Text-to-Give | Complete Guide for Nonprofits and Fundraisers

With more options than any other online fundraising software, Snowball Text-to-Give is designed to adapt to your organization’s needs.
Text-to-give is a powerful fundraising strategy for any cause. Learn the essentials and find out how to harness the power of text giving for your nonprofit.
Text-to-Give: A Complete Guide for Nonprofits and Fundraisers + Comprehensive Checklist

💬❤️ Enable donors to give to nonprofits via their mobile phones.

Inside: The Basics of Text-to-Give, Text-to-Give Pro Tips, and Text-to-Give Platforms and Tools

Text-to-give is a modern fundraising method that enables donors to give to nonprofits via their mobile phones. In addition to boosting revenue, text donations enable nonprofits to improve donor engagement and retention, helping them secure long-term support for their cause.

Getting started with text giving might seem a little confusing. To help, the experts here at Snowball have created a list of must-know information and vital tips for better text-to-give fundraising. Let’s take a look at mobile giving on a deeper level:


Text-to-give is an effective giving vehicle that organizations shouldn’t overlook. Ready to enhance your fundraising plan and
boost donor engagement? Let’s dive in!

Ready to raise more with Text-to-Give? ​

Ready to raise more with Text-to-Give?

Get Started Today

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Text-to-give enables nonprofits of all sizes to reach new fundraising heights by providing their donors with a new, modern way to give.

7 Text-to-Give FAQs

Text-to-give enables nonprofits of all sizes to reach new fundraising heights by providing their donors with a new, modern way to give.

We’ve briefly touched on what text-to-give is, but let’s take a closer look at what all it entails by answering some common questions: 

What is a text-to-give fundraiser?

Text-to-give uses text messaging to enable supporters to give to nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations. It allows donors to give any time, anywhere in only a few seconds. 

The process is simple: A supporter texts a keyword and donation amount to your organization’s phone number, which is assigned by your text-to-give provider. You can then designate these donations to go toward your annual fund or to a specific campaign.

You may hear text-to-give referred to by a number of names, such as:

  • Text Giving
  • Mobile Giving
  • Text-to-Donate
  • Text-to-Tithe (for churches)

Regardless of what you call it, this modern fundraising approach has the power to transform your fundraising. 

How much does text-to-donate cost?

The cost varies per platform, but typically, it’s based on a flat fee amount in addition to a fixed processing rate for credit cards. For the most cost-effective investment, choose a platform that gives you unlimited text and text-to-give keywords and bypasses mobile carrier fees (like Snowball!) .

How much is a standard text-to-give gift?

A common misconception is that text donations are typically small. But according to Nonprofit Source, the average donation size for text-to-donate campaigns is $107. 

Not only can these donations be substantial, but text-to-give enables easy setup for future recurring donations. In other words,  you may encourage ongoing support and gifts from donors without making additional donation appeals.

Is text giving secure? 

With a PCI-compliant text-to-give provider like Snowball, your mobile gifts will be in safe hands. We use authentication and tokenization to protect your donors’ sensitive information, such as billing information and addresses.

How can my nonprofit get started with text giving?

The great thing about text-to-give is that it can work both on its own and in coordination with other fundraisers. Try hosting a fundraising campaign that relies solely on text-to-give donations, create a peer-to-peer fundraiser where volunteers raise funds via text-to-give, or simply post flyers with your text-to-give number at your fundraising events.

How can my nonprofit promote our text-to-give campaign?

For the best results, incorporate your text-to-give campaign in all your communications. Share your number and keyword on social media, in your email signature, and on direct mail appeals with an eye-catching insert.

What types of nonprofits use text-to-give tools?

Out of the millions of organizations out there, which kinds of nonprofits are using mobile fundraising and text-to-give in order to support their causes? The answer can be broken down into these categories: 

  • Faith-based organizations: Most religious organizations pass around collection plates for those who still wish to give traditionally (through checks or with cash), but they also encourage their members to take out their phones and use text-to-tithe.
  • Health and wellness organizations: Healthcare organizations can use mobile fundraising as part of their grateful patient programs and annual funds.
  • Animal rights organizations: Animal rights charities inspire supporters to give via their mobile devices by sending out cute pictures, GIFs, and videos of animals.
  • Disaster relief organizations: If you’re in the business of helping people in need in the aftermath of a disaster, mobile fundraising, including texting and mobile email, is a fast and effective way to get the money where it needs to go.
  • Educational advocacy organizations: With the increase in popularity of text-to-donate and mobile giving software, one of the best ways teachers can improve their classrooms is to launch their own individual online fundraisers. It’s also a great resource for your next school fundraiser. 
  • Environmental awareness organizations: Environmental awareness and advocacy groups have clued in to the latest industry standard of imploring donors to use their mobile devices, because less paper means more environmentally friendly.
  • Arts and cultural organizations: Museums, theaters, zoos, and galleries tend to use methods like ticket sales and membership programs to raise money. However, there is a growing trend toward using mobile donation software to provide more convenient solutions to interested donors. 

