If you were planning to set up a booth to solicit donations, you would probably pick a busy area with lots of foot traffic because that’s where people would be. In the digital world, that busy plaza is your supporter’s cellphone and that’s where you want to be fundraising.
The percent of American adults who own a smartphone has risen 35% since 2011, now reaching 97% according to the Pew Research Center. More than 5 million people globally send and receive SMS messages. More importantly, text message open rates are as high as 98% and 25% of donors already complete their donations on a mobile device.
Text-to-give is a critical component of modern digital fundraising. Taking the time to learn how to successfully run a text-to-give campaign can make a big difference in your organization’s fundraising and brand. If you want to meet your donors where they already are (their cellphones), then implementing a comprehensive text-to-give solution is your best bet.
To help you get started we’re going to break down the basics and share some recommendations on tools and best practices:
- Text-to-give: Frequently Asked Questions
- Explore 4 Top Text-to-Give Tools
- 8 Best Practices to Take Text Giving Even Further
If you’re ready to position your organization as forward-thinking and implement mobile fundraising, keep reading!
Text-to-Give: Frequently Asked Questions
What is Text-to-Give?
Text-to-give is a powerful and low-cost form of mobile giving that allows donors to quickly and easily give from their mobile devices. When integrated with your nonprofit CRM, you can send targeted donation requests straight to your donors’ cell phones and direct them to give with an easy response.
This forward-thinking method of giving will not only make it easier for your supporters to donate from anywhere, but it will also signal to them that your organization is innovative. Showing a commitment to progress and thinking outside of the box can help bolster supporter motivation and trust in your organization.
How Does Text Giving Work?
For the organization:
- First, pick a text-giving platform, or get a CRM that has text-to-give fully integrated, like NonProfitEasy.
- Through this platform, you receive a phone number or shortcode that your donors will text to donate.
- Finally, you’ll choose a specific campaign keyword and set up a mobile-optimized donation page.
For the donor:
- When a donor is inspired to give, they simply text the keyword to the dedicated phone number you set up.
- In response, they will receive a text directing them to the online donation page.
- Supporters will then click on the online donation page to make a gift from their smartphones.
What Are The Benefits of Text-to-Give?
There are a lot of reasons for your organization to try out a mobile fundraising campaign. These are some of the biggest benefits of text-to-give:
- User friendly. Because of its streamlined process, any supporter can successfully donate as long as they know how to send a text message. There’s no complicated navigating to get to the donation page.
- Convenient for donors. Because so many people have smartphones but not everyone regularly uses social media or sits down at a computer, this is one of the easiest ways for anyone to donate. It can be done from any phone, any location, and at any time. This also makes it especially valuable during high volume giving seasons, like the holidays, and during in-person events.
- Some platforms allow unlimited text campaigns. It’s easy to add text giving to existing campaigns and events once you have the platform. Adding this feature into your current and future campaigns should be a snap.
What Should You Look for in a Mobile Giving Tool?
When making your decision, make sure to consider whether or not your tool offers these features:
- Secure payment processing. Make sure to pick a PCI-compliant text-to-give provider that uses authentication and tokenization to protect your donors’ information.
- Outbound texts. After your donor initially texts your number, you may want to get back in touch for future fundraisers. Being able to send outbound texts to donors enables you to do this.
- Text pledges. Instead of asking for a spontaneous donation, you could ask donors to make a pledge for a fundraiser you are running. This helps tie it in with an event and allows the donor to donate at a later time.
- Reminder messages. This is especially important if you do choose to do any text-to-pledge fundraisers. It’s useful to be able to reach out to donors and make sure to secure those donations.
- Integrations with event and fundraising tools. If your text-to-give tool integrates with your existing CRM and other software, it will be much easier to get started. This also makes managing donor data you may receive much simpler.
