Advocacy texting: How to make your texts make a difference

Learn all the elements of the perfect advocacy text and more.

Advocacy texting tells your subscribers who you are as an organization and what you care about.

If you run or manage a nonprofit, you likely have a passion for your cause and spend a lot of time trying to build awareness for it.

Advocacy text messages are easy to write, quick to send, and a reliable way to spread the word about your mission.

As a longtime text marketer who’s worked with dozens of nonprofits, I’ll walk you through how to write advocacy texts that make an impact.

SimpleTexting is nonprofit text messaging software

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Why use SMS for advocacy campaigns?

Texts are a direct, personal way to connect with your audience outside the noise of traditional marketing inboxes. They place your message alongside that of your recipient’s closest friends and family.

Better yet, texting delivers your message to the only inbox with a 98% open rate!

Here are a few more quick reasons SMS makes the perfect vessel for your nonprofit’s messages:

An infographic on the benefits of SMS marketing
Photo Credit:  Pooja Rathore

Creating the perfect advocacy text

The key priority when writing advocacy texts is capturing attention and diving quickly into what you want your audience to do.

A traditional text message is 160 characters long. However, MMS (multimedia messages) not only allows you up to 1,600 characters of text, but you can also include photos, videos, and PDFs to accompany your message.

For example, say you run a nonprofit and you’re writing to advocate for eco reform to your text subscribers. 

Here’s how to approach the process.

1. An attention-grabbing opening sentence

Capturing attention in one sentence can be tricky. Your opening line needs to be both informative and engaging as you won’t have the time or space to expand on it.

Some common methods for doing this include:

  • Statistics
    • 5,000 people die every day as a result of drinking unclean water.
  • Referencing a recent news story or headline
    • According to The Independent, more than 1,300 English sites exceed annual pollution limits this year alone.
  • Asking a question
    • Do you want to learn how to do something to reduce pollution without paying a cent or leaving your couch?

2. Present your problem and data

Next, you’ll get into the core of your text message. This portion should answer the question, “Why should I care?”

There are a few different strategies for presenting your data in a clear, brief way.

  • Structure it in a problem-solution format
    • Up to 28,000 crucial species can go extinct in the next quarter-century due to deforestation, but we can slow the spread by cutting down meat consumption.
  • Share it in a story
    • For children who grow up near the Citarum River in Indonesia, it’s realistic to say they will never access clean drinking water their whole life due to such severe pollution occurring by our hands.
  • Create an if-then solution
    • If we don’t do more to prevent the extinction of North American bees, then we will no longer be able to grow food such as avocados, apples, onions, and more.

💡 SimpleTexting Tip: Attach a photo of an infographic to include additional material in your text without sacrificing valuable characters.

3. Wrap with a call to action (CTA)

The most important part of your advocacy text is the grand finale — the call to action. You want your readers to know exactly what they need to do to get involved.

Here are some of the most popular, SMS-friendly CTAs:

  • Send a link to a petition
    • To help us lobby for higher fines for corporate pollution violations, sign this petition today: [link]
  • Invite subscribers to donate
    • If you’d like to help us fund the clean drinking water project, please consider donating on our website: [link]
  • Share a hashtag they can post to spread awareness
    • To show your support for the fight against deforestation, we invite you to tag us on Instagram and use #MeatlessMonday to inspire less meat consumption!
  • Invite them to reply with user-generated content to help your campaign
    • Text us a selfie of you cleaning up your beaches to be entered into a drawing to win one of our best-selling Mama Earth tees!

As you can see, short and sweet doesn’t have to mean a lack of quality. Just remember, when writing your advocacy text messages:

  • Always capture attention in one sentence.
  • Share your most striking facts in the body of your message, and any supporting information in an attachment.
  • Always end with something a reader can do right at that moment to increase the odds of them taking action.

And in the end, you’ll wind up with a knockout advocacy text.

Did you know if bees go extinct, we won’t be able to grow food like avocados, apples, or onions? Sign this petition today to help us lobby for federal protection of endangered bees: [link]

How to set up advocacy texting for your nonprofit

Now that you have a few tips and tactics on hand, it’s time to get started sending your texts.


Get your advocacy texts out to your entire audience at once with campaigns.

  1. In your account, find Campaigns on the left-side menu.
  2. Pick New.
  3. Name your campaign and write your message. If you include a link, use the link shortener for easier performance tracking later.
  4. Choose which contact list will receive your message.
  5. Decide whether to send your campaign immediately, schedule it for a future date, or set it as recurring.
Creating an advocacy texting campaign

The inbox

Advocacy texting isn’t just for the masses. You can also use your inbox to manage one-on-one interactions and answer common questions.

  1. From your SimpleTexting account screen, choose Inbox from the left-hand menu.
  2. Open a new conversation or continue an existing one.
  3. Type out your message in the box (or pick a template from the bookmark icon) and send it or schedule it using the clock icon.
Sending an advocacy text through the inbox

This article was originally published September 16, 2020. It was updated and repurposed September 19, 2023. Meghan Tocci contributed to this piece.