As you can see, any type of nonprofit can benefit from mobile fundraising.

Benefits of Text-to-Give

Benefits of Text-to-Give 

As one of the most effective donation methods, text-to-give empowers nonprofits of all sizes to reach new fundraising heights. Since so many of your supporters own mobile devices, it’s mutually beneficial to incorporate text-to-give into your fundraising strategy.

Why is this, though? For one, text-to-give uses technology that most donors and fundraisers already use on a daily basis. In fact, 97% of Americans own a cell phone, making it the preferred method of communication. Donors are already surfing the web and communicating with their loved ones, so naturally, they’ll be more inclined to take the time to send a quick donation to their favorite organization.

Since donors can make gifts on-the-go (and in just a few clicks), mobile fundraising is one of the easiest ways donors can contribute to your organization. You can even combine text-to-give with your other events and campaigns to maximize donations. Plus, it completely streamlines the donation process by eliminating the need to use a desktop, a laptop, or even direct mail. Donors can even opt to set up recurring donations and continue showing their support.

Remember, consistently engaging your donors in new ways is an important best practice. Give them new opportunities that take their needs and experience into consideration (like text-to-give), and they’re sure to stick around.

In short, text-to-give is fast, easy, and engaging. It keeps donors involved and excited without slowing them down, laying the groundwork for stronger donor relationships.

Steps to Running an Effective Text-to-Give Campaign

Steps to Running an Effective Text-to-Give Campaign

Launching your text-to-give campaign can seem like a daunting task—especially when you’re new to the mobile giving world. Let’s look into the steps you need to take before launching your campaign.

1. Implement a text-to-give strategy.

First, you’ll need to select a software provider that fulfills your organization’s needs. To find the perfect fit, take a look at our top text-to-give software suggestions below.

Then, to implement the software in your fundraising strategy, answer the following questions:

  • Who will be in charge of running your text-to-give campaign?
  • What will the donations support? Are they for a specific project?
  • When will you launch and close your text-to-give campaign? When do you expect to reach your donation goal?
  • Where will you promote your campaign and post updates?


With these questions in mind, you should be able to get mobile giving up and running in no time. 

 

2. Set attainable goals.

Clearly define goals for your campaign. Donors will want to know exactly how their hard-earned money is helping, so determine where the money will go. 

While you want an aspirational goal, you also need to be realistic. A common fundraising goal is to raise awareness for the cause that you’re raising money for.

After you determine your objective and launch your campaign, you’ll need to keep your supporters updated on its progress. Remember to be honest. If you’re not quite on track, donors will know to step up their efforts.

Pro Tip: When you use a fundraising thermometer, donors will be able to see their contributions as part of the bigger picture, incentivizing their participation. Feature your thermometer on your donation page and website and share updates on social media. 


3. Put a marketing plan in place.

Once you’ve straightened out the fine fundraising details, it’s time to share your campaign with the world! Regularly update your supporters and encourage them to share your text-to-give campaign with their personal networks. To spread the word, consider the following:

  • An email newsletter with simple guidance on how donors can get started.
  • A press release emphasizing your organization’s role in the community.
  • An announcement on your website such as a video from your nonprofit’s team
  • Social media posts that supporters can share with their followers.


Pro Tip:
Seek out influencers to help boost the visibility of your text-to-give campaign. By recruiting influential advocates, you’ll inspire new donors to trust you and contribute.

 

4. Collect data on campaign progress.

Just like any other campaign, you need to track (and act on) key analytics. Remember to track the following:

  • Individuals’ text-giving frequency
  • Average text donation size
  • Marketing channel engagement (email click-throughs, social media engagement rates, etc.)
  • Donor information (name, mailing address, etc.)


By tracking this data, you’ll gain a better sense of what’s working and what’s not. Which marketing channels are receiving the most engagement? What about the least engagement? Is your campaign messaging actionable enough? Make strategy adjustments according to what you learn.

2. Text-to-Give Pro Tips

Text-to-Give Pro Tips

As you become more experienced with text giving, employ a more advanced approach to yield the best results. The fundraising experts at Snowball have compiled our top tips for better text-to-give fundraising.

