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How Text Messaging Has Revolutionized Giving

Most of our board placements love nothing better than joining a board where they can be a voice of change. Perhaps that voice in 2017 will be to help your nonprofit adopt text messaging as a new way of fundraising. For all the details on how to make this work for your nonprofit, read on below in this week’s guest blog post on text messaging.

How Text Messaging Has Revolutionized Giving

As mobile phone use continues to surge, texting is becoming an increasingly relevant tool for nonprofits. Mobile phone subscriptions worldwide were at 4.01 billion in 2013 and are expected to reach 5.07 billion by 2019. Nonprofits who have adopted texting campaigns find it to be an effective, low-cost marketing method that yields impressive results.

A recent study shows that, for every 1000 email subscribers, nonprofit organizations have 13 mobile subscribers. When you consider that texts have a 45 per cent response rate, it makes sense for nonprofits to invest in expanding their SMS database. And how about the fact that 17 per cent of donations are made via mobile devices? Mobile has simply become too big to ignore.

Useful Statistics That Show How Text-to-Give Works

These statistics from MobileCause show how texting can boost fundraising results through text-to-give campaigns:

  • The average opt-in retention rate for nonprofit organizations is 76 per cent – people are opting in and staying opted in, allowing you to grow your membership database list with each campaign push.
  • The average donation amount per text is $167.
  • The average mobile pledge fulfillment rate is 84 per cent, which is aided by SMS reminders. Text messages allow organizations to contact donors in real time, making texting an efficient tool in fundraising campaigns.
  • Donations are 100 per cent secure thanks to services such as PCI DSS Certification – donors don’t have to worry about their personal or banking information being shared and can give with confidence.
  • All attendees, participants and donors are thanked via text with a link to a personalized video; texting is a quick and easy way to thank donors for their contribution.

Use Demographics to Send Targeted Messages

Texting services also allow you to monitor the donation history of your donors and to send relevant messages based on their demographics and preferences. This is particularly relevant when you consider that 72 per cent of all charitable donations come from individuals, while only 15 per cent come from foundations.

The demographics of text donors put married female college graduates between 49 and 59 years old as the biggest group of donors (29 per cent of all donations). Gen X comes in second, at 26 per cent, and Millennials come in at 24 per cent. However, Gen Xers tend to donate with more frequency, with 50 per cent of them donating more than once a year, followed by 47 per cent of Baby Boomers who donate more than once a year.

The most popular charitable group with Baby Boomers is religious charities, while Gen X and Millennials prefer children and youth development. It may also be helpful to know that 64 per cent of charitable donations are made by women.

In order to capitalize on the time of the year when people are feeling most generous, you might consider timing your biggest campaign to coincide with the last three days of the year, when 12 per cent of charitable giving takes place.

Text-to-Give Case Studies

Homeless dog

SAWA-Australia is a nonprofit organization aimed at providing Afghanistan women with education and health services. They needed a low-cost solution for communicating with their members and had unsatisfactory results with email, so they decided to adopt a texting service. They noticed that their text messages were always read by their members and that they experienced increased attendance at fundraising functions as well as improved raffle ticket sales.

Cesvi Fondazione Onlus is a humanitarian organization that works with over 30 different countries. They adopted their SMS campaign in order to reach their 15,000 members quickly to respond to a crisis in Libya. They describe the benefits that SMS brings to their organization:

“For us at Cesvi, text messages are a very important communication channel given the high level of engagement, the opportunity for one-to-one interaction, and the fact they are read in real time. Indeed, this tool boasts excellent visibility, and allows direct interaction with our donors. Particularly when there’s an emergency, it’s crucial for us to let people know about our humanitarian work immediately, and inform them of how they can help by making a donation.”

The Humane Society uses text-to-give and social media campaigns together to raise funds for their causes. When Hurricane Sandy hit, they launched a successful text-to-give campaign and realized that social media is the perfect companion to texting. Texting allows organizations to reach donors quickly and donors can make donations quickly and easily through text messages. Social media allows them to maintain contact with the donors by sharing photos and videos.

Key points:

  • Mobile use is growing at rapid rates, so adopting a texting campaign is an inevitable step for nonprofits.
  • Members open texts at a rate of over 4 times more than they open emails.
  • A text marketing campaign can help you grow your organization’s membership database, especially if you advertise your SMS campaign in your newsletter and on your website, social media and other advertising platforms.
  • Segmented SMS lists based on donor demographics and donation history can yield a high ROI, making the most of your nonprofit’s marketing budget.
  • Text messaging and social media are perfect partners for charities. Text messaging allows organizations to reach members quickly and social media allows them to keep their members’ interest by sharing stories, photos and videos.
  • Text messaging can be used to coordinate volunteers and other staff members.
  • Text messaging is the most efficient way to notify participants if an event will be delayed or postponed.
  • Text messaging is a low-cost way of maintaining contact with donors by sending updates and links to websites and progress reports.
  • Text messaging is affordable compared to other marketing media such as phone calls, advertising agencies, and television and radio ads.
  • Text messaging is an easy way to thank donors for making a contribution to your organization.

Text messaging can help nonprofits meet their fundraising goals and raise awareness of the causes they support. Use these tips to create an effective SMS campaign for your organization!


The above guest post originally appeared on the TextMagic website.