How to Set Up Donations Through TextBy Eric Bryant,
When it comes to raising money, you might be tempted to focus mostly on large contributions from foundations or corporations because you think these organizations give the most to charity. But they don't (in our previous post, we explode some myths surrounding the large corporate donor).
How to Set Up a Text Donation Number
- Choose a keyword that will trigger your donation sequence. For example, ITL2017, GUARDIAN, AUTISM. Your keyword can be any combination of letters and numbers. Must be 5 or more characters. No spaces or special characters.
- Once you have your keyword in mind, head over to the order form.
- Choose your package, supply your PayPal email.
- Give us the link to your donation page, if applicable.
- Give us your text message reply.
- Tell us whether you want to use us, PayPal or your own payment gateway as your payment processor.
- Once you pay, we set up your keyword on our short code, which is 77948, usually within the hour.
Now, when a prospective donor texts your keyword to 77948, she receives a prompt to donate to your charity. The prompt includes a link to your mobile-friendly PayPal or other checkout page to complete her donation.
One Marlin or 100 Trout?
The truth is, it is more likely that most of your donations will come from ordinary people who cannot give a lot but want to help with that they can. Nevertheless, those little donations add up. Think about it: Do you want 3 large corporate donors that make you jump through hoops and take months to close? Or would you prefer 1,000 Average Joes giving $10 or $20/mo and who will be your brand evangelists to their friends and family?
Donating through text messages is an easy way for the average Joe to help out an organization or cause of their choice. Learning how to set up donations through text for your own cause is easy, too!
Why is the ability to donate through a text message so popular? As money gets increasingly more digital, most people aren’t carrying around cash on them. Donating by sending a single text is also quick, doesn’t require any confusing steps, and can be done immediately. Gaining the ability to receive text donations gives fundraising a huge boost.
If you've done any research on text to donate services, you know that there are a plethora of competitors on the market. Here is a a comparison of 3 of our competitors:
BidPal is a full-service, end-to-end fundraising technology. It offers donor database management, online auctions, event ticketing and more. It is a feature-rich solution with a lot of bells and whistles. BidPal is best known for its innovation in bring mobile bidding to silent auctions. Of course, you pay a premium for those bells and whistles; BidPal's pricing starts at about $100/mo per user. So it may not be the best solution for nonprofits on a tight budget.
Like BidPal, AtPay also offers a full suite of features including text to give, embeddable website widgets, and donor CRM solutions. They have lower monthly fees than BidPal, however they take a larger percentage of each donation. AtPay has a free version with no monthly fee. But with this free option you only get a web giving donation page and have to pay 4.9% + .30 per gift. AtPay's strength is that it is a preferred partner of BlackBaud, so it integrates with many Blackbaud features. If your nonprofit already uses BlackBaud, AtPay could be a solid option for you.
MobileCause is similar to us in that they offer a text to donate service where the nonprofit chooses a keyword and they lease out their short code (41444). Also like us, MobileCause users can send out event invitations, fundraising updates, and more via text message. The main difference is price: MobileCause charges a $350 set up fee, $100-$250 monthly fee, and $0.48 transaction fee per donation.
As you can see, our main value is price. You'll be hard-pressed to find a less expensive option than us for text to donate. With our Pro Plan ($48/mo), you get a ton of benefits:
- A keyword and short code
- No set up fee
- If you use your own payment processor, we charge no per donation transaction fee
- Donation Collection Assistance (i.e., text blasts)
- Social media promotions
And with all our plans you get evening and weekend customer support.
Promoting Your Text to Give Campaign
Finally, once everything is all set up and ready to be released to the world, you need a strategy to rock at promoting it. Social media, posters, or any existing advertising methods you already use for your charity will work perfectly. Make sure it’s also listed on the home page of your website for easy access. Typically, charities will advertise at functions or events alongside with appealing to larger contributors. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get your campaign donation code out there. Be creative!