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Text-to-Give vs Text-to-Donate: The Complete Guide

the complete guide

Text-to-Give vs Text-to-Donate: The Complete Guide

The rise of mobile donations has had a major effect on houses of worship. Many ministry leaders who adopted the technology, though, still have confusion over text-to-give vs. text-to-donate. These terms often get used interchangeably, and there are several similarities between the two. Understanding the differences, though, is imperative for a successful giving strategy.

Please take a moment to review our guide on donating and tithing by text. You’ll come away with a better understanding of what’s best for your church.

Text-to-Give vs. Text-to-Donate: What are the Differences?

Both options for tithing by text involve parishioners sending a text stating how much they’d like to give. The processes that the user goes through, however, are where the differences come into play. The following descriptions will give you a better idea of your options.

How Does Text-to-Give Work?

Churches that accept donations via text-to-give let their members make donations at the push of a button. Parishioners simply text a keyword along with the amount they wish to give to a special number linked to your church. This type of giving became very popular over the last decade for donating to disaster relief. The monetary gift would apply directly to a person’s carrier bill.

Text-to-give has evolved somewhat throughout the years. With the advent of pay-what-you-use and prepaid phone plans, some carriers aren’t compatible with these tools. This created the necessity of one major area where no difference exists between text-to-give vs. text-to-donate: the process of filling out information. 

The changes in phone contracts dictated that users provide financial information to donate. This means the platform must send a link out to collect payment credentials. With text-to-give offerings, though, this only needs to happen once. After that point, users only have to send a text with the amount they want to donate along with the proper keyword.

How Does Text-to-Donate Work?

Text-to-donate platforms work similarly to their text-to-give counterparts. The initial steps are essentially the same. Parishioners send a keyword and donation amount to a special number to make a donation. The user will then receive a link where they’ll need to fill out their information.

Unlike text-to-give platforms, though, this process is necessary for every donation. Once a person sends their text, they’ll always receive a link where information must get entered. This link leads to the church’s online donation page. While this process once had several benefits in the text-to-give vs. text-to-donate battle, the former category of platforms has rectified most inequalities.

Choosing a Platform

Every ministry leader should research their options before making a choice. Every church has different needs, so what works for one may not necessarily work for another. Regardless of which platform you settle on, though, there are a few features you should view as requirements. This will ensure your ministry gets the most for its money.

  • Keyword customization: Customized keywords offer different categories for giving. Parishioners can choose where their money goes, and this encourages additional giving.
  • Ministry-focused: There are countless text fundraising tools, but not all cater to churches. Try to find an option that’s ministry-focused to ensure the vendor understands your needs.
  • Recurring donations: The text-to-give vs. text-to-donate battle settled down a bit once both types of giving platforms started offering recurring payments.
  • Multiple interfaces: Your ministry needs more than text donations to get by. Choose a platform that offers several interfaces (e.g., kiosk giving, online donation page, church giving app).
  • Donor strategy integration: Whatever you choose in the text-to-give vs. text-to-donate debate, the vendor you eventually select should offer integration with an overall donor engagement strategy.

Tools for increasing church tithing and donations are an investment. Trial and error simply isn’t an option unless your ministry is cash-heavy. This makes it important to choose a platform that makes tithing via text a simple, efficient, and quick process that’s part of a larger strategy. The partnership of DonorWerx and SecureGive was created to do just that for churches across the country.

Benefits of Text-to-Give and Text-to-Donate

Even after understanding the basics of tithing by text, some ministry leaders remain on the fence regarding its use. Considering how hard it was for many churches to survive the coronavirus pandemic, the idea of another revenue stream seems to make sense. If you’re still not sold on the idea, though, consider these benefits of text-to-give and text-to-donate platforms:

  • Mobile giving has exploded: The use of mobile giving has gone up 80 percent since 2013. Regardless of what side of the text-to-give vs. text-to-donate debate you’re on, this is good news.
  • Unlimited fundraising: There is no limit on how much your church can raise via text. Many platforms also allow unlimited keywords, and this can help with donor segmentation.
  • Impressive campaigns: When running focused donation campaigns, churches and nonprofits see an average donation of $107 when the option to text a donation is available.
  • Everyone texts: Okay, not everyone texts. A full 97 percent of American adults, though, text at least once per week. Make sure your ministry is on the receiving end of that text.
  • Simplified giving: Total time to donate can vary based on text-to-give vs. text-to-donate usage, but in either case, they make giving simple. No checks to write; no visits to the ATM; and no need to even think since recurring giving is an option.

There’s no denying the many benefits of tithing and donating via text. If your church hasn’t made the leap into this realm yet, now is the time. Decreasing attendance and COVID-19 lockdowns have proven that no one can predict the future. With the right donor engagement and giving tools at your side, though, you can at least prepare yourself for that future.

Text-to-Give vs. Text-to-Donate: Which is Right?

Regardless of which route your church chooses, it’s essential that tithing via text is part of your overall giving strategy. This will ensure that your congregants have multiple ways to give, and this can increase donations while bringing in new donors. When looking at text-to-give vs. text-to-donate, though, which is right for your church? We’d go with the former.

By using text-to-give platforms, you’ll allow your parishioners to skip the hurdle of repeatedly filling out their information. Text-to-donate is really nothing more than sending out a link to your online donation page. This essentially removes the simplicity and convenience that make tithing via text so appealing to many.

Still having trouble choosing between text-to-give vs. text-to-donate? Wondering how to Get startedSchedule a Discovery Call with one of our giving experts today, and we’ll help you understand how these tools can help increase your ministry’s revenue.

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