6 Back to School Text to Give Ideas

Kevin D. Hendricks
Published on | 
July 10, 2024
6 Back to School Text to Give Ideas

As families prepare for back to school this fall, it’s an opportunity for educational institutions and nonprofit organizations to boost donations. Whether you’re a school or a supporting organization like a PTO, text to give campaigns can simplify the giving process.

Why text to donate: Almost every American has a mobile phone and we use them all the time. It makes text-to-give fundraising incredibly successful with a huge average donation amount (we’ve seen average gift amounts over $600!).

6 Text to Give Ideas for Back to School

We’ve got six ideas to use text to give donations in your back to school experience:

1. Make It Easy

Back to school can be insanely busy for families. OK, it’s busy for teachers, administrators, and staff too. But families have a lot to track and juggle with kids, schedules, sign ups, registration, and so much more. It’s dizzying. 

The easier you can make your fundraising pitch the better. 

What’s easier than ‘text DONATE to 24365’? Seriously, give it a try to see how it works. The text-to-give process allows you to quickly share a keyword with our easy-to-remember shortcode. Then you can send potential donors to your online donation form to complete their gift. You can use your existing site, fundraising platform, and donation process. Donor information goes into your CRM for easy follow up and recurring donations.

Text to donate campaigns work as an easy introduction to giving to your cause. And since it works from people’s cell phones, it’s super simple. Anything you can do to reduce barriers and boost donor engagement is going to lead to more donations.

2. Event Tools

The back to school season is full of events, right? So many events. With meet the teacher days, activity fairs, and sports registration—there’s always an event.

Text to give works great with in-person fundraising events:

  • Keyword workflows: Pitch your fundraising campaign from the stage with a simple keyword workflow. The Rock School for Dance Education made a simple curtain speech and raised $1,700 the first year and $5,000 the next year. It also works well for one-on-one conversations at information booths.
  • QR codes: When you can’t talk to everyone, QR codes do it for you. Plaster your donation QR code everywhere—hallways, bathrooms, handouts, stickers you slap on students’ shirts before they go home. (Seriously: That sticker on the shirt solution is super effective. Kids won’t remember to tell parents, and parents will likely forget to dig that handout out of the school bag. But a sticker on a shirt is hard to ignore!)

3. Use Photos

Kids are photogenic. Supporters love seeing pictures of kids learning. If you’re not using lots of photos in your marketing, you should be. 

A photo in a text to give pitch is a solid way to cement that connection with a new donor. Photos are worth a thousand words and they can also be worth some donations too. Check out the dimension and file size guidelines for MMS.

Photo permission and concerns: Yes, there are potential concerns with photos of children and getting permission. You should have photo releases and permission checkboxes and registration forms. Have an opt out process and make sure that’s shared with photographers and communications staff.  So use those photos in your text to give messaging. Parents and community members love seeing what’s happening at school, especially when it’s current and timely.

Tip: Every year those first day of school photos flood social media. And they get tons of likes and engagement. Lean into that. Share your own first day of school photos with your fundraiser pitch and encourage families to post the fundraising pitch with their first day of school photos.

4. Give Parents Homework

Usually it's the kids who get homework, but a fundraiser is the parents’ job. So give parents homework.

Refer to your fundraiser as homework for parents.

A clever theme can be a simple way to improve your fundraising efforts.That theme can help connect the campaign to your school and create a little social pressure to open up their wallets. After all, everyone wants to get their homework done.

Tip: Make your fundraising campaign specific. Don't just make a vague donation push. What is the money going toward? Technology improvements, field trips, updated playground? People like to give money to specific causes. Then you can tie that cause to your theme and make it more memorable.

5. Don’t Forget Alumni

Your fundraiser shouldn’t just target current students and their families. Don’t overlook the power of nostalgia for connecting with alumni. Back to school is a great time to tap into those positive memories and encourage people to support the ol’ alma mater.

You can use “historic” photos (they don’t have to be old school black and white images—even a few years is enough to tap into former students who have positive vibes for their old school), memories of specific events and school highlights, and ‘where are they now’ stories that highlight the accomplishments of your alumni.

This can lead to sharing on social media platforms and additional online giving.

6. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Getting your families to fundraise for you can be a big win. How do you say no to pleading children? But seriously, many schools mobilize students (and their families) to do the heavy lifting of a fundraiser. 

Though the days of kids going door to door are gone, families can often share with their friends, neighbors, and extended family. Often a quick Facebook post or conversation with a friend will yield results. 

They can share a text-to-donate pitch to keep it simple, and you can use texting to follow up and encourage families to fundraise. Sometimes all they need is a reminder and a simple pitch they can easily share. A simple pitch like this could work for your school, just swap out the specific name of your organization, your fundraiser, and keyword:

Example text message to encourage families to share.

More Mobile Giving Strategies

Need more help with text messaging and text to donate campaigns? We’ve got plenty of resources to help you meet your fundraising goals:

Ready for Text Donations With Rally?

At Rally, our mission is to mobilize people. That starts by making connections as frictionless as possible for a better giving experience. That’s what you get with a solid text-to-give fundraising strategy. From there it’s about cultivating your contact list. You can’t just fire off random text messages to strangers. That’s why Rally focuses on data and strategy to help you build relationships and get results.

  • Text-to-give platform: Mobile fundraising is easy with our fundraising tools. People can text a custom keyword to a short code and get a quick link to your donation form. It uses your existing donation platform, so it’s streamlined and user-friendly. They can use a credit card right on their mobile device through your online donation page.
  • Giving tools: We offer integration with multiple fundraising platforms and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, plus other integrations, and fundraising tools including ringless voicemail, a fundraising thermometer, and Rally Insights to supercharge your donor data.
  • Solid support: Our functionality is simple and easy to use, but if you ever need help we’re here. We’ve got FAQs, pre-written text message templates, webinars, office hours, and more. Plus, we’re happy to take a real-time voice call. Just check out our case studies and see how our nonprofit customers rave about our customer service.

Book a demo today and let’s talk about your text to give campaign and how we can help you get results.

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