Text donations can amp up your fundraising strategy.

Nonprofit Basics: Text donations

Text donations offer supporters a convenient, simple way to donate, fueling your nonprofit’s fundraising growth and taking your mission to the next level. Explore how you can supplement your existing fundraising efforts by tapping into the power of text-to-give.

What are text donations?

Text donations are monetary contributions that donors give to your organization through text-to-give. In a text-to-give fundraising campaign, nonprofits send supporters donation appeals with a link to their mobile-friendly donation page, allowing donors to easily give from their phones.

There are many benefits to text-to-donate:

  • It’s convenient for your donors. Supporters are already spending time on their phones, making text-to-give immediately accessible. Texting has the highest open and read rate of any platform, with a 99% open rate and 90% read rate within just three minutes of sending.
  • It establishes a reliable donation pipeline. Your organization can repeatedly reach out to supporters via text, using emotionally compelling messages to connect with donors and encourage recurring donations.
  • It’s effective for time-sensitive appeals. Text messages have a 99% open rate and 90% read rate within just three minutes of sending, allowing your organization to push forward donation requests with high urgency and meet deadlines ahead of Giving Tuesday, end-of-year campaigns, and any other campaign or event.
  • It’s easy for your nonprofit to do. By choosing an effective software solution for text-to-give, your organization can access a full suite of useful tools. For example, you should be able to leverage automation, segmentation, schedule-send, and other intuitive features to propel your text-to-donate campaign forward.

Text donations offer another revenue stream for your nonprofit, allowing you to more effectively use your fundraising budget and focus on long-term goals. However, your text fundraising campaign won’t be successful if you don’t put time and energy into creating a text messaging strategy tailored to your nonprofit. Read on to see how you can kickstart your campaign.

How does a text donation campaign work?

Let’s break down how a text-to-give campaign works:

  1. Your nonprofit will partner with a text messaging platform, receive a designated long code or shortcode, and set up a simple keyword related to the purpose of your campaign. Launching your campaign is simple with the right software.
  2. Supporters will text the keyword to your code to opt into your campaign.
  3. Your organization sends donation appeals. Drawing on nonprofit marketing best practices, your texts should tell a story and include a strong call to action that creates urgency, motivating donors to immediately give.
  4. Donors give to your nonprofit by clicking on your mobile-friendly donation link and filling out their name and billing information.

Do your research to find a text messaging provider that will support you throughout the entire process. In addition to giving your organization a comprehensive toolkit, your provider should help you stay compliant with the Telephone Communication Protection Act (TCPA) so you can avoid paying any unnecessary fees.

How can my nonprofit increase text donations?

To help your organization exceed your fundraising goals, use these best practices.

Create compelling text message appeals.

Your donation appeals should explain why you’re raising money and how donors can be the hero in your cause. Use a strong call to action in each text message that outlines the specific next action donors should take and challenges them to take it.

Supporters can complete text donations with ease.

Emotional imagery can also strengthen supporters’ connection to your cause, so consider sharing visuals of your nonprofit’s beneficiaries or volunteers hard at work completing a project made possible because of donor support.

Personalize your text messages.

Leverage segmentation tools to send supporters highly relevant messages. For example, segment your contact list based on donation frequency, recency, and amount so your donation appeals are pertinent to recipients’ past involvement in your organization.

Additionally, use automation to text supporters with their first names, as this can create a more authentic messaging experience. Messages that are specific and relevant to the recipients increase the likelihood that they’ll complete your request.

Diversify your texts beyond donation appeals.

Refrain from only sending your supporters donation appeals, as this can lead to burnout and frustration. Connect with donors throughout the year by updating supporters on your fundraising progress, recent projects, and other news related to your mission. You’ll also want to thank donors after they give and explain the impact of their contribution.

Determine the frequency of your text messages

Pay attention to unsubscribe rate, open rate, click-through rate, and donor conversion rate to understand donor behavior. These data points can inform the frequency with which you text donors, helping you optimize your text donation campaign strategy.

Avoid sending messages too often, as this can quickly overwhelm donors and cause them to abandon your text messaging campaign altogether. On the other hand, sending messages too infrequently can cause supporters to become disengaged. Experiment with different schedules and use your text messaging platform to generate real-time data reports for each message so you can modify your campaign as needed to promote more engagement.

Text donations are an easy way for your nonprofit to skyrocket its fundraising potential. To optimize your campaign, make sure you work with a leading text-to-donate provider so you can send off text messages with ease and encourage donors to give.

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Basics – Learn more nonprofit management essentials by exploring other expert resources.

Higher Education Texting: 8 Tips to Boost Alumni Fundraising – Explore these examples of alumni text donation appeals.

A Complete Guide to Nonprofit Text Messaging Campaigns – Compare nonprofit text messaging platforms and learn more about the benefits of text donations.