How to Use Texting to Drive Year-End Fundraising for Your Nonprofit

James Martin
How to Use Texting to Drive Year-End Fundraising for Your Nonprofit

Are you looking for a way to supercharge your year-end fundraising campaign?

With mobile giving on the rise, now is the time to start using text-to-donate and SMS/MMS technology in your nonprofit's end of the year fundraising efforts. Not only will this help you reach more people who are increasingly turning away from email, but it will also give your donor base an easy way to show their love for many years to come.

Most importantly, mobile giving is one of the easiest ways to generate year-end donations by reducing the friction to give now while making future communication with your supporters possible. When done right, mobile giving goes far beyond just the first contribution or gift. It's no wonder so many nonprofits have started using texting in their year-end giving strategies to drive ongoing conversation and action.

Keep reading to learn all you need from start to finish to implement mobile giving into your mobile fundraising strategy for your end-of-year campaigns.

Should I Be Texting Donors?

The Ultimate Text Messaging Checklist for Nonprofits download

Text donations can be highly successful at driving online giving for nonprofit organizations. For example, some nonprofits have reported seeing up to 30% more conversations generated from texting campaigns.

Almost everyone has a mobile phone, so this is a great way to reach potential donors where they are, and on the device they prefer. By texting donors, you'll be reaching people who are comfortable with mobile technology and likely to support your cause today and take your phone call tomorrow.

Building long-term relationships with donors require trust and ongoing conversation:

  • Going far beyond just one-time donations to share how your organization makes a difference.
  • Telling your story and inviting supporters to take further action is critical for sustaining long-term impact.

With over 90% read rates, and a 300% increase in engagement, mobile significantly increases your chances of getting back in front of your donors again in the future.

That's why text-to-donate makes year-end donation campaigns even more successful. With text donations, mobile donors can quickly make their gift by sending a quick SMS message with their donation amount—and you can put future mobile communications in motion. Simply thank them or follow up with a text, voicemail drop, or call and reinforce your story and gratitude. Then build on this over time for better donor retention.

What Makes Mobile Giving So Effective?

Many donors probably don't realize that charities want to reduce the friction to give and stay connected to their cause. Mobile donations using mobile-giving technology like Rally Corp is a great way to do this.

You can include the ask at the end of a video, during a live webinar, or by having a simple call-to-action on images and videos posted on social media. With mobile-giving technology, mobile donors can quickly and easily give to your cause. When you use mobile giving in your mobile fundraising campaigns, mobile donors can text in their mobile donations whenever it's most convenient for them.

With the average donation size of $135 in 2020 and over 52% of online traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile giving has come a long way in the last year.

You can also use mobile to engage a new audience. For example, since mobile users are on the rise, it can be an excellent way for your nonprofit to reach younger demographics who prefer smartphones over email marketing or other communication methods.

Your year-end fundraising appeals could be the perfect opportunity to introduce this new initiative.

How Can Texting Drive Year-End Fundraising?

Have you ever thought about how mobile platforms make it simple for supporters to give to your nonprofit?

First of all, mobile fundraising gives supporters a way to give quickly and easily without leaving their mobile devices. Texting gives your supporters an easy option that they can use from anywhere at any time.

And that's not all—mobile messaging is quick, convenient, and simple to use. So when people scroll through their mobile phones or are on the go, they prefer mobile messaging over mobile email.

This is especially true for new donors. They expect mobile communication to be direct and efficient.

You can have a successful year-end campaign when you target potential donors with a timely message that taps into a sense of urgency and enables simple, last-minute donations.

How Do I Build an End of Year Mobile Fundraising Campaign?

Now that you know mobile giving should be part of mobile fundraising, it's time to get started.

Here are 9 tips to help you drive mobile fundraising for your year-end fundraising campaign:

1.  Create a Mobile Fundraising Texting Strategy

You must create an effective mobile fundraising texting strategy for your nonprofit before you send any mobile messages.

This shouldn't be a one-off thing that you try now and then. It should be intentional and ingrained within your larger fundraising strategy. You need a year-round initiative to build the groundwork for a successful year-end campaign.

Be consistent with the timing of texts, keep track of who responds to certain mobile texts, and make sure all mobile programs are fully integrated into your organization's customer relationship management (CRM) database.

2. Create a Segmented Mobile Donor List

Before you start mobile fundraising text messaging, be sure to create a mobile donor list.

Key information such as whether or not donors have mobile phones, their preferred method of giving, and what appeals they've responded to in the past will help you send targeted mobile messages that get the best results.

While it may take time, segmenting your lists and testing messaging will help you greatly improve your fundraising efforts over time.

Tip: Build that sense of urgency by counting down the remaining days of the year. Encourage them to donate before the new year.

