In today’s fundraising landscape, the importance of mobile platforms cannot be overstated. Researchers estimate that by 2025, almost 75% of internet users worldwide will only use their smartphones to access the internet. That represents an astonishing shift to heavy dependence on handheld devices as well as a major opportunity for nonprofits to engage with supporters on mobile devices.
If your organization is planning an upcoming text-to-donate campaign, there are a few best practices to implement now to create a standardized, effective approach for all future mobile giving efforts. Plenty of nonprofits are positioning themselves to emerge from the pandemic with a strong fundraising strategy, and these tips can set your organization up for success.
After your organization is set up with a text-to-donate platform and receives a dedicated mobile giving phone number, your fundraising team should:
- Optimize Your Online Giving Page
- Market Your Campaign Effectively
- Make the Most of Your Donor Data
- Promote Matching Gift Opportunities
- Incorporate Text Giving in Your P2P Campaigns
- Highlight Recurring Gift Options
Nonprofits need powerful virtual fundraising tools to meet current and future fundraising goals. The influence of mobile technology will only grow in the next few years, and nonprofit professionals like you need training and guidance to maximize your mobile fundraising efforts. Let’s get started!
Optimize Your Online Giving Page
In a text-to-donate campaign, your supporters will either text a dollar amount or keyword to your text-to-give number. In response, they’ll receive a link to fill out your online donation form.
This means that your digital donation page must be optimized for mobile viewing. Weird formatting, slow page load speeds, and confusing form fields are all elements that can turn off a prospective donor and cause them to abandon their contributions altogether.
You can avoid these pitfalls by making your giving page mobile-responsive. Donately’s donation page guide explains a few benefits of a mobile-optimized donation form, including having the ability to:
- Increase donation convenience. A responsive donation page will automatically adjust to fit any screen size. Your text-to-donate supporters will be able to easily view your page and fill in the necessary fields without having to switch devices.
- Reduce supporter frustration. Mobile-optimized pages create an overall more pleasant experience for donors since they don’t have to pinch their screens to zoom in and scroll around to find each form field.
- Avoid readability issues. When your giving page is responsive, all font and image sizes will automatically adjust to avoid any formatting issues that decrease the readability of the page.
In this example, you can see how this donation page was created to fit any device’s screen, from a desktop computer to a smartphone:
Be sure to create your donation page on a platform that enables mobile accessibility. This way, you’ll be able to pair an effective donation page with your text-to-give platform to optimize the giving process and decrease form abandonment.
Market Your Campaign Effectively
Once you’ve secured your text-to-give number, be sure to promote it across all your marketing platforms to inform your supporters about the opportunity. The success of your campaign is dependent on how many people you can persuade to text the number and follow through with a donation.
For the greatest odds of success, be sure to take a multichannel marketing approach. According to AccuData’s digital marketing guide, fundraisers should “discover the digital channels that appeal most to their desired audience and use a combination of those channels to reach that audience.” For your organization, those channels might include:
- Email: If your nonprofit sends out a recurring newsletter to supporters, be sure to include your text-to-give number in every email you send throughout the campaign. Encourage readers to share the number with their own networks to spread the impact of your fundraising efforts. Additionally, share information about how long the campaign lasts to encourage immediate action.
- Organic social media posts: Create a posting strategy for your social media updates promoting your text-to-give number. You can also create a Facebook or Instagram story promoting your number and explaining how the text-to-donate process works, so supporters are equipped with the information they need to get involved.
- Paid social media ads: Targeted social media ads can deliver your text-to-give campaign information directly to your target audience. Marketing specialists typically recommend a combination of organic social media posting and paid ads. Your organic posts help grow your social media following for free, while your paid posts can boost general public awareness of your cause and reach those who are most likely to get involved in your campaigns.
As you launch your promotional strategies, make sure to pay attention to engagement metrics (such as likes, shares, comments, and impressions) to determine which types of messages are most effective. You can also use your social media and email marketing analytics to determine the times of the day that your supporters are most active on each platform. Then, schedule optimized text-to-give communications at these times to reach the widest audience possible.
Make the Most of Your Donor Data
Your nonprofit has undoubtedly collected donor data in past fundraising campaigns. Most established nonprofits have access to data tools that collect fundraising data points such as changes in average gift size over time, fundraising ROI, and conversion rates for different action prompts, as well as more basic information like donor names and email addresses.
If you’ve collected some or all of these types of data, you can use this information to improve your fundraising strategy for your upcoming text-to-donate campaign. Use your data to determine:
- Popular days of the week for donations. For instance, if most donors contribute on Thursdays, you’ll know to post on social media and send other communications about your text-to-donate number on Thursdays.
- Donors’ preferred names and their giving histories. You can address donor emails and other mobile giving-related communications with each individual’s name. Further, reference their giving history to thank them for their past contributions and encourage them to check out your new campaign.
