How to pick the right nonprofit texting number

Need a mobile text number for your nonprofit? Let’s look at the three most popular number types for organizations.

Before you begin connecting with your nonprofit stakeholders through an SMS texting platform, you’ll need to choose the type of business texting number that’s best for your nonprofit organization.

Let’s walk through three commonly used options, and when to consider each:

  1. Local numbers
  2. Toll-free numbers
  3. Dedicated short codes

💡 Quick tip: If you already have a business landline that you’d like to use for texting, we can text-enable your number.

SimpleTexting is nonprofit text messaging software

Reach supporters, volunteers, team members, and other audiences with SMS messaging. Meaningful connections are just a text away with SimpleTexting. Get 15% off for life with our nonprofit discount.

Local numbers

Local numbers, also known as 10-digit long codes (10DLC), enable nonprofits to send large volumes of text messages from a local area code.

📌 Here’s why you might consider using a local number:

  • Recognizable area codes can help show that you’re part of the community you serve.
  • Local numbers can handle a high volume of text messages, making them an excellent option for mass texting.
  • Setting up a local number is quick, easy, and budget-friendly.

If you already have a local number, our customer support team can text-enable it for you. Your calls will still work as usual, and text messages will come through our SMS marketing platform

While carriers require businesses to register local numbers with The Campaign Registry, our team is available to guide you through the process seven days a week.

Toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers (those with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833 prefixes) are also a good fit for sending mass texts and two-way communication.

📌 What you need to know about toll-free numbers:

  • Since these numbers aren’t location-specific, they’re great for organizations that connect with supporters across North America.
  • They’re set up for mass texting and two-way communication.
  • Setup is quick and easy (like local numbers).
  • If you already have a toll-free number, we can set up texting services for it quickly — often within 48 hours.

With a toll-free number, you can start texting as soon as you sign up for a paid SimpleTexting account. 

Our helpful customer support team will guide you through the process of toll-free verification, which usually takes 4–6 weeks.

Dedicated short codes

Dedicated short codes (DSC) are a unique set of 5- or 6-digits assigned exclusively to your nonprofit.

📌 Key points on dedicated short codes:

  • They allow you to send large volumes of text messages quickly.
  • They’re more expensive to lease than toll-free and local numbers.
  • DSC is only suitable for mass texting.
  • Numbers are short and easy for your contacts to type into their phone.
  • You can use a text-to-join keyword to invite contacts to join your list (Ex. “Text VOLUNTEER to 55555”).
  • They support both SMS and MMS messaging.

Due to their cost and setup time, few small nonprofits choose to use dedicated short codes. Leasing a dedicated short code can range from $1,000 to $1,500 per month, with an additional setup fee, such as SimpleTexting’s $2,500 fee. 

With SimpleTexting, we have plenty of experience in setting up short codes, and we’ll walk you through the whole process.

Armed with this info, you can select the type of business texting number that best fits your nonprofit texting strategy.

💡 For more handy tips and inspiration for your nonprofit organization, have a look at our guide on how to get started with SMS texting.

An overview of nonprofit texting number options

Ultimately, your choice will come down to your budget and whether you plan on using mass texting, one-on-one messaging, or both. 

Here’s an overview of your nonprofit text number options:

 Local NumbersToll-freeDedicated short code
Format10 digits10 digits    5 to 6 digits
Primary Use1-on-1 comms, mass texting1-on-1 comms, mass textingMass texting
ThroughputHighMedium High
Setup CostLowLowHigh
Setup Time1 dayDays (with limited throughput until the number is verified)Weeks

FAQs about nonprofit texting numbers

How do I get a text number for my nonprofit?

To get a text number for your nonprofit, you can sign up for a business texting service like SimpleTexting. Depending on your needs, you can choose between 10DLC, toll-free numbers, and dedicated short codes.
Changing your business number won’t interfere with your existing contact lists. However, you might want to send a message to inform your contacts about your new number.
Enabling your existing phone number for texts won’t affect your regular voice calls. Those will still come through as usual, and the text messages from your contacts will go directly to your SimpleTexting dashboard.
You bet! You have the option to add multiple numbers to your account and manage them from one dashboard.

Ready to choose your number?

Whether you’re completely new to nonprofit texting or have some experience under your belt, SimpleTexting is here to assist you. 

Sign up for our free 14-day trial to test out our messaging platform and see if it’s right for your organization.

If you have any questions about texting or our software, reach out to our support team seven days a week by clicking the blue chat bubble in the bottom corner of your screen.