You wouldn’t be surprised to learn more and more nonprofit organizations are using text messages as part of their communications strategy, would you?
According to TechJury, 60 percent of people read texts within 1 to 5 minutes of receiving them. And 66 percent of Americans check their phones 160 times per day on average!
Effective fundraising is all about reaching donors with the right message, in the right way, at the right time. And you already know surround sound campaigns are the most effective way to do it.
So, consider using these text messages in your outreach strategy to take the next step if you’re already using print and digital communications to rise above the noise!
Texts to raise money.
There’s a lot to cover when it comes to text-based donations. But the good news is, getting started may be easier than you think! Especially if you partner with a platform like Qgiv to handle the technical aspects for you.
You have two approaches to choose from when it comes to text-based donations, bill-to-carrier or text-to-donate.
The first method processes donations through the Mobile Giving Foundation. A donor texts a keyword and their desired gift amount to a specified number. And then the gift value is added directly to their phone bill.
The second approach, text-to-donate, asks supporters to enter a keyword instead. Donors then receive a message with a link to a mobile-friendly giving page after they text that keyword to the provided number.
We recommend checking out this eBook we put together with our friends at Qgiv for a more in-depth explanation of text-based giving strategies.
FREE eBook: Mobile Fundraising – Small screens, big impact!
Texts that build on existing campaigns.
You’re already using emails, direct mail, phone calls, and your website to engage with donors, right?
Well, if not, you should be! And you may want to look into these areas before you add text messages to your strategy if you haven’t already.
But text messages can be a great additional soft touch for your existing campaigns!
And you don’t need to overthink it. Building on your existing campaigns can be as simple as sending a heads-up text message so supporters know your year-end appeal is on the way. Or to remind them to check their inbox so they don’t miss an important email.
You don’t need to cram a ton of information into a text to engage donors. Simply use this tool as a reminder to point them in the right direction.
Texts that enhance events.
There are many ways to use text messages to augment your nonprofit’s event outreach. You can start simple by taking the advice in the last section and applying it to your event communications.
For example, follow up your “last chance to register email” with a text message letting donors know they should visit your website to register before it’s too late. You can include a link to the registration page as long as it is mobile optimized. (It should be!)
Someone could miss a single email in a crowded inbox. But that person will likely check their texts in a more timely fashion. So, it’s a great way to give potential attendees a heads up so they don’t miss out!
You can also incorporate text-based giving at your event itself. Consider using one of the text-based giving strategies we covered in the last section to hold a silent auction at your next event.
Watching a room full of people pull out their phones to donate at the same time is a sight to see. And none of your attendees will want to feel left out!
Texts that build relationships.
You know that donor stewardship is an ongoing process. And if you’re like us, you’re always trying to think of new, out-of-the-box ways to reach out to donors and keep them engaged.
Use your data and send donors a quick text on their birthday to let them know you’re thinking about them. Or send a text message to thank a long-term supporter on the anniversary of their first gift.
Text messages are also a great way to share timely news and updates with your donors. You can plan to send texts whenever a campaign reaches a certain milestone or fundraising goal. Your donors will appreciate a quick heads up to let them know they made a difference.
Try sending a text message if a donor is at risk of lapsing and isn’t engaging with your emails. A quick text to let them know you’re thinking about them, and to make sure your emails aren’t landing in their spam folder, can help boost your retention rate significantly.
Make sure it’s mobile friendly.
There’s one important caveat when it comes to sending text messages to your donors – mobile optimization must come first!
You can’t build a campaign that uses texts and includes links to your online donation page if your website doesn’t work well on a smartphone! You will end up frustrating your donors and doing more harm than good.
It’s more likely supporters will find another organization with similar goals that makes it easy to engage rather than boot up their computer and restart the process from step one.
You can use text messages to go surround sound and reach donors with the right message in the right way. Just be sure you have a strong foundation in place first!