How Do Text Donations Work?

Have you texted a donation yet? Text donations are really easy, and they’re great for charities to have in their arsenal for collecting money. 85% of people that were interested in giving to certain causes have said that they’d be interested in donating money with their mobile device. Texting yields 8 times higher engagement rates than email and a 19% click-through rate, the highest of any medium. More and more people are interested in donating, and are eager to donate through text.

But the big question is, how do text donations work?


Anybody with a smartphone probably already knows how to text, but how do you know what to write in the message and how to write it? Where does the money come from? How does the text find its way to the charity? The process can seem a bit confusing, but sending a text message donation is only slightly more complicated than sending a regular text message. There are just a few slight differences.

Despite the differences between a donation text and a regular text, donating is still very simple to do. In order to find that information about where to send the text and what to put in the body, you need to first know who you want to donate money to. If they have text donations available, which they should because charities receive much more money when they have a texting option open, it will say somewhere in their marketing materials what number to text (it’s usually a combination of letters and numbers of about 6 characters), and what to write in the text body. For example, for Vodafone’s Fittest Fundraiser charity, they instructed people to send a message saying “DGTR79” along with the chosen amount you’d like (ex: $5) to send them to the number 70070.

Once your message is sent, your donation text is taken on a little adventure. Just like any other SMS text message, it gets sent to the wireless company’s nearest base station tower where the message is communicated throughout the network as a tiny piece of data. Then, it finds its way to what is called a “mobile switching centre” where an army of computers and computer gear is waiting to relay your message to its desired recipient.

From there, the text is received by the organization. Since your message to them is really just a pledge to donate, you’ll get a reply with a link where you can actually send money through PayPal. The whole process moves incredibly quick and requires little to no effort from the sender. Plus, this method avoids the drawbacks of the traditional “text-to-give” service which is very restrictive on customization and which non-profits can participate. And what comes from just a few button pushes on your phone? A whole lot of good can be brought to the world through your text donations.