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7 Text-to-Donate Platforms Your Church Should Consider

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7 Text-to-Donate Platforms Your Church Should Consider

Mobile giving has been continuously growing as more and more people keep smartphones in their pockets. And it’s not small change, either. The average gift given via text, for instance, adds up to $107. This means text-to-donate platforms offer an often untapped revenue source for churches.

With 97% of Americans sending at least one text a day, text-to-donate is more than merely convenient — it’s fun, it’s familiar, and it’s effective. In fact, it takes less than 90 seconds for the average recipient to open a new text message. That means you can expect excellent response and engagement rates for your text-to-donate campaign.

How Does Text-to-Donate Work?

Text-to-donate is a simple tool for collecting donations from mobile users while limiting the steps they need to take to go from pulling out there phone to sending a gift.

Setting up a campaign requires two things: a shortcode and a keyword. Your shortcode is the five-digit number people will text. This number may or may not be unique to your church — it all depends on the text-to-give software you choose to run your campaign on. Your keyword is a short, memorable word that people will send to the shortcode in order to pledge their gift.

Examples of good keywords include FEED10 or CLEAN25. Ideally, your keyword would remind the donor of how big of a gift they’re pledging to make and the cause they’re supporting. So, FEED10 might represent a gift of $10 to your food drive. CLEAN25 might represent a gift of $25 to your community cleanup project.

What’s The Difference Between Text-to-Give and Text-to-Donate?

Both text-to-give and text-to-donate campaigns begin with a keyword and shortcode. Beyond that, things work a bit differently.

  • Text-to-Give means you’re interfacing with phone carriers so donors can donate all within their standard text messaging app. The amount will be added to their phone bill.
  • Text-to-Donate means donors are initiating the gift via text, and then your platform will send them a link. Once they click that link, they’re taken to an easy mobile form to enter their payment info and choose a donation amount.

Some platforms offer just one solution while others feature both.

Choosing a Text-to-Donate Platform

When it comes to running your text-to-donate campaign successfully, the platform you choose will play a major role in how things work out. The following list of seven platforms will help you understand what to look for and what to avoid in the software you choose.

#7 Snowball

  • Carrier-billed text-to-give
  • Silent auctions, event ticketing, and other software offered
  • Some outdated design elements could hold you back
  • Premium plan starts at $549/year plus transaction fees

Snowball has tried to do it all while promising lower fees than any other platform on the market. Unfortunately, that has held it back when it comes to critical aspects like the user interface and overall donor experience, which may seem a bit outdated.

Still, if you were looking for event ticketing and registration alongside a simple CRM, silent auctions, and text-to-give platform, Snowball might be an option worth considering if you’re working on a shoestring budget. The Premium plan, which is the lowest tier to include text-to-give, starts at $549 per year.

#6 Txt2Give

  • Carrier-billed text-to-give
  • Quick to setup with same-day launch
  • Limited features for long-term use
  • Flat rate plan starts at $25/month + 1% platform fee

With same-day setup and no mobile apps required, positions itself as one of the simplest and most straightforward solutions on the market. That’s great if your priority is getting your campaign up-and-running now, but as they say, good things take time.

While a great solution for a rush campaign, likely lacks the features you need to be successful in the long run. For instance, while you can also create an online giving page for your church using this software, the off-site page can add extra clicks to the donor experience and make for a less-than-seamless process overall.

#5 Give Lively

  • Donors enter payment info and choose amount with text-to-donate
  • Sending a text redirects donors to a Give Lively campaign page
  • You can embed a donation widget to your website
  • Free forever for nonprofit users

Another mobile-first solution, Give Lively is much like Txt2Give in that it’s wholly focused on text donations. The good news? Give Lively is entirely free forever for nonprofit users, which gives it a huge leg-up over Txt2Give.

With this service, you create a custom landing page that donors will receive a link to upon texting your campaign’s keyword. Once redirected, they can donate any amount they choose. However, like Txt2Give, Give Lively’s biggest downfall comes down to a less-than-seamless integration with third-party hosted pages that may not perfectly match your website or brand.

#4 Qgiv

  • Both text-to-give and text-to-donate are offered
  • Multiple forms of giving (including kiosks)
  • High transaction fees may discourage nonprofits
  • Pricing varies, with the Everything plan starting at $399/month plus transaction fees

With both text-to-donate and text-to-give, Qgiv allows you to choose what’s best for your church. One thing to note is that all text-to-donate campaigns that are run using Qgiv use the same number (51055, to be exact). Text-to-give campaigns, on the other hand, allow you to set up your very own dedicated number for your church.

In either case, you can always pick a custom keyword to help get your message across. The biggest downfall with Qgiv are the fees. In addition to monthly fees that vary depending on the tools you want access to, expect to pay around 1% of everything you receive in addition to 3.95% + $0.30 for each transaction.

#3 Trumpia

  • Donors enter payment info and choose amount with text-to-donate
  • Text messaging software that goes further than simple donation collection
  • Use SMS to engage your donors beyond gift requests
  • Pricing starts at $45/month with 1,000 SMS credits

Trumpia is one of the few platforms that doesn’t just enable text-to-donate campaigns, but actually encourages churches to use SMS for more than gift requests. With Trumpia, you can help boost engagement amongst your congregants by sending text messages that inform them about events, volunteer opportunities, and what’s happening at your church.

Ultimately, the features are all there if you want a standalone SMS solution. The place where you may get hung up is in the pricing and credits system. In addition to a base monthly fee (which starts at $45/month), you also need credits to send SMS. If you want to send emails, those are also limited by your plan. Also, bear in mind that pricing is based on an annual contract.

#2 easyTithe

  • Carrier-billed text-to-give
  • Custom number for your text-to-give campaign
  • Online, mobile app, and kiosk giving
  • Pricing starts at $10/month plus transaction fees

easyTithe is one of the larger donation platforms and it shows in the list of features. In addition to text-to-give, easyTithe also offers a church app and giving kiosk along with online giving options. They also promise a donor management system that will help you keep up with those who give to your church.

The downside? easyTithe’s pricing isn’t as competitive as other text-to-donate platforms out there. The “Church Plant” plan starts at $10/month, but the transaction fees can eat away at the donations of small nonprofits. You can expect to pay 1% plus $0.39 per transaction for ACH gifts or 3% and $0.39 per transaction for debit/credit card gifts.

#1 DonorWerx

  • Carrier-billed text-to-give
  • Online, mobile, kiosk, and in-person giving
  • Fully customizable and branded solution
  • One-on-one coaching included

A major con to many of the services on this list comes down to limited features. So many services get tunnel-vision when trying to service the nonprofit industry and they end up being one-trick ponies. Ultimately, that means lots of third-party integrations and disjointed databases if you try to piece these softwares together like a puzzle.

That’s why platforms like easyTithe have become so popular as they have taken a bigger picture approach to the world of donation collection and donor management. DonorWerx takes things a step further still by including one-on-one coaching and advanced software to help you collect and manage your donors wherever you interact with them.

Level Up Your Church’s Collections

With a full-fledged donor management and collection software like DonorWerx, you can add more than text giving capabilities to your suite of tools. Here at DonorWerx, we offer one-on-one coaching alongside powerful giving software to help you reach more donors and better engage your congregants. This goes far beyond a simple text-to-donate platform Click here to learn more.

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