How to Create Compelling Text Donation Appeals: 3 Tips

July 26, 2023 0 Comments

To connect with your audience and motivate them to give through text-to-give, your nonprofit needs to go beyond sending your supporters a “Please Donate!” message. Rather, you’ll need to craft emotionally compelling text donation appeals that pull at your supporters’ heartstrings and spring them into action.

An emotionally compelling text donation appeal can help your organization engage with supporters, build stronger donor relationships, and motivate giving on a recurring basis. Whether you’re running a year-end text fundraiser or collecting text donations in advance of your fundraising gala, you need the right messaging and tone to inspire giving.

Explore these best practices to refine your text-to-donate appeals and ensure your messaging truly resonates with your audience:

  1. Use storytelling
  2. Include high impact visuals
  3. End with a strong call to action

You can easily take your fundraising strategy to the next level with well-crafted text donation appeals; you just need to have the basics down. Let’s begin.

Use Storytelling

With all the competing modes of communication from other brands that want your supporters’ attention, what makes your nonprofit’s communications stand out? To differentiate yourself and tie your donation appeals back to your cause, you need to leverage storytelling.

Whether you want supporters to volunteer at an event, sign a petition, or send in a donation, storytelling is a powerful tool that nonprofit organizations can use to connect with their constituents and inspire them to take action. When creating your text-to-give appeals, be sure to place your donors as the heroes in your nonprofit’s unfinished story.

For example, if your organization focuses on environmental conservation, you could describe the plight of a rapidly dwindling sea turtle population and emphasize the role that supporters can play in restoring their natural habitat. You might send the following text: “With a donation of just $10 today, you can help us remove pollution from the ocean and save sea turtles.”

Or, let’s say you’re an education-focused nonprofit that seeks to serve children in underrepresented communities. Be sure to highlight how donor contributions can give school supplies, textbooks, or even school meals to children in need.

To make your story more relatable and personalized, use these tips:

  • Highlight real people and personal anecdotes that illustrate the impact of donations.
  • Use donor-centric language, such as saying “you,” to motivate supporters.
  • Keep your story succinct.

Because text messages need to get to the point quickly, consider creating a blog post or page on your website that provides the entire story. Then, include a mobile-friendly link to this resource at the end of your text message so donors can read more if they would like. This is also a great way to encourage donors to explore your website and find out more ways they can get involved.

Include High-Impact Visuals

With all digital marketing strategies, nonprofit marketers can relate to the feeling of finding that perfect visual that sums up everything they want to say in one perfectly crafted graphic.

Visual content is engaging and effective at building relationships, increasing brand awareness, and spurring your audience base to action. Plus, your storytelling becomes more illuminating once it’s paired with a powerful visual, such as a picture of a beneficiary or video testimonial from a loyal supporter.

For example, a healthcare nonprofit could include a photo of a young patient who needs funds to cover their surgery. Then, they can tell an authentic story (with the permission of the beneficiary and family) like: “8-year-old Bree needs life saving surgery to remove the tumor in her stomach. Will you donate $25 to help Bree get the care she needs so she can grow up just like you did?” 

Stories paired with emotional photos can drive even more impact and bring donors to give as soon as they open your message.

When incorporating visuals into your text donation appeals, use these tips:

  • Make certain that all images or videos align with your brand.
  • Use visuals that connect with donors on an emotional level.
  • Vary your messages with different types of visuals to keep engagement levels high, from photos and infographics to videos.

To make sure you can send off these visuals without experiencing any technical issues, you need to partner with a comprehensive text messaging platform. Tatango’s guide to nonprofit text messaging recommends looking for software that allows you to seamlessly integrate visuals, such as pictures, videos, gifs, emojis, and other engaging images, into your text messages. This way, your recipients will receive the high-quality visuals that you intended.

End with a Strong Call-to-Action

Savvy nonprofit marketers know that a strong call-to-action is crucial for driving supporter action and generating donations. Each text message should have a clear and concise call-to-action that directs supporters to their next step. Whether you want your constituents to donate to a specific campaign or sign up for a monthly giving program, make your call-to-action explicit and compelling.

This means your call-to-action should have the following elements:

  • Urgent language. Give a clear deadline and make donors want to act as soon as they read their message. For instance, you might say “Donate by midnight to get your donation matched!”
  • Straightforward. Don’t combine too many asks into one. Stick to a single action your supporters can take to avoid overwhelming them.
  • Mobile-friendly links. Adding a link to your donation page makes it easy for supporters to take the intended next step.

When supporters follow through on your request, don’t forget to express your gratitude with a thank-you message! According to eCardWidget’s guide to thanking donors, you should include a personalized greeting, reference donors’ specific donation amount, and explain how it made an impact.

Compelling text donations have helped organizations of all shapes and sizes meet their goals, from church text fundraisers to nonprofits running text-to-give campaigns like yours. Remember to keep your audience in mind and develop text messages that target their interest in your nonprofit’s cause. Creating layered, emotionally engaging messages will resonate with your supporters and inspire them to become active participants in your cause, allowing you to accelerate your fundraising efforts.