[GUEST POST] 5 Awesome Secrets to Boost Your Text-to-Give Fundraising
Text-to-give is an incredibly forward-thinking fundraising idea. Because the majority of the country owns smart phones, text-to-give is effective for almost everyone, from your average donors, to your younger audiences, to your tech-savvy supporters, and more. For example, it is a perfect fundraising idea for schools because of “those dang kids and their technology.”
There are so many fundraising ideas out there that it can be difficult to choose which ones are best for your organization. Overall, you want to find a fundraising idea that appeals to the three E’s: one that is easy, engaging, and last (but not least) effective. These three E’s are one reason that text-to-give is a fundraising strategy that is getting more and more popular.
If you are looking to launch your own text-to-give campaign, there are a few tips and tricks to remember to boost your fundraiser from good to extraordinary. These strategies include:
- Choose the right text-to-give platform.
- Encourage recurring gifts.
- Spread the word.
- Use text-to-give during events.
- Prioritize security.
Are you ready to maximize your text-to-give efforts? Let’s dive into our first strategy!
1. Choose the right text-to-give platform.
Not all text-to-give platforms are created equal, at least not for your organization. Every nonprofit finds that they have different text-to-give needs and could benefit from using a platform suited for their cause.
The other element to think about is how the technology works in tandem with who your audience is. Text-to-give technology can have a few different ways of working:
- The donor sends a text containing the donation amount to a number and is linked to a prompted email. The donor can then send in the donation by clicking “send” on the email.
- The donor sends a keyword text to a specified number and is sent a link leading to the donation page to complete a gift.
- The donor texts a keyword to a number and is prompted to enter your donation amount; a charge of that amount is then added to their cell phone bill at the end of the month.
Customizing your email or donation page is an easy way to make sure these donations make it all the way through.
If you choose a platform that prompts the donor with an email to donate, prepare a typed email template for the donor. This will make it as easy as possible for them to hit “send.”
Meanwhile, if you choose a platform provider that links your donor to a donation page, be sure your page is mobile-optimized so that it is easy for donors to find and fill out the information as needed.
While you are customizing your page or email, don’t forget to include a short version of your nonprofit’s mission statement to remind your donor of your cause.
2. Encourage recurring gifts.
Your goal for any fundraising strategy is to encourage donations, but also to keep donors involved with your cause for as long as possible. It is helpful when supporters give a single donation, but immensely more helpful if they continue to donate in the future.
Making it easy for people to set up recurring donations will help you improve your donor retention rate. Recurring gifts are especially effective because they are:
- Easy for donors. Instead of entering their credit card every time the donor wants to make a donation, recurring gifts make it easy to donate without ever pulling out their wallet more than once.
- Prompted at the height of engagement. When someone is donating to your organization, they are showing more engagement in your organization than ever before. This increases likelihood of signing up for recurring donations.
- Expanding your donor pool. People feel good when they give large donations, but not everyone can give large donations when prompted, so many decide not to give at all. Recurring donations appeal to those who will feel rewarded donating small to medium donations over a longer period of time.
Prompt for donations at the last point of contact before the donor sends their generous gift. This means you should prompt recurring donations on the email or donation page that is sent to your donor after they send the text.
Offer recurring donation options in the form of a button on this last point of contact so that your donor can choose to donate each week, month, year, or however often they prefer.
To learn more about these platforms and how to incorporate these buttons, check out Snowball’s guide to online donation platforms.
3. Spread the word.
Marketing your text-to-give technology is a key factor in the success of your fundraising campaign. Too many nonprofits sign up for the technology, then never spread the word far enough.
On your website, post the phone number a donor should text in order to send donations through text-to-give. Most people are rarely farther than an arm’s length from their cell phones, so even if some donors see this number from their computer screen, they are still likely to take out their phone to send a donation.
Feature your text-to-give number in multiple digital locations to make it easy to find and, ultimately, donate. Some places you might choose to feature this number are:
- Your website. Make sure you are regularly updating your website and include your text-to-give number along with your regular donation page.
- Social media. Post your text-to-give number on various social media platforms. Try emphasizing this fundraising channel during key giving times like #GivingTuesday.
- Tell people about this mobile giving opportunity through your email newsletters and regular donor outreach.
By ensuring your text-to-give number is shared with the widest group of people possible, your nonprofit will boost the chances of supporters deciding to make a mobile donation.
4. Use text-to-give during events.
In-person events haven’t gone out of style yet, and they’re not likely to any time soon! Combine your text-to-give technology with your in-person events to boost the impact of both strategies on your fundraising progress.
Picture this: You’re hosting a 5K race for your nonprofit organization. Supporters are out running the race, and excited spectators cheer them on from the sidelines. Suddenly, over the loudspeakers, the spectators hear a voice saying, “Text XXXXX to support your runners in their efforts to save the seals!” A slew of people pull out their phones to make a quick donation.
All those spectators just heavily boosted your donations and many more seals were saved!
Of course saving the seals is just an example, but text-to-give can be combined with other causes and events in the same way. It works in perfect combination with your registration fees on your event planning software to collect money for your cause.
Try combining text-to-give technology with your next:
- 5K race
- Battle of the bands
- Arts festival
- Chili cookoff
- Silent auction
Using text-to-give technology, you can drastically increase the impact of your other fundraising events, or even make a little money during your stewardship events.
5. Prioritize security.
Security of your donor’s information should always be your number one priority regarding text-to-give technology.
The ultimate nightmare situation would be a security breach in your system, releasing your donors’ information to outside sources.
Take the proper precautions to ensure this scenario won’t happen to you! For example, Snowball’s text-to-give technology has a two-step authentication process, making it easy for donors to give. It is also secured by Swoop, protective password technology, to keep all your donors’ information safe.
In order to make sure your organization’s personal information is secure:
- Use software with encrypted data.
- Encourage long, impersonal passwords.
- Ensure security doesn’t slow the giving process.
In many cases, the more security measures you add to your giving process the more difficult it becomes for donors to make a donation. Your goal should be to find a provider that makes it easy to donate without sacrificing security.
Read through the security protocols on whatever text-to-give software you consider to ensure it meets all the necessary requirements.
For more information about online safety and password security, read through Swoop’s password security guide.
Now that you have the inside scoop on text-to-give technology, you’re ready to incorporate it into your next campaign. These 5 tips won’t lead you astray. Get out there and get fundraising!
by John Killoran, CEO, Snowball.
John Killoran is CEO of Snowball, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to donate in two clicks from text, email, web and social media sites. John pioneered SMTP payments and has been a major innovator in the mobile payments space for the past 5 years. When he is not running a company, he is cooking food for his family and telling his dogs to stop barking.