studied are leveraging responsive websites designed for viewing on smartphones and tablets. The .CA Factbook: digital capacity in Canada's non-profit sector was funded by the .CA Community Investment Program and uses data from Framework's web audits of more than 400 Canadian charities and non-profits. The report points to some critical opportunities for non-profits and charities looking to attract the next generation of donors, volunteers and employees.

Key findings from the report

Opportunities in mobile
A greater number of Canadians are using mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to access the Internet. In order to capture this audience, the non-profit and charity sector needs to do more to ensure their websites and donation platforms are accessible through mobile.

High adoption of online donation tools
Eighty-six percent of organizations studied have some means to collect donations online. CanadaHelps is the market-leading service in Canada, with nearly half of respondents using it to collect online donations.

Using open source content management systems
Nearly two-thirds of respondents use a content management system to keep their websites up to date. Wordpress is by far the most popular content management system among charities and non-profits, with more than thirty-five percent of organizations studied using the open source platform. 

Domain choice in the non-profit sector
The .CA domain is the top choice for charity and non-profit websites, with more than half of those organizations studied choosing .CA. Many organizations are also using .org or .com domains and a growing number of new gTLDs such as .ngo or .charity are being targeted towards the sector. These new domain options expand the choices available to not-for-profits to create niche websites, while seriously complicating and confusing the process of protecting an online brand.

Executive quotes
"The non-profit and charity sector needs to fully embrace digital technology to help grow their influence with a new generation of volunteers and donors. As Canadians move more of their behaviour online, not-for-profit organizations with fulsome and easy-to-use online tools will get a leg-up in attracting the attention and resources they need to deliver much-needed services."

  • David Fowler, director of marketing and communications at .CA

 "The ability for non-profit organizations to effectively communicate their impact to funders and constituents is key to their sustainability. While offline methods of dissemination will always be useful, the sector needs to be reaching stakeholders where they are - and increasingly, that's online and on their mobile devices." 

  • Alicia Rose, managing director, Framework

Additional resources

  • The full report, .CA Factbook: digitial capacity in the non-profit sector, is available online at
  • For more information on Framework and their approach to helping non-profits leverage technology, visit
  • The .CA Community Investment Program helps Canadian not-for-profit organizations seize opportunities in digital technology. For more information on the program, visit

About Framework
Launched in 2003, Framework builds capacity and challenges the status quo in the nonprofit and cultural sectors across Canada. Through our signature programs—Timeraiser and Techraiser—we raise volunteer hours through parties for social good and empower professionals to gain the digital skills and literacy vital in today's nonprofit sector.

Framework's ethos is one of sharing, collaboration, and openness. Framework develops, tests, and produces new initiatives to help the social sector thrive, so it can focus on what it does best: DOING GOOD.

About .CA and the Community Investment Program
Through the Community Investment Program, .CA funds projects that demonstrate the capacity to improve the Internet for all Canadians. The .CA team manages Canada's country code top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-driven organization, .CA represents the interests of Canada's Internet community internationally.


SOURCE Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

For further information: or interview requests: Ryan Saxby Hill, Communications manager for .CA, 613-316-2397,


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