The days of text messages only being used to communicate with family and friends are long gone. Text fundraising has skyrocketed in popularity as nonprofit text message audiences grew by 26% in 2019 — while Facebook audiences grew by only 4%, and email lists declined.
What’s more, text marketing click-through rates were 4.2% for fundraising messages and 9.8% for advocacy texts, which are both higher than similar email metrics.
To say the least, there’s a big opportunity to raise more funds for your nonprofit with text fundraising. Check out these five keys to success to learn how you can get started!
#1: Create a recognizable text keyword
Keywords are, well, the key to receiving donations! Your text keyword is what your potential donors will need to type out to receive a text link to your donation form.
You’ll want it to be something that’s easy for your donors to remember, and something that’s easy for you to market. Keep in mind: if you created your keyword before lunch and can’t remember it after … your donors won’t be able to remember it either.
Check out some examples of texting keywords below:
An overly complicated or hard-to-spell keyword can make for a frustrating donor experience. If your keyword is a shortened version of your organization name, corresponds with an annual event, or uses the title of a recent fundraising campaign, you’ve successfully made a keyword that’s memorable, which means your keyword is more likely to be used!
#2: Have a clear call to action
You’ll need to take a different approach when crafting text messaging copy. After all, no one is going to get to your CTA if your text is as long as a fundraising email (or a letter)!
Keeping your text message clear and concise is key to getting readers to follow through with a donation. You’ll want to limit texts to between two and four sentences, and make sure your text compels readers to click on the link to your donation page at the end.
If you need some more help crafting your outbound messaging, you can download QGiv's free Nonprofit Text Message Templates.
#3: Make your donation form mobile-friendly
The goal of text fundraising is to receive donations. If your text piques someone’s interest, then they’ll follow the link to visit your website. What’s more, they’ll likely be visiting via their mobile phone.
After all, 51% of people who visit a nonprofit’s website do so on a mobile device, and it’s not hard to imagine how high that number goes for those who respond to text fundraising.
Nonprofits Source’s research shows that nonprofits can increase donations made on their online forms by 126% if they optimize their donation forms for mobile.
Donations made online are like online purchases. Donors go to your website, conduct research, and complete a transaction if they like what they see. Most people (55%) want to be able to make that donation via credit or debit card, so don’t make them pull up their bank routing and account numbers to donate.
Make sure your mobile donation form is consistent with the experience your donors expect! If the online shopping experience is bad on a mobile device, many consumers will find a site that works better. Your donors will do the same thing if their donor experience doesn’t translate to their mobile device.
#4: Use multi-channel marketing
Multi-channel marketing can help make your text fundraising campaign more successful. By posting about your campaign and its keyword on social media, your website, and including it in emails, you’re increasing awareness of your campaign. You can even do this with planned print materials, and it will ultimately result in more donations.
Posting regular updates about your text fundraising campaign is a great way to showcase the impact donations have had—or will have if you’re at the beginning of a fundraising campaign. It’s also the perfect place to publicly thank your donors.
Similarly, you can also post updates on your organization’s website. In fact, consider adding a video to your home page that not only thanks donors, but also explains just how their donations are helping. You can also feature a call to action that features your text keyword throughout your website, including as a call to action on campaign updates.
It’s easy to incorporate these same ideas into email as well, and such a well-thought-out multi-channel approach will only increase your chances of success.
#5: Make your text fundraising do more
It’s called “text fundraising,” “text-to-donate,” or “text-to-give,” and too often, those phrases cause us to limit the potential of texting as a tool for nonprofit advocacy.
Organizations can make their texting tools do so much more, whether that means making sure donors feel appreciated, or letting them know how else they can help your organization.
For example, if you need volunteers for an upcoming event, create a text list to reach out to previous volunteers to stir up interest (making sure recipients have opted in, of course!). And if you need people to reach out to elected officials to ask for more support for your cause, set up an easy online advocacy campaign, and use your text tools to get it done.
Text fundraising is all about donor relationship building, so give your donors more ways to help other than through their wallet. Doing more will make donors feel more connected to your organization, which will make them more likely to give in the future.
With multi-channel marketing, a mobile-friendly donation page, simple keywords, and clear CTAs, your text fundraising campaign will be a success… Outbound texts can be used to raise funds in conjunction with a big event (virtual or in-person), build on an annual fundraising campaign, and provide supporters with more ways to get involved. The possibilities are endless!
About the Author
Melaina Chromy is the Social Media and PR Manager at Qgiv.