Find out how your organization can use text-to-donate to raise awareness and text message donations for your nonprofit.
Text-to-donate is a very crucial tool for nonprofits looking to raise funds on a budget.
Even better, text-to-donate (sometimes called “text to give”) is as simple as setting up a text-to-join keyword and letting the donations flow in.
However, I’ve personally worked in text marketing for years, and I’ve interviewed nonprofit owners and managers about all the unique use cases they’ve implemented to help their text-to-donate programs thrive.
I’ll walk you through:
Text-to-donate fundraising is a text messaging system that allows charities and nonprofit organizations to receive donations directly when donors text a certain keyword to the nonprofit’s number.
Text to donate setup varies depending on your approach. If you decide to use a platform like SimpleTexting, here’s how it looks.
You can include text-to-donate links directly in your text messages if you use a dedicated short code. These are 5 or 6-digit phone numbers that are administered by the Common Short Code Administrator on behalf of a group of U.S. wireless carriers. (You can read more about them and how to qualify here.)
Unfortunately, some carriers like AT&T do not allow text messages that include donation links when you use other phone number types. This limits the ability of nonprofits to fundraise directly through SMS if they don’t want — or can’t afford — to lease a short code.
However, you can still use text messaging as part of your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy by leveraging them as a tool to connect donors to payment portals and resources. I’ll show you how to make it work.
Already got a list of faithful donors who have given you permission to text them?
Remember that a brilliant text-to-donate program can only do so much if your community doesn’t know about it.
Campaigns are your go-to tool for mass communication with your lists. You can use them to:
While this, too, looks slightly different depending on the platform, here’s how campaigns work in SimpleTexting.
Nonprofit fundraising by text message isn’t only limited to campaigns and mass updates.
You can also use your inbox to build more personal one-on-one connections with donors and answer any questions they may have.
You can find your inbox on the same left-hand menu and manage your conversations from there.
Data collection (as the name suggests) is an easy way to learn more about your text contacts so you can effectively segment your messages later. Here’s how it works.
Even your most passionate supporters get busy sometimes. Keep your cause top of mind with drip campaigns, a.k.a autoresponders. These allow you to create reminders that send out automatically. Schedule them to send hours, days, or even a few weeks after your supporters initially opt in to your messages.
Turn one-time donors into lifetime supporters by regularly following up with them. A simple “Thank you” is a good start, but SMS messages are also a convenient way to send progress reports to your stakeholders.
When donors are informed, they feel personally involved with your cause. And when they feel personally involved, they’re more likely to donate again and again.
SimpleTexting offers a set of features that any industry can use (including nonprofits). SimpleTexting is a good choice for text-to-donate when you already have a fundraising platform and simply want to share a link via text to a specific fundraising webpage.
If you’re looking for a specific service made for nonprofit mobile fundraising, here are a few of the best text-to-donate platforms out there. These are tools nonprofits may use that have text-to-donate feature sets, which can accept funds directly from texts.
Many of these platforms consider text-to-donate just one part of their platform, a feature. If you need a comprehensive solution to request, accept, and manage fundraising, the functionality in these services may be valuable.
Handbid is an auction-specific platform that makes fundraising and events easy and convenient for nonprofits.
None available without a demo
Beyond basic text-to-donate, Snowball offers a suite of useful features for any form of mobile nonprofit fundraising.
The basic package is free, with paid plans starting at $55/month and going up to $99/month.
Qgiv offers nonprofits fast text-to-give features when they’re most needed with a strong emphasis on building meaningful relationships with donors.
Plans start at $25/month, with custom plans available for larger enterprises.
Txt2Give is built to give nonprofits a simple toolbox for bringing in and sustaining donations through mobile and digital channels.
The service offers a 30-day free trial, with paid plans available from $19/month with a 1% platform fee.
Still got a few questions as you plan your nonprofit fundraising text message strategy? I’ve got you covered. Here are the most common questions nonprofit owners ask about text-to-donate.
This article was originally published August 7, 2018. It was significantly updated and repurposed September 20, 2023. Alfredo Salkeld contributed to this piece.