6 Tips to Promote Your Nonprofit’s Text-to-Give Campaign
Nonprofits have been pushing especially hard to get their online fundraising strategies up to par over the last several years. Not only have the past several years forced everyone to interact more virtually, but technology also changes quickly, making it essential to stay up-to-date with online fundraising trends.
One way to encourage people to fundraise online for your organization is to launch a text-to-give fundraising campaign. In terms of marketing and engaging with consumers, clients and donors, all signs are pointing to texting. According to a recent study, the average American picks up their phone once every ten minutes. Imagine being at your donors’ fingertips at any given time of the day. As a nonprofit professional, a texting campaign could be your new best friend.
Text-to-give fundraising works like this: First your nonprofit registers for a text-to-give number and a short code. When supporters text that short code to the dedicated number, they’ll receive a link to your custom donation page, where they can put in their payment information and contribute a gift.
In this guide, you will learn more about promoting your online fundraising campaign with these six tips.
1. Create an easy-to-remember short-code.
Text-to-give is meant to be an easy mobile giving option for your supporters. Don’t complicate the process. The definition of a short-code is just that: SHORT!
If you can, keep your short-code relevant to your mission or campaign. For example, if you’re running a campaign to get one hundred people to donate one hundred dollars each, your short-code might be 100100. An animal shelter might use the code “cash4cats” for their text-to-give code. Your code should be catchy and very easy for donors to remember.
2. Feature your text-to-give number on your website.
Your website is not only a place to highlight information about your organization, but it can be a key hub for fundraising. Let’s say a supporter is on their computer researching your site and decides they want to give, but they left their wallet downstairs. If they have their phone on them, they can easily gain access to your donation page without interruptions like going to find their wallet.
Feature your text-to-give number on your website so that people can access your donation form as long as they have access to your website.
If your nonprofit uses separate sites for your various campaigns, make sure to feature your text-to-give number on each of these sites under your “ways to give page,” or even on a popup screen or announcement bar. If you’re hosting an event with an auction, you can even feature your text-to-give number on your silent auction website next to your bidding options, volunteer information, and sponsorship opportunities.
3. Announce your text-to-give number on social media.
Social media isn’t just a “best practice” for nonprofits anymore, it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy. Posting regularly to multiple social media platforms is sure to reach new and existing supporters.
Many of us hesitate to post to social media because we often don’t know what to say. Featuring your text-to-give number on social media helps with this problem. Now you have something to post! Try the following tactics to get the word out about text-to-give:
- Post your text-to-give information as an announcement.
- Include your text-to-give phone number and shortcode in your bio on all platforms.
- Consider working with social media influencers. People who care about your cause and who have an engaged audience can be a powerful force in advancing your mission.
Ask your supporters to donate via your text-to-give number, and also to share your social media post with their own followers. This will get the campaign in front of more people, encouraging more donations.
4. Announce your text-to-give number at events.
Imagine sitting at an event, impressed with all of the activities and entertainment options, then being asked to give back. You’d probably feel compelled to do so! Announcing your text-to-give campaign at key moments during your events is a perfect way to garner more donations and engagement.
Feature your text-to-give number on signage around the event, over announcements throughout, on screens near the stage, and on your event website. If you’re hosting a silent auction, ask your emcee to make announcements telling people that they can easily donate in addition to bidding on auction items. You can even have small signs around the auction, promoting your text-to-give campaign.
5. Feature your text-to-give number on direct mail and flyers.
Giving supporters a lengthy donation page URL to type into their browser is a sure-fire way to leave money on the table. Instead, when you send direct mail or create flyers, include a text-to-give number that will easily “unlock” all the information your supporters need, right on their phone.
Even if you’re using direct mail to promote your text-to-give campaign, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for optimizing your online giving form. Make sure your donation page is optimized for mobile and responsive to the size of the phone screen. Nonprofits Source explains that this simple strategy can double giving on mobile forms.
6. Offer several giving options for supporters.
When choosing a platform for your campaigns, look for software that provides more than just text-to-give options for your supporters. For example, some silent auction solutions also provide text-to-give, peer-to-peer, donation pages, and other ways to contribute.
Having multi-use functionality allows you to compare your text-to-give campaign results with other giving options to see what your supporters prefer. Your audience might prefer donating via a web page rather than receiving texts, or maybe they would like to crowd-fund your cause through a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Try software that will give you variety and that won’t lock you into just one option.
Having multiple options allows all of your supporters to give in the way that is most convenient and comfortable for them.
Texting is the future. All signs are pointing to significantly more engagement via texting than any other form of interaction with our audiences. You can use texting for a giving campaign as we have laid out in this article, but you can also use text messages as a marketing strategy to promote your other fundraising campaigns, send surveys, and even receive feedback or answer questions from your constituents. There is much possibility!
However, with any texting campaign, be sure to ask if supporters want to opt into text message updates. Then, save their numbers in your CRM and reach back out to them to promote other campaigns as well.
Use variety, consistency, and combine your marketing strategies when starting your text-to-give campaign, and you’re sure to see a smashing success. Find your favorite emoji and get to texting!
About the Author
Jeff Porter, Founder & CEO of Handbid, has spent 18 years in the nonprofit industry. In 2004 he founded the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of Colorado where he still resides as board chair. Jeff learned early on that nonprofits desperately needed better and more affordable fundraising solutions. Leveraging his software background, he built most of the tools his charities used, and in 2011 he launched Handbid at his own fundraising event. The goal was to improve the guest experience, reduce administration and increase revenue. Handbid accomplished all of those goals, effectively doubling revenue in its debut. Nine years later, Handbid’s suite of tools has delighted over a half-million guests, generated millions of bids, and helped thousands of charities raise well over $100 million.