How to invite your nonprofit contacts to join your SMS list

Got a list of nonprofit organization contacts? Here's how to invite them to your text messaging list, while keeping SMS compliance in mind.

From your work in nonprofit management, you’ve built a network of donors, volunteers, staff members, and other contacts. These are like gold for your organization’s success.

Wondering if you have to start your nonprofit text messaging program from scratch? 

Not exactly. Getting explicit permission to text your contacts is a major part of SMS compliance rules. But as long as you have proof of your current contacts’ consent, you can text them. 

I’ll show you how to invite existing contacts from channels like email, social media, and your website to subscribe to your texts.

📄 Note: This advice in this guide is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.

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.

Why do you need to invite your current contacts to your new texting list?

Regulations like the Telephone Communications Protection Act (TCPA) require you to gain written consent from anyone you text from an SMS platform (like SimpleTexting or any other software that sends texts). 

You need to know for sure that they’re willing to receive your texts before you hit “send”, and a prior relationship with your contacts doesn’t translate to “consent”.

This seems taxing, I know. But wireless carriers stick to these opt-in rules closely for consumer protection. So let’s connect with our audience the right way.

How to invite contacts to your SMS list

Here are two ways — known as opt-in methods — that you can invite your contacts to your text messaging list and comply with SMS industry regulations:

  • SMS keywords
  • Web forms

📌 Quick note about these opt-in methods: You’ll need to make sure you’re using the right promotional language and disclaimers when you invite people to join your list. 

Opt-in method 1: Keywords

SMS text-to-join keywords are a simple, memorable way to grow your audience. These refer to a specific word or phrase a contact can text to your number to receive your messages.

Thanks for joining the Atlanta Food Bank’s volunteer list! We’ll send you opportunities every week so you can get involved.

📹 Watch this tutorial on how to set up Keywords in SimpleTexting’s SMS marketing platform.

To share your keyword with your current contacts:

  • Make a graphic with a design tool like Canva that includes your keyword, phone number, and a TCPA-compliant disclaimer. Share it on social, posters, or flyers.
  • Create a QR code linked to your keyword. When scanned, the QR code automatically inputs your keyword and number in the contact’s text app. All they need to do is tap “send”.
  • Email your existing contacts about your keyword and the number linked to your SMS service.

Your contacts may be curious about why you’re asking for permission if they have texted you before. Simply explain that it’s a necessity and mention how they’d benefit from subscribing to your SMS list.

Steal this email text invitation template for keywords: 

Subject line: Sign up for [YOUR TEXTING LIST’S PURPOSE] texts


We’ve started a new texting list for/to [YOUR TEXTING LIST’S PURPOSE (Ex. sharing volunteer opportunities)]. Is that something you’re interested in? If so, you can text [KEYWORD] to [YOUR NUMBER] to subscribe. 

Since we’re now using a business texting platform, here’s a disclaimer about what you’re signing up for:


Best regards,


Opt-in method 2: Web Forms

Web Forms, a feature on the SimpleTexting app, lets people sign up to receive your texts directly from your website. They can be customized and installed without needing to know how to code, and anyone who fills out the form is added to your texting list.

💡 How to get your current contacts to join using Web Forms: Share a link to the page on your website with the embedded Web Form wherever they already engage with your organization, like email and social media.

Steal this email text invitation template for web forms: 

Subject line: Join our texting list for [YOUR TEXTING LIST’S PURPOSE]


We’ve started a new texting list for/to [YOUR TEXTING LIST’S PURPOSE (Ex. sharing volunteer opportunities)]. 

Is that something you’re interested in? If so, you can enter your name and number in this form to subscribe: [WEB FORM PAGE LINK]

Best regards,


The compliance disclaimer will be on the form itself, taking care of that headache.

Don’t have a text messaging platform for your nonprofit yet? Give SimpleTexting a spin free for 14 days — no credit card details needed. 

Sign up to send your first message and explore our nonprofit text messaging features. Our support team is ready to answer your questions seven days a week — just click the blue chat button on your screen to reach out, or text us at (888) 663-6856.

📌 For more insights on text message communication, check out our How to Start guide.