8 Reasons You Need Text-to-Give in your Fundraising Strategy

Did you know the average donation for text-to-give campaigns is $107? Support like this from your donors can help make your mission a success. But most nonprofits aren’t using text-to-give the best way for their organizations. We’ll share why text-to-give should be an essential part of your fundraising strategy and how it can help you form stronger donor relationships.

8 minutes read
8 Reasons You Need Text-to-Give in your Fundraising Strategy

The Red Cross had great success with its text-to-give campaigns during crisis situations. Back in 2010, their Haiti earthquake relief text-to-give campaign managed to raise more than $43 million.

That’s a huge amount for a cause. And this tells us why there’s practically no reason for the text-to-give craze to diminish just yet. In fact, it is one of the most necessary tools for nonprofits’ fundraising success. Do you know the average donation size for text-to-give campaigns is $107? Support of this amount from most of your donors can add up to make your mission a success.

But the problem is most nonprofits are not using text-to-give the best way for their organizations.

In this article, we discuss why text to give should be an essential part of your fundraising strategy for success and how it helps connect with donors quickly and form stronger relationships.

  1. It’s Fast and Convenient
  2. Adds a Definitive Call to Action at the End of Your Story
  3. People Don’t Bring Cash or Checks Anymore
  4. Text-to-Give is Safe and Easy
  5. Your Brand Exposure is Unaffected
  6. You Can Expect Larger Gifts & Repeat Donations
  7. Strong Donor Engagement and Stewardship
  8. It Encourages Recurring Donations

What is Text-to-Give?

Text-to-give is a way for donors to give to their favorite charities with only a cellphone. Text-to-give campaigns are fast and easy for nonprofits and donors. It only takes a minute or two for nonprofits to set up a campaign, and it takes even less time for donors to give. The ease and convenience of this type of fundraising are why more nonprofits have jumped on the text-to-give bandwagon.

Text giving basically fall under two types :

Type 1

“Text to give” is the first type of campaign, Red Cross and other large organizations have used it in the past. With this campaign, the donation amount you give is automatically charged to the phone company, and it shows up on your phone bill. This campaign type may seem more convenient for donors, but there are a few reasons it does not work as well for nonprofits.

  • Phone companies limit donation amounts to five, ten, and twenty-five dollars. Since donors may only give once in these cases, the amount of these donations may not pay for the cost of the campaign.
  • Nonprofits may not get the donation right away and receive no contact information from the donors.
  • It is not possible to donate instantly.

Type 2

The second type is typically known as “text-to-donate”, where nonprofits create a campaign and enable the text-to-donate option. Nonprofits receive a unique campaign ID that is shared with the people.

Donors can send a text message with the campaign ID to the number provided. In turn, they receive a link to the mobile-friendly campaign page and donation form, where they can give easily via cards, other online payment methods. The amount typically goes directly to the nonprofit.

Donorbox text giving feature falls under this type. It’s called Donorbox Text-to-Give.

With this type of campaign, text-to-give donations are just like any other credit card gift. You can collect the donor’s basic details and know the source of the donation. Both the donor and the nonprofit benefit from a secure payment gateway. Repeating a donation with Donorbox text-to-give is even quicker with the Repeat Donation feature. To repeat a donation, one can simply send another text message and give instantly without refilling the donation form. Another useful feature with Donorbox text to give is the addition of a custom keyword (which comes with the short code plan) – which means you can create a keyword relevant to your campaign or cause, making it unique and easy for donors to remember.

This video here will show you how fast and intuitive this feature is on Donorbox and how easily, in just a few steps, you can get started. Do give this a watch –

8 Reasons Text-to-Give is an Essential Fundraising Strategy for Your Nonprofit

Text-to-give is a tool that can help your organization raise more money, but it is essential to use that tool during the right events and to build stronger relationships with your donors. Donors give more to organizations and causes they know and care about. Text giving empowers donors to give instantly and easily through their hand-held devices.

While text-to-give is ideal for fundraising during large events, where your organization has already connected with donors through presentations, videos, and information tents. Outdoor fairs, large conferences, or church services are excellent examples of events that can benefit from a text-to-give campaign. There are several reasons text-to-give campaigns work best at these types of events.

1. It’s Fast and Convenient

Donors love the convenience of donating online through text-to-give. All they need is a smartphone. Anyway, they spend a considerable amount of time on it, and sending a text takes less than a minute. Instead of searching for the nonprofit’s website and donation page on their own, donors are given a direct link to the organization’s donation page.

Like donors, nonprofits do not have to spend a lot of time creating a text-to-give campaign. It only takes a few minutes to create an online campaign for your upcoming event or conference.

Once your campaign starts and you’ve enabled text-to-give, Donorbox takes care of the rest. After your organization shares the campaign ID and text number with your supporters, You don’t need to worry about behind-the-scenes tech issues when running a large event.

2. Adds a Definitive Call to Action at the End of Your Story

You are driving the awareness campaign for your cause. Your story must be your main focus. Especially in fundraising events or galas, the story behind your cause is the main reason why people will attend your event. Everyone is all ears to hear about why you do what you do, with a moving speech, a powerful presentation, or compelling videos about your project, the art of storytelling can truly move people and inspire them to give.

