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How to Gain And Keep New Donors with SMS

Did you know that over 52% of website visits today come from mobile devices? People are glued to their phones these days and that means it’s the best place to reach them. The stats on text messaging prove that SMS is the best place to communicate with donors and keep them engaged on what's happening.  Read on to find out how to build a subscriber list, launch a text-to-give campaign and keep new donors in the loop on what’s happening.

Things you'll need

  • A mass text messaging service.
  • A list of donors that have opted in to receive communications from you.

Build the Subscriber Base

Growing your text messaging list and spreading the word to new donors is the essential first step in getting started with your text to donate program. Note that you cannot send text messages to anyone unless they have opted in. If you’re a 501(c) organization and have a phone list, you’ll need to demonstrate that these people have provided some sort of consent to be sent text messages.

Additionally, you’ll want to grow your list with new people. There are several ways you can do this. Here are some of the most common...

  • Create an opt-in web form on your website where a visitor can enter their phone number to subscribe.
  • Create banners, ads, and share it via social media.
  • Provide a link to opt-in inside your email newsletter.
  • leverage TV and radio to promote your campaign.

Think about where your audience is spending most of their time, and use the information to reach them.


Launch a Text-to-Give Campaign

How it works:

  1. A donor sends a keyword to your organization's short code
  2. They receive a link, and can donate with their credit card from their mobile device.

Crafting a message to encourage people to donate

The message should clearly show how the donor can help a person, a family or an animal. It should contain:

  • need 
  • solution to satisfy the need (through donating)
  • value of the donation
  • catchy image to engage the donor



Keeping Your New Donors

Here's how to retain your donors with text messaging:

  • Don't overdo it. Send one fundraising message per month
  • Let the donors be a part of your organization. Use SMS to invite them to meetings, host events for them, and send them email newsletters.
  • Send a Thank You text each time a person has made a donation.


Page last edited Nov 26, 2018 History

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