Explore These Top Text-to-Give Tools
NonProfitEasy | Our Favorite Text-to-Give Solution
NonProfitEasy is an easy-to-use solution that was created by leaders in the nonprofit space to help you engage donors and increase fundraising with their many features and integrations. It has over 15 different integrations, various pricing plans, and excellent customer service to ensure that you get the most out of its software.
Stand Out Features
NonProfitEasy stands out for the many integrations it has and how easy it makes managing your donor data. It has a very user-friendly interface that lets you send targeted donation requests and respond instantly. This makes it a perfect tool for text-to-give. Even if it’s your first time running a text-to-give campaign, NonProfitEasy’s straightforward interface will make success a snap. This is very beginner-friendly and best of all, there are no additional processing fees. You just pay for the text messages!
Snowball | Text Giving Tool
Snowball is a top-rated fundraising platform that helps you run fundraising campaigns of all kinds, including text-to-give. With four different pricing tiers, there’s a plan for every organization and its needs.
Stand Out Features
Snowball offers unlimited campaigns, unlimited text-to-give, and unlimited fundraising thermometers to visualize your campaign’s success with their Premium plan. They also allow you to give your campaign multiple working keywords to eliminate errors like typos and misspelled words when supporters text in their donations.
OneCause | Text Giving Tool
Working with over 6000 different nonprofits, OneCause is another great fundraising software tool. Their mobile giving plans are billed on an annual basis, allowing you to run campaigns all year long.
Stand Out Features
OneCause lets you give donors the option to cover processing fees and has a very streamlined user interface. This makes it easy and pleasant for donors to give by text. Their interface has a lot of customization options to help you build your campaign exactly how you want it.
Qgiv | Text Giving Tool
Qgiv is a fundraising platform that never makes you sign a contract. It has plans starting at $0 a month, giving your organization flexible options for picking the right combination of features and price.
Stand Out Features
8 Best Practices to Take Text Giving Even Further
Once you’ve picked out the right tool for your organization, you’re almost ready to get a text-to-give campaign up and running. To give you an extra boost, we’ve compiled a list of best practices to make sure your first mobile fundraising campaign is a home run.
- Choose a strategic campaign keyword. Using a specific keyword that makes sense for your current campaign makes sure that your donors will donate to the correct campaign when they text in. Different keywords allow you to run different text campaigns, even in tandem.
- Ensure your online donation page is mobile optimized. The last thing you want is for your donors to get frustrated when they get to your donation page and exit out. The purpose of text-to-give is to create an easy way to donate, so make sure your donation page is easy to use on mobile devices.
- Keep your donation form short and straightforward. The more complicated you make it for your donor, the less likely they are to actually donate. Keep your donation form as streamlined as the actual text-to-give process.
- Allow for recurring gifts. Many platforms will enable you to offer a recurring donation option through text-to-give. Look for a tool that has this feature.
- Leverage outbound texts smartly. You don’t want to overwhelm your donors with constant texts. Be strategic about the messages you send and when you send them.
- Keep track of mobile giving campaign performance. This is another important feature to look for in a text-to-give platform. It’s important to keep track of the success of this campaign like you would with any other fundraising campaign.
- Market your text-to-give campaign strategically. One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is not properly advertising their text-to-give campaign. Use your events and social media to reach supporters that are already engaged in your cause.
- Integrate text giving with your auction events, peer-to-peer campaigns, and other events. Tying text-to-give into your other events is a great way to fully incorporate it into your donors’ giving habits. Many of your most engaged supporters will already be at these events so it’s the perfect time to share this option with them.
Now that you’re armed with all of this information on how to successfully implement a text-to-give campaign for your organization, all that’s left to do is get started!
If you want to read up a little more before picking out a text giving platform, here are a few more resources to help you:
Text-to-Give vs Text-to-Donate: This crash course covers the difference between text-to-give and text-to-donate. This can help your organization decide which route is best for you.
Text-to-Give: The Ultimate Guide: Another guide to text-to-give, this will give you a better idea of what kind of organizations use text giving and how.