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Pros and Cons for Text-to-Donate Fundraising

Find out some pros and cons of incorporating text donations for nonprofits into your fundraising strategy.

Concept: mobile donation
May 31, 2023
Chloe Mulliner
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Reading time about 5 min

If you belong to an organization or nonprofit that fundraises, you’re likely always searching for new ways to drive donations, from hosting car washes to arranging charity runs. But if you haven’t incorporated text-to-donate campaigns into your fundraising strategy, you might miss significant opportunities to increase your funding. So today, we’ll give you the 360 on how to start a fundraiser and incorporate SMS text marketing to win big.

What is text-to-donate? Is it the same as text to give? Curious how to use EZ Texting for fundraising? And what are some text to donate pros and cons? Follow our guide below to find out more.

Before diving into our pros and cons lists, let’s discuss the difference between text-to-give and text-to-donate. You might hear the terms text-to-give and text-to-donate used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between the two.

Text-to-give refers to a carrier-based method of donating, in which the donor texts a shortcode with the amount of money they’d like to donate. The donor’s phone carrier then adds that amount to their next bill. Typically, donors can donate in increments of $5, such as $5, $10, $15, and so on.

Text-to-donate differs because when the donor texts a shortcode, they receive a link to the organization’s donation form. They can then fill out the form, make a custom donation amount, and pay with their preferred payment method rather than through their cell phone provider.

While some organizations prefer text-to-give fundraising options, we will focus on the text-to-donate method for our pros and cons list.

Pros and Cons of Text-to-Donate Fundraising

Text message donations for nonprofits offer a viable way of raising money, but there are some pros and cons associated with them. Check out our text-to-donate pros and cons to better understand this fundraising method.


Pro: Text Donations are Convenient

Perhaps the biggest appeal of text message donations is that they’re quick, easy, and convenient for both the organization and the donor.

From the organization’s perspective, you must set up a text-to-donate campaign using your SMS texting platform. It’s simple to draft your message and set up automatic responses when donors text your short code.

And it’s equally easy for the donor. If a donor feels inspired to donate, they simply text your short code and follow the instructions on your form. There’s no need to call your organization or navigate to your organization’s web page because all the information they need is right at their fingertips in their text messages. Within just a few minutes, they can complete their donation!


Pro: Donation Messages Can Reach a Wide Audience

Another pro is that the text-to-donate method is accessible to everyone with a smartphone. And according to recent data, that’s roughly 85% of the American population. As long as your messaging is in a prominent location that will capture your audience’s attention, you will surely reach a large pool of potential donors.

Sample Text Message

To get more eyes on your content, place your message on your social media posts, marketing ads, billboards, newsletters, and flyers. Pretty much any content associated with your nonprofit should have instructions on how donors can text donations. For example, “Want to support the SD Wildlife Corp? Text DONATE to 858585 today!”

Pro: Small Donors Can Make a Big Difference

Since anyone with a mobile phone can donate to your cause within a few minutes, you can rack up many donations. Even if they’re small amounts, every little bit counts. If you get five people to make $10 donations to your cause, that’s just as good as getting one person to make a larger $50 donation. Now, imagine if you can get five or ten people interested in donating via text to your cause daily!


Con: Donations Tend to Be Smaller Amounts

As mentioned, text donations for nonprofits aren’t always vast sums of money, but that’s ok. Because your organization is reaching a wider audience, it can stand to receive smaller donations if you’re receiving a higher volume of donations overall.

Though some donors may be inclined to make smaller donations over text, there are other ways to encourage them to increase their donations. For example, in the donation form, you can allow them to sign up for recurring payments. This means they can agree to automatic payments that pull a set amount from their bank account on a cycle.


Con: Initial Communication Lacks Personalization

Usually, when donors text the shortcode to initiate a donation, they’ll receive an automated message navigating them to your donation page. Because of this, there’s not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to personalizing the communication.

After sending the donor the donation page, you could follow up with a request to opt-in to your organization’s text program. If they agree, you can send them personalized SMS messages pertaining to your nonprofit and its mission.

Sample Text Message

For instance, you could personalize your future SMS message with the donor’s name, such as, “(Sally’s Project) Mark, thank you for your generous donation! We appreciate you supporting our cause.”

Or, you could customize a message regarding an event in their area: “(Sally’s Project) Mark, Sally’s Project is hosting a 5K charity run in Chicago on May 31. You’re invited! To register, follow this link.”

Con: Initial Communication Doesn’t Allow for Storytelling

A big part of fundraising involves sharing the story of your organization and what it’s doing to better the world. Without that messaging, it can sometimes be tricky getting donors to open their wallets in support of your cause.

However, just as you can personalize your SMS messages once your donor opts into your text program, you can also send them additional information about your nonprofit.

For example, you could share a link to a blog post with background information on your cause or send a page with personal stories from those who have benefited from donations. The more you can share about your organization, the more likely people will contribute.


Learn How to Set up Your Text-to-Donation Campaign

If you want to enhance your fundraising initiatives, turn to EZ Texting. With our text messaging platform, creating text-to-donate campaigns for your organization is easy and convenient. See for yourself! Start a 14-day FREE trial today.

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