3.  Target Your Texts

Don't just send a generic text asking for mobile donations. Personalize your texts by asking for specific amounts or mentioning personalized information from the donor.

This is an important step because it keeps donors engaged and motivates them to give. Texting is personal—often reserved for our closest contacts. You should do your best to make mobile giving feel like a personal experience.

Tip: This personalized approach is ideal for peer campaigns, which are popular during the holiday season.

4.  Include a Call to Action in Every Message

Make sure to include an easy way for supporters to donate. Make it simple and include a call to action (CTA) in every mobile fundraising campaign text you send, whether it's a standard donation request or a mobile giving ask.

The number one reason donors don't give is that they are not asked. If you forget to insert a CTA in your message, you are forgetting to ask for the donation.

A CTA can be as simple as a link that says "Give Now" or "Click here to donate." Make it clear and actionable. The simpler, the better.

If at all possible, direct donors to existing online donation forms to keep donors from all channels—whether appeal letters, email marketing, social media posts, or something else—in the same database and workflow.

5.  Keep It Short and Sweet

Your mobile messages should be short and sweet. Include only what's necessary—no more, no less. Your outreach message should excite donors without going overboard with lengthy clutter, which could ultimately deter mobile giving.

Take a scroll through your text messages. They're probably short and conversational. They don't often include large blocks of text—so avoid that when writing your next message.

Think about what you want to communicate in each mobile text and make sure it's concise. If you do this, mobile donors will be more likely to give through texting rather than through mobile email.

Tip: Leverage Giving Tuesday next year to boost your annual fundraising. Creating a Giving Tuesday campaign is a popular fundraising idea.

6.  Keep Messaging On-Brand and On-Message

Your mobile campaigns should be seamless with your overall marketing strategy and donor engagement efforts. If your mobile giving campaign is not cohesive with your other fundraising, social media, and email campaigns, donors will get confused and feel disengaged.

For example, creating a mobile giving campaign that is on-brand and on-message will build giving momentum and increase overall click-through rates on online fundraising pages.

Incorporate off-channel communication with your year-end campaigns so you can maximize fundraising results. For example, provide social media followers with a mobile phone number to text as well as a link they can use to donate online. Use a QR code in your direct mail pieces to make it even easier.

Tip: Mobile isn’t just for online. In-person fundraising events benefit from this strategy as well.

7. Promote Campaigns as a Quick and Easy Way to Give

Next, you want to announce the mobile giving option to your email database and social media followers as an easy fundraising solution. Use a QR Code, short URL, or short code to have users opt-in from other channels.

For example, write an email about how mobile messaging is emerging as the preferred form of communication over emails and include a link for them to sign up for real-time alerts. You can send this ahead of your end-of-year campaign to warm the audience up.

This will simplify and streamline giving so your supporters can easily donate whenever it's most convenient for them. It will also ensure that they are not caught off-guard by a text message from your organization during this time of year.

8.  Follow Up With Mobile Donors Through Text

You should also follow up with mobile donors after they have given to see if they want to get more involved in fundraising and invite them to include their peers to reach end-of-year fundraising goals.

You can do this text messaging or mobile calling follow-up through human-powered campaigns or autoresponders. Once these mobile donors have expressed interest in giving, you should do what you can to channel their enthusiasm into taking the next step.

Tip: Make your donation page easy to share to boost peer fundraising. Include templates to easily share it with friends and family.

9.  Set Up Mobile Campaign Goals & Objectives

One of the most important steps in driving mobile fundraising for your nonprofit is setting up goals and objectives before sending out any messages. The success of texting campaigns is not only measured in annual funds, but also long-term engagement with supporters.

As with any campaign, the goal is to build a vibrant list of ambassadors, not just capturing one-time donors.

Figure out the metrics that matter the most to your team, and be sure to have systems in place to track those metrics. This way, you can measure your success and figure out how to improve on mobile messaging in the future.

Having goals also helps your internal team aim for something. This could mean the difference between the best campaign you've ever run and just another fundraiser.

Tip: Set a goal to increase gift size and reach out to major donors. You can make a specific ask among big donors and/or board members to set up a matching gift.

Ready to Use Mobile Fundraising?

There you have it—everything you need to make your end-of-year mobile fundraising campaign a success!

Don't forget that mobile messaging is not just one-way communication but person-to-person communication and can be very intimate when done right. You should always stay in touch with mobile messaging after donors have given to your year-end appeals and become mobile supporters.

Use these tips to help you drive more donations during your next text-to-donate campaign. And if you're looking for more help getting you started, learn how Rally Corp can help you increase donor engagement by 300%.

And be sure to download The Ultimate Text Messaging Checklist for Nonprofits below!

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