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Boost your nonprofit's success with text-to-give and text message outreach

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Ever thought sending a text could change the world? It sounds like a scene from an inspirational movie, but in reality, it's becoming part of our daily lives. Welcome to the world of text-to-give.

A simple SMS might seem small on its own, much like dropping a single coin into a donation box. But what if we multiply that by hundreds or thousands? That’s where things start getting interesting.

In this brave new world of digital philanthropy, your mobile phone becomes more than just a communication tool—it turns into an instrument for change. By sending out texts, you can help your nonprofit reach its fundraising goals and make a real difference in your community.

Curious about how it works? Intrigued by its potential?

You've come to the right spot! Let's dive into the power of text-to-give!

Understanding Text-to-Give

If you're working in a nonprofit organization, you’ve probably heard the term text-to-give fundraising. Texting has become the preferred way to communicate, especially among younger generations. Plus, texting has a higher response rate than emails or letter appeals, so it’s no wonder nonprofits are embracing this way of reaching out to donors.

woman holding red phone
Photographer: freestocks | Source: Unsplash

But how does text-to-give or text-to-donate work?

Donors send a text message with your unique campaign keyword to a designated number - often a five-digit shortcode. This kicks off the donation process on a donor’s mobile device by taking them to your online giving form. They complete their gift by choosing their donation amount and entering their payment details.

The process is simple and streamlines giving, which increases donor conversion rates. Donors are more likely to follow through on their intentions to give when the process is straightforward and has few barriers to entry.

woman with blue hair saying "keep it simple" reminding you to keep text-to-give simple for your donors.

The Power of Text-to-Give for Nonprofits

For nonprofits, text-to-give is a game-changer. It's an effective way to increase donor engagement and get both smaller and larger donations. The average gift given via mobile phone stands at $107 according to recent data. And with over 18.7 billion texts sent every day, the potential reach is huge.

The average gift given via mobile phone stands at $107 according to recent data.

Why mobile fundraising matters

So why use text-to-give? First off, it lets you meet donors where they are: on their mobile phones. More than ever before, people are using their phones for practically everything. From staying in touch with friends to capturing life’s moments and now, supporting their favorite causes by donating.

Phones are quick, convenient, and almost always accessible. But it’s about more than just convenience. Text-to-give also helps expand your outreach efforts. Text messaging allows you to grow your donor base by reaching new audiences that might not have been accessible through traditional channels.

A successful fundraising strategy needs diverse tools - including digital ones like text-to-give campaigns.

Text-to-give best practices

A successful text-to-give campaign isn't just about having a great idea. It's also about executing it well and effectively reaching out to potential donors. This involves clear communication, secure giving, and making the donation process as easy and convenient as possible. Additionally, tracking and analyzing the campaign's performance is crucial for understanding changes you might need to make for long-term success.

Let’s jump into text-to-give best practices, so your nonprofit can have a successful text-to-give campaign!

Setting up a text-to-give campaign

The most important decision you’ll make when setting up your text-to-give campaign is the software you choose to use. You need a text-to-give platform that is secure and makes the process easy for both donors and your nonprofit.

Ideally, your text-to-give should be part of a bigger Donor Development platform. The right Donor Development platform keeps text-to-give simple for your nonprofit by empowering you to accept gifts, track your donor data in your nonprofit CRM, and grow donor relationships.

Optimize the donation process for mobile phones

The last thing any donor wants is complications while trying to give. Ensure that your donation form is simple yet secure - the fewer steps needed, the better the chances of your donors following through. Check out our donation page playbook for donation page best practices.

Donation Page Playbook image: a free tool to help with your text-to-give campaign

The goal is to make it convenient for potential donors. No matter their preferred payment method, every transaction should be seamless.

Create unique text codes and keywords

Choose a memorable phrase associated with your cause to act as your donation keyword. Keep it simple and easy to remember, so donating is as accessible and easy as possible.

You can also create a QR code that links directly to an online giving page. Mobile users just scan the QR code that can be sent via letter, shown at an event, or used in other marketing materials. Then they are brought directly to your giving page.

Track the results

Tracking the results of your text-to-give campaigns provides valuable insights into donor behavior. You can identify which messages resonate most with donors, determine optimal times for sending texts, and see how many donations are made through this method compared to other channels.

Seinfeld saying "if people would only look to the text-to-give data"

This information allows you to tailor future text-based appeals more effectively by focusing on strategies that have proven successful in past campaigns. Furthermore, tracking these metrics over time can help reveal trends or patterns in giving behavior that may be unique to your nonprofit.

