Tue, 30 May 2023

Text-to-Give: Major Challenges & Their Solutions

09 Aug 2022, 05:51 GMT+10

Text-to-give is an advanced fundraising technique that allows donors to make donations to nonprofits using cell phones. Donors can text the donations to the respective chosen charity using their phone's native texting apps.

Red Cross's relief efforts following Haiti's devastating earthquake were one of the initial publicized text-to-give campaigns of 2010 where 'Text HAITI to 90999' had been flashing across America's phones, TVs, and screens of computers for months. It was able to raise $487.6 million in total, laying the foundation for giving over mobile.

This revolutionary fundraising effort offers lessons for nonprofits of various proportions. To begin, you can start with meeting your donors at the place they are and make the process of donation as simple as possible. Then, understand that with the advancement of technology your organization's fundraising strategy should also change.

This includes implementing new marketing strategies and, in particular, providing new donation opportunities. Given that mobile giving has seen an increase of 205% in recent years, you might be losing a considerable revenue if you have not already implemented mobile giving.

For good reason, text-to-give has promptly become inevitable in the nonprofit world. Text donations, along with increasing revenue, help nonprofits boost retention and engagement of donors, allowing them to garner support on a long-term basis for their cause.

It is way too useful and effective for any non-profit campaign to miss out on. The fundraising strategy itself is a game-changer in the ways of peoples' lives.

How Does It Work?

The process is relatively simple. Let us examine it from both the nonprofit and donor outlooks.

  • Nonprofit Organizations

Step 1:

Pick a software vendor. Choose a text-to-give software or platform that provides the characteristics your nonprofit requires while protecting your donors' information.

Step 2:

Get a one-of-a-kind phone number. Your app would then provide you with a unique telephone number that contributors can message. You must choose a key phrase such that your provider knows the gifts are for your particular text-to-give crusade.

Step 3:

Publicize the campaign. Once everything will be in order, you must elevate your text-to-give mission to benefactors. Spread the news about your association's phone number along with the keyword, and watch how the donations would pour in!

  • Contributors

Step 1:

Send a text message to the nonprofit's phone number. Text the pre-decided keyword to an organization's contact number to begin the transfer of funds. Even if there is a typo, intuitive software would accept the desired donation.

Step 2:

Click on the link. Within some seconds, you'll get an affirmation text with an URL or link. Select your favored gift sum by tapping on it. First-time benefactors should finish a concise gift structure by filling in their personal data. Repeat donors simply click the 'donate' button.

Step 3:

Click the Send button. When you press 'donate' in the text message, you'll be taken to a pre-written email that confirms the transaction. To submit your donation, simply click 'send.' That's all there is to it. The donation is sent with just a few clicks!

Problems and Solutions

  • How Do You Choose The Perfect Software?

Text-to-give campaigns necessitate nonprofits collaborating with a third-party software provider, and making the right choice can make or break an organization's success with this fundraising tool. When choosing a software partner, keep the following in mind.


Consider the charity limit. Some software packages limit the amount of money that individual donors can give via text message. Some organizations cap the maximum donation at $10, while others allow for more flexibility.

If your organization chiefly works with wealthy donors, make sure the software does not set a donation amount that is too low. Make sure the software you choose is appropriate for the type of campaign you want to launch.

  • Miscalculated the expenses?

Nonprofits should avoid the trap of misjudging the expense of their text-to-give campaign. Aside from purchasing software and obtaining a dedicated phone number for your campaigns, many other fees may significantly increase the cost.


Nonprofit organizations should inquire about payment processing fees charged by third-party payment intermediaries such as Paypal. Typically, financial institutions charge between 4% and 10% of all donations to cover operating costs. Furthermore, nonprofits that do not have a tech expert on staff may be required to pay acquisition and maintenance fees.

  • How Do You Make Them Listen?

Even the most charitable text-to-donate campaigns will receive few if any, donations if no one is aware of them. Because such campaigns aim to raise revenue while also attracting new, regular donors, nonprofits must spread the word using any and all means available.


Nonprofits collect donations through social media, email, and direct mail. They should develop a simple keyword for their latest campaign and incorporate it into all marketing materials, from social media posts to direct mailings. This allows nonprofits to monitor which campaigns were the most successful so that they can enhance them in the future.

  • Build Connections!

By failing to involve donors and continue providing personal information in their text-to-donate campaigns, some nonprofits have missed out on the opportunities to seize donor loyalty and support.

This is common when a campaign directs a donor to a third-party payment site without first collecting the donor's name, email address, phone number, and, in some cases, mailing address.


Avoid this mishap by needing donors to provide their name and email address, as well as contact details, so that their organization can notify donors of future campaigns.

Mailing addresses can be time-consuming to type on many cell phones, so organizations that avoid marketing communications due to the cost and environmental impact should remove the requirement to enter a street address.

Final Words

Text-to-give has become one of the most effective methods of donation, enabling all nonprofits to achieve new fundraising heights. As many of your supporters have cell phones, you should include text-to-give in your fundraising technique.

Mobile fundraising is one of the simplest ways for donors to contribute to your organization because they can make gifts on the go (with just a few clicks). Text-to-give can even be combined with other advertisements and campaigns to increase donations.

Furthermore, it completely automates the donation process by eliminating the need for a desktop, laptop, or even direct mail. Donors can even set up regularly occurring donations to show their continued support.

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