Everything You Should Know About Text-To-Donate Fundraising
With over 97% of Americans texting at least once a day, text messaging is an extremely effective way to reach your supporters and collect more donations. Aside from being convenient, text-to-donate fundraising also gets a lot of attention since most text messages are opened within 5 minutes of being sent.
What’s more, the right text-to-donate software will make the entire giving process seamless and quick for every one of your recipients. The trick is understanding what goes into a text-to-donate giving campaign and the best practices of launching one for your organization. So, let’s dive in!
What is Text-to-Donate Fundraising?
If you’re not familiar with this new method of giving that has largely dominated the mobile giving industry, text-to-give fundraising allows donors to give money by sending a short text to a special number. You’ve likely seen a similar setup in action with live voting shows and for countless other applications.
To put it simply, the campaign organizer gets a special number setup (sometimes it’s a vanity number, meaning the numbers spell something) and then they design a short message, like “GIVE5”. They then instruct their donors to text the message to the special number and, by doing so, the donor will automatically be donating a pre-determined amount to the campaign.
Using Text-to-Donate for Your Campaigns
So, how does text-to-donate fit into your fundraising goals? Typically, text-to-donate fundraising works best if you get design specific messages that speak to the different passions and causes people on your list might want to support.
For instance, if you’re fundraising for a mission trip, you might have a dedicated message for that campaign and another dedicated message for your community soup kitchen fundraiser.
This design helps people quickly give directly to the causes they want to support, earmarking their funds for what they really care about while making the giving process itself as streamlined and convenient as possible. After all, these donors are already on their phones and texting is a familiar interface to them. So, sending a short, memorable message is an effortless way to give.
The Benefits of Text-to-Donate
There are countless ways you can collect donations for your fundraiser, so why use text-to-donate? Here’s a quick summary of the biggest reasons:
- It’s convenient. There’s no app to download or website to visit. They can donate using their normal text messaging interface, making for a quick and familiar experience.
- It’s effortless. Giving doesn’t get easier than texting a short message to a short number. No need to sign up, subscribe, or fill out a long form.
- It’s direct. There’s a reason why live charity streams use text-to-donate. With its customization and direct targeting, donors know exactly where their money is going. Even better, the pre-determined amount means they don’t have to think twice.
Best Practices for Text-to-Donate Fundraising
Now that you know why you should be using text-to-donate, let’s talk about best practices. These should guide the design and implementation of your next text-to-donate fundraiser.
#1 Don’t Complicate Text-to-Donate Fundraising
The short code you design should be as succinct as possible. This is the short message donors are supposed to text to your special number. While keeping it on point, though, make sure it is relevant to the cause. The most successful formula involves one or two words without spaces with a number representing giving levels.
Generic examples you could use would include “GIVE5NOW” OR “GIVE10.” If you want to customize it more to your specific cause, you could try “FEED5” or “GIVE1MEAL.”
The longer or more complex you make your code, the higher the chance donors will forget. So, keep it short and simple. Also, complicated shortcodes can lead to typos, so keep the words short, familiar, and easy-to-spell.
The Red Cross’s success wasn’t an accident. Although most text-to-give platforms are designed to be exceptionally easy to use, there are a few things you’ll need to consider as you implement this kind of fundraising. Try to avoid something super generic like “DONATE” as not only does it leave out the amount, it disconnects it from the cause, too.
#2 Spread The Word
A surefire way to see success with your text-to-donate campaign is to get it out there in front of the masses. Whether it’s signs up at your local headquarters, posts on social media, or even a radio mention, you need to get the right exposure for your text-to-donate campaign to work.
Make this campaign part of your regular marketing plan so that everyone knows you’re accepting donations through text now. Tips include:
- Sharing your number and a short explanation for it across social media and in email blasts and newsletters.
- Including the text-to-donate number and shortcake in the signatures of your board members
- Displaying the code on your website in a prominent and permanent location
- Asking influencers to share your number and shortcake on their platforms
- Sending a press release to community and industry publications for PR
Whenever you talk about the campaign, you should also explain it so that donors know why they should be donating. Give context to encourage them to get involved.
#3 Educate Your Donors
While text-to-give is easy, it could be a brand new concept for some people you reach, so be sure to include an explanation (whether that’s a video walkthrough, three-step infographic, or short text description) in all the places you talk about it. If people don’t know how to use it, they probably won’t try!
Videos, in particular, are highly effective at demonstrating the simplicity of text-to-give, and even better if you can get influencers to share a video showing them doing it and encouraging their followers to do the same.
If your tax receipt is the last message your donors get from you, you’re doing something wrong. Personalized and engaging follow-up is a must to ensure a one-time donor becomes a recurring giver. Aside from a follow-up text, consider a thank-you email, a scrolling list of donors on your campaign’s landing page, and even a thank-you tweet.
By going the extra mile with your communication, you’ll help donors feel truly valued, which is what will get them to come back.
Choosing a Text-to-Donate Fundraising Platform
Looking for a text-to-donate fundraising platform that will actually perform? Don’t get stuck adding another tool to your tech stack. With DonorWerx, you can simplify your backend by getting all the tools you need from one source. We also include one-on-one coaching to ensure your implementation is a success.
Our text-to-give software is simple yet powerful. It allows customization of your next campaign to fit your organization and any cause you’re fundraising for. Interested in learning more? Click here to schedule a Discovery Call.