Text-to-Give Fundraising Isn’t Just for Disaster Relief Anymore

When cell phones became mainstream (and even more so with the rise of smartphones), text-to-give fundraising jumped onto the scene. 

Many nonprofit organizations who were trying to do good (and do it quickly) utilized text message fundraising to get in touch with their supporters. 

And pretty soon, we saw it become all the rage for nonprofits who worked specifically with emergencies, disasters, and crisis relief. 

But nowadays, text-to-give fundraising isn’t just for disaster relief anymore. And according to some of the latest nonprofit statistics, text-to-donate campaigns are an effective way of reaching supporters and increasing funds. 




What is Text-to-Give Fundraising for Nonprofits? 

Text-to-give fundraising is exactly what it sounds like. Your nonprofit organization sets up an account with a text message fundraising platform. 

Your organization is given an official phone number to use. And from there, you can plug in your donors’ information from your donor database. 

When you text your supporters, you ask them to give by using a phrase known as a “shortcode.” 

For example, a text from your organization might look like: 


“Text ‘GIVE’ to [your number] to contribute $10 toward feeding a child today.” 


The ‘GIVE’ is your shortcode. And normally, these shortcodes can be customized based on what your nonprofit prefers. 

Ultimately, text-to-give fundraising is a quick, personal way of reaching out to supporters, regardless of the campaign you’re running. 


Text-to-Give Fundraising Statistics

But does text message fundraising work? Surveys from Nonprofits Source say that it does!

Here’s more information on text-to-give fundraising statistics from Nonprofits Source surveys


  • 1 in 4 donors use mobile devices to discover nonprofits they didn’t know of before.
  • 90% of text message reminders are read within 3 minutes of receiving it. 
  • The average donation size for text-to-give fundraising is $107.
  • It takes the average user 90 seconds to reply to a text message versus 90 minutes to reply to an email.  


3 Text Message Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits: 

So, if text-to-donate fundraising isn’t just for disaster relief campaigns anymore, what can you use it for? 

Rather than think of it as a platform only for those who respond to emergencies and crises, think of text message fundraising as another tool to add to your fundraising tool belt. 

Then, try out these 3 text message fundraising ideas for your organization: 


1. For Upcoming Nonprofit Events or Auctions

Gearing up for a nonprofit event or auction? That’s the perfect time to start using text message fundraising. 

Plenty of fundraising platforms offer text-to-donate options for guests attending nonprofit events. 

Rather than fill out paper pledge cards, you can request donors send a simple text message using the shortcode to make their contribution. And since it’s so easy to do, you’re sure to see a successful night using this text message fundraising idea! 


2. General Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns

Who says you can’t use text-to-give fundraising during your normal campaigns? Text message fundraising acts the same way online donation pages, email fundraising campaigns, and even social media ad campaigns do. 

While some donors may love that you send out emails to their inbox with a link to an online donation page, others may want a simple text. 

It’s quick and easy. Plus, they’re more likely to check their phone regularly versus their inbox. 


3. Specific Giving Days

If you do want a special occasion to use text message fundraising, then consider specific giving days. Think #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to reach out to your supporters for text-to-donate. 

Plus text message fundraising is speedy. Which means you’ll reach more people within the 24 hours of specific giving days. 


4 Text-to-Give Fundraising Best Practices:

Like other forms of fundraising, text-to-donate does come with “best practices.” We’re giving you our top 4 best practices and tips to help you see success with this fundraising strategy! 


1. Be Specific About What Funds Will Be Used For

This best practice goes back to our tips for copywriting for nonprofits. When you’re as specific as possible, people understand your intention more. 

And that allows them to justify spending their money. 

So, as you craft your text messages, be sure to get specific on what the funds will be used for. Are you feeding families in need? Providing clothing for children? Providing veterinary care for animals who need adopting? 

Let them know so they can clearly imagine (and understand!) how they’re helping.


2. Don’t Bombard People with Text Messages

Texting is an intimate form of communication. Think about it. Cell phones stay right in someone’s pocket or purse. 

And if anyone needs them, they can quickly send out a text. The person hears the “ping!” and immediately answers. 

But if you’re constantly sending out text messages, you run the risk of being the person who’s always tapping someone on the shoulder and begging for attention. 

Find the balance between texting too much and not often enough. This may look different for every nonprofit, so it may take some trial and error! 


3. Always Follow Up with Gratitude

Just like any other form of donation, you should always follow up with a thank you message. Otherwise, you may alienate your donors. They might end up feeling like they’re just another dollar sign instead of a human being. 

You can program your text-to-give platform to automatically send a “thank you” text once their payment is processed. 

And you can customize that text so it feels more personal to your organization and less robotic! 


4. Track Analytics to Make Sure It Works for Your Nonprofit

Depending on your donors, certain forms of fundraising may work better than others. And while the benefits and the statistics of text-to-donate fundraising show that it’s worth it? 

Your donors may say otherwise. 

Or you could find that text message fundraising works wonders for your nonprofit organization! 

There’s no way of truly knowing the impact this type of fundraising campaign will have unless you track it. Use your text-to-donate platform to track analytics! 

Gone are the days when text-to-give donations were reserved for disaster relief campaigns. Now, you can implement this tool into just about any donation campaign! 

And if you’re on the hunt for the best text-to-give platform, then be sure to check out this article at Nonprofit Library!

Topics: how to fundraise, best fundraising, fundraise