- Donor matching gift eligibility. You can use your database to determine which supporters are eligible for matching gifts through their companies and focus your text-to-donate marketing efforts on this group.
These strategies can help you form a more targeted, deliberate marketing approach for your text-to-donate campaign. And, don’t forget to gather data throughout your next campaign as well. Powerful text donation software can track elements of your campaign such as:
- The frequency of text-giving throughout your campaign
- Your most active donors
- High volume text-giving times of the day or week
- The average donation size of text-to-give contributions
You can collect and analyze this data to adjust your text-to-give strategy for future campaigns. Depending on the length of your campaign, you can even adjust your strategy as you go to see how the changes impact the engagement level of your supporters.
Promote Matching Gift Opportunities
As we mentioned, text-to-give campaigns present the opportunity to harness corporate giving initiatives.
This page of matching gift statistics states that around $4-$7 billion in matching gifts goes unclaimed each year, representing a major fundraising opportunity that nonprofits tend to overlook. This is an especially important consideration when you’re receiving a large influx of donations, like during mobile giving campaigns.
In your text-to-give promotion, encourage supporters to check with their employers to find out if they offer a matching gift program. You should also include a matching gift search tool that enables donors to check their eligibility directly on your mobile-optimized giving page.
Then, when donors submit forms to get their gifts matched, they can double, triple, or sometimes even quadruple the impact of their singular contributions, depending on their employers’ matching policy.
Incorporate Text Giving in Your P2P Campaigns
Your peer-to-peer fundraisers are also an effective avenue to promote your text-to-donate campaign. When your supporters create their own P2P fundraising pages, encourage them to include your nonprofit’s mobile giving phone number and keyword in the page description. Then, when their family members and friends view their peer-to-peer page, they’ll be able to use your convenient text-to-give number to immediately contribute to your campaign.
If you’ve never held a P2P campaign before or don’t have experience incorporating them with a text giving campaign, here are a few best practices to follow:
- Encourage participants to put your text-to-give number on both their campaign pages and within their social media posts to increase engagement with your mobile giving opportunities.
- Supply peer-to-peer fundraisers with helpful graphics that explain the text-to-donate process (you can include these elements in your organization’s peer-to-peer fundraising guide/toolkit).
- Look for a platform that offers both text-to-give and P2P fundraising tools within the same system to streamline fundraising across the board.
This way, your P2P campaigns can accomplish several things at once — you can spread greater awareness of your cause, attract new supporters due to the wider audience of these campaigns, and receive a fundraising boost from your text-to-donate platform. Simply put, your nonprofit can greatly benefit from combining the power of text-to-give and peer-to-peer campaigns.
Highlight Recurring Gift Options
Finally, you should use your next text-to-donate campaign to highlight recurring gift opportunities. Recurring gifts provide a sustainable, dependable revenue source for your nonprofit.
They also offer a simple way for donors to continue supporting your cause without having to resubmit their donation forms over and over — they can just fill out your donation form once and check the box for recurring donations, and your organization will automatically bill them on a regular basis (depending on whether they opted to give weekly, monthly, or annually).
Throughout your text giving campaign, you can take advantage of recurring gifts by experimenting with a few tactics, such as:
- Prominently showcase your recurring donation option on your online giving form. In fact, you should feature more than one prompt that encourages donors to consider becoming a part of your monthly giving program to boost the odds of conversion.
- Thank donors who sign up for your monthly donation program. Be sure to show gratitude for donor generosity to let them know that their gifts make a difference for your cause and that you appreciate their involvement.
- Enable supporters to manage their own recurring giving plans. Give supporters the ability to adjust their gift amount, frequency, and payment type. This grants supporters more control over their involvement while saving your staff time from having to implement any of these changes on the backend.
These stewardship strategies can help transform one-time text-to-give donors into long-term recurring donors who stay involved with your nonprofit even after your text-giving campaign ends. This should be the main goal of all of your fundraising campaigns: to form relationships with supporters and gain their trust so they remain engaged in your organization’s activities for the long haul.
With these strategies in mind, you can make the most of your next text-to-donate campaign and drive a major donation boost to your organization. Be sure to use your text giving campaign to highlight more than just your mobile-accessible donation page. From matching gifts to your recurring gift program, promote a wide range of giving opportunities to maximize your next text campaign. Happy fundraising!
About the Author: Andrew Berry
Andrew is the head of marketing and customer success for Donately. After getting involved with nonprofits at a young age, he discovered a passion for helping the organizations that are making the world a better place. Knowing how vital online fundraising has become, his goal is to help nonprofits raise more money online each year! In his spare time, you will find him cooking up dinner, playing with his dog or cheering on Boston sports teams.