Text to give adds a definitive call to action and an actionable conclusion to your presentation – and that is exactly how a powerful story must conclude!

Knowing that the amount of donation is instantly reaching the nonprofit, without any third-party mediation, gives donors the necessary satisfaction of having supported the efforts of your organization.

3. People Don’t Bring Cash or Checks Anymore

Nonprofits used to be able to depend on their annual fair or convention to bring in the money they needed to meet their yearly fundraising goal, but few people bring cash to these events anymore.

Asking for a cash donation is not getting the result it once did. Even churches are not getting enough money by passing around the collection plate on Sundays.

Since more and more people have smartphones, text-to-give donations are more convenient for donors at these events. Nonprofits can explain to donors how to give with an announcement or marketing piece that includes the campaign ID and texting number. People are comfortable using their phones to buy whatever they want at outdoor fairs or conferences, so asking for a donation via text does not surprise or concern them.

4. Text-to-Give is Safe and Easy

Most donors know it is safer to donate online than by cash or check. The cash, checks, and credit card numbers collected will change hands several times during large events. There is also a greater chance of that money being left entirely unguarded.

This increases the possibility of someone taking the cash or copying the donors’ bank account or card information. There is also a greater risk of losing cash and checks at the end of the night or when transporting it to the bank the next day.

When asked to donate by text, you know donors will give directly through the donation form. It has ensured security. Plus, payment gateways are undoubtedly a safer option. Donors, as well as nonprofits, can heave a sigh of relief as soon as the payment is done. There’s no room for concern or doubt.

Setting up text to give is super easy with Donorbox and it only takes a few minutes!

5. Your Brand Exposure is Unaffected

When the donor clicks on the donation link sent as a text message, they are taken to your branded donation page and fill up your regular donation form for the first time. This means you do not lose out on brand exposure at all! In fact, your brand is positively reinforced to the audiences as they navigate through a seamless donation page and a simple, 3-step donation form.

6. You Can Expect Larger Gifts & Repeat Donations

Even when people have cash on them, it is rarely in large amounts. Nonprofits are lucky if they can get a $20 donation in cash from attendees at outdoor events or conventions. Hence. nonprofits using text-to-give campaigns that link donors to their donation forms are more likely to see more significant gifts.

Like we mentioned before, the average text-to-give donation is $107. With that amount, you can expect these donors to be able to give more in the future, even repeat their first donations. You can make it possible with Donorbox’s repeat donation feature. Remember to tell them how easy it is – just sending a keyword via text, that’s all! No filing out forms and inputting details.

Here’s how it looks –

7. Strong Donor Engagement and Stewardship

In the past, nonprofits have only seen short-term benefits from these events. Cash donations mean no donor contact information and no chance to connect with these donors again. Since many people are new to the organization when they attend an event, that is a great loss for the organization. People need to hear about an organization at least seven times before it really sticks.

With text-to-give campaigns, donors are linked to a campaign page on your website. They are asked to fill out the donation form with important contact information and will automatically receive a thank you email after their gift. This email reminds donors of the gift and the organization that held the event. The email should also include a link back to your organization’s website so donors can do a little research on their own.

The contact information collected on the donation form gives nonprofits the chance to build strong donor relationships and steward these donors in the future. When creating your donation form, you get to choose the information you need.

  • Donor’s name
  • Contact number
  • Address
  • Email Id
  • Name of the event they attended
  • Programs they care about

This information is invaluable when building your donor database. Collecting donors’ emails and phone numbers give nonprofits more options for donor stewardship. But remember to not add a lot of fields to the form. That may deter the donors from wanting to complete the donations.

With a tool like Donorbox, adding and removing fields are simple with no coding needed. So is managing your collected donor information.

Pro tip: A cell number can come in handy if your organization has its board members call donors to thank them for their gifts. Your donors will appreciate that.

8. It Encourages Recurring Donations

Nonprofits are always looking for ways to encourage recurring donations. Historically, attendees at this type of event rarely become recurring donors. Since many people who attend these larger events will have just learned about the nonprofit, there is little chance they will donate again.

Donorbox has a way to change this. You have the option to add recurring intervals to your donation form. Also, if you add a donation tier briefly explaining how each suggested amount can impact your cause, people are more likely to opt for weekly/monthly/quarterly donations.

Here’s how an effective, mobile-friendly recurring donation form looks like –

Plus, with Repeat Donation, your donors can easily repeat the earlier donation whenever they want – during or after the event. All they have to do is send “YES” to the same number and then, “CONFIRM” that they want to repeat the last donation. It’s a great way to regularize your donations without any additional hassle or form-filling.


Text-to-give campaigns are not just for larger nonprofits like the Red Cross. The reasons not to use text-to-give are only valid if you use software that does not link donors to your website and limits the amounts you can collect by text. The critical thing to remember is that text-to-give is a tool, not a marketing plan. With the right donation software and the right event, a text-to-give campaign can be the perfect way to raise more funds and find long-term donors.

Donorbox offers an easy and convenient text-to-give campaign tool. Our affordable prices make using this tool a possibility for nonprofits of all sizes.

If you are looking for more fundraising ideas, visit our blog for tips and nonprofit resources. You can also learn more about our online donation processing system and the features we offer.

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Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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