Leveraging CRM Tools For Effective Tracking

Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can be a powerful tool for tracking text-to-give results. For instance, DonorDock offers robust reports that allow you to easily track key metrics and visualize your campaign's performance in real time.

In conclusion, monitoring the success of your text-to-give campaigns is crucial for refining your strategy and maximizing donations. By focusing on data-driven decision-making, you can ensure that every message sent contributes meaningfully towards achieving your nonprofit's mission.

Promoting Your Text-To-Give Campaign

Spreading the word about your text-to-give campaign is key to its success. Whether using mobile or more traditional ways to communicate, there are many great ways to promote your text-to-give campaign.

SMS fundraising and outreach

Fundraising text messages are a powerful tool in your promotion strategy. By sending donors a fundraising text, you increase the likelihood that they will see your message and engage with it.

You can use these messages to remind donors about their pledge and even include a link to complete the donation process. This tactic has proven successful for many nonprofits, increasing both response rates and donor conversion.

Beyond getting people to respond at all though, you want them to respond positively - which means giving to your nonprofit. Engaging donors through personalized text messages does wonders here as well because it shows you see them as individuals rather than just another number on a list.

Research has shown that personalized messages can significantly boost donor conversion.

According to TechJury, the CTR rate for offer messages is higher by 9.18% compared to any other digital channel.

Instead of generic pleas for help, aim to craft messages that speak directly to the recipient. Include their name if possible or refer back to past interactions they've had with your organization.

Using text-to-give at events

Create messaging around text-to-give or share a QR code that takes donors directly to your online giving pages at your events. You can create signage that is clearly visible or take time to announce the text-to-give campaign and do a giving challenge.

Mix old-school methods with new technology

Last but not least, don't overlook traditional methods like direct mail campaigns—especially if you're targeting older demographics who might prefer them over digital channels. You can include a text-to-give number or QR code directly into mailings so that donating is easy for donors to take care of immediately.

By integrating these different strategies into one cohesive plan, you'll reach more potential donors while boosting engagement among those already supporting your cause.

Prioritize security in text-to-give campaigns

Security is a top concern when dealing with text donations. It's crucial to make sure that your text messaging platform adheres to data protection regulations.

A trustworthy text-to-give service will protect donor information during payment processing. This involves encrypting sensitive details like credit card numbers and personal identifiers before transmission, keeping prying eyes away from confidential data.

Beyond just complying with laws, the safety of donors' information also impacts your nonprofit organization’s reputation. Breaches can erode trust fast – it’s not something you want associated with your name or cause.

Data protection regulations compliance

All donation platforms need to be PCI compliant - this means they adhere strictly to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Platforms that meet these standards provide a secure environment for transactions, protecting both donors and organizations from potential security threats.

A secure text-giving process is one where the platform used meets proper compliance standards for security and encryption. In short - if you're planning on accepting mobile donations through texting- make sure it's safe first.

Exploring future trends in text-to-give fundraising

The landscape of text-to-give fundraising is ever-evolving, and it's important for nonprofits to keep pace. One game-changer on the horizon is the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) into text-to-give platforms.

AI can automate many tasks, freeing up time for your team to focus more on donor engagement. Imagine your nonprofit CRM working for you by confirming donations instantly or sending thank-you messages!

What about personalized donor engagement actions with donors based on their giving patterns and preferences? This sort of targeted approach could significantly enhance donor conversion rates.


With text-to-give, a small text message transforms into a tool for change.

This simple method of donations opens doors to wider donor bases and can spark more donor engagement. Your mobile phone is another tool to add to your fundraising toolbelt.

The landscape of Text-to-give fundraising is evolving—embracing it today sets you up for tomorrow’s innovations!

Are you using a donor development platform that fits your text-to-give needs and serves up actionable steps to help you cultivate better donor relationships?

Nurture your donor relationships with DonorDock. An easy-to-use Donor Management Platform built for nonprofits like yours.

Text-to-Give FAQs
Is it text-to-give or text-to-donate?

Both terms refer to the same concept of donating via SMS. Text-to-give might be more popular, but they're interchangeable.

How do you use text-to-give?

To donate with a text, send a unique code to a designated number. You'll get a link for donation completion in return.

What is the best text-to-give platform?

The 'best' platform depends on your nonprofit's needs - ease of setup, security measures, donor management features are all factors to consider. DonorDock offers a text-to-give platform that syncs directly to your nonprofit CRM, so your donor data is automatically tracked.

Elisha Ford
Content Writer
Written by
Elisha Ford
Content Writer

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