Text-to-Give for Nonprofits

All nonprofits can benefit substantially from text-to-give—no matter their size. To maximize results, consider these pro suggestions:

1. Focus on clear campaign messaging.

Be clear about the need for your campaign and its goals. Make your reasons specific and actionable, and highlight exactly why yours is a cause worth supporting. Give donors purpose in their act of giving. Take the Red Cross’s Haiti earthquake relief efforts for example. When there’s a clear urgent need, we feel the urge to step up and contribute.

2. Feature it on marketing tools.

Across all your communications, make sure you’re actively promoting your organization’s number and keyword. Adjust your tactics according to the platform. For instance, create eye-catching inserts for direct mail. Add it to your email signature. Include it in your newsletters with a pop of color. Strategically include it in your social media posts. In any case, get creative!

3. Input collected donor data into your CRM.

Make sure to input donors’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and billing addresses into your existing database. This way, you can incorporate them into your future fundraising efforts.

4. Track and analyze your data.

As with any fundraising activity, you should keep track of your performance. Track text-giving frequency and average text donation size to help inform your future donation appeals. Make note of any trends as well as any shifts away from those trends

5. Host it with an event.

Multiply revenue at your events by incorporating text-to-give. Make sure to hang engaging flyers with your text-to-donate number and shortcode. This way, donors won’t have to worry about remembering their wallets. Chances are they’re much more likely to have their cellphones on them anyway.

6. Try a peer-to-peer campaign.

A peer-to-peer campaign isn’t just a great way to spread the word about your cause; it’s a great way to spread your text-to-donate number, too. Encourage your volunteers to create their P2P pages like they normally would. Then, when they share their fundraising pages with their social networks, they can advertise your text-to-give number and shortcode.

7. Assign someone to be in charge of new donor data.

When you run a text-to-give campaign, you’ll be flooded with new donor information. Assign a staff member to take charge of the data. Then, put processes in place to account for common concerns, such as what to do if new data differs from old data and how to handle duplicate information.

8. Host a pledge campaign.

A pledge campaign is a great twist on traditional text-to-donate campaigns. Since the average mobile donation pledge for fundraising events is $167, your organization stands a good chance at boosting donations. Have volunteers create their pledge pages. Then, they can share your organization’s text-to-donate information. Supporters will have the option to pledge their support with the pledge page or donate right then by texting their gift.

9. Incorporate matching gifts.

To give via text, donors will have to give you their contact information. This is the perfect opportunity to email them about matching gifts, because their text donation might be eligible for a match through their employer. Learn more about this powerful giving vehicle here.

10. Make text-to-give part of your Giving Tuesday efforts.

Giving Tuesday (and other time-based initiatives) represents a great chance to encourage donors to expand their giving as a result of an urgent push. Because there’s a limited time frame, donors are motivated to act fast, and texting their donations is the fastest way to give.

Text-to-Give Platforms and Software

Text-to-Give Platforms and Tools

Snowball Fundraising is a mobile-optimized fundraising suite for any organization, nonprofit, or church. With Snowball, you’ll receive more than the basics. Streamline all your fundraising efforts with these Premium features:

  • Unlimited campaigns
  • Unlimited text-to-give
  • Unlimited fundraising thermometers
  • Donation pages
  • Event ticket management
  • Comprehensive reporting


At Snowball, we have a simple solution for giving on-the-go—one that doesn’t involve having a credit card handy 24/7. Our text giving platform enables donors to give wherever they are, whenever they want. All it takes is a couple of taps: one to send a text with the donation amount and another to confirm the payment. With our PCI-compliant technology and single-factor authentication, you’ll know your donors’ information is completely protected.

Unlike other platforms, once a donor enters their information for the first time, they never have to enter it again—even if they’re donating through another online or mobile avenue. Best of all, our platform is highly secure, allows donations to reach your nonprofit within a few business days, and integrates seamlessly with your other fundraising initiatives.

By picking a solution that aligns with your needs, you’ll experience a surge of donations in no time.

Ready to raise more with Text-to-Give? ​

With Text-to-Give, your nonprofit can receive donations anytime, anywhere.

Partner with Snowball for the best Text-to-Give software.
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Wrapping Up 

Remember, the great thing about a text-to-give campaign is that it can be hosted on its own or in coordination with your other events and campaigns. You’re sure to boost funds so long as you take a strategic approach and keep the donor experience front of mind.

Here at Snowball, our mission is to provide nonprofits with the intuitive tools they need to maximize fundraising success. No matter your organization’s technological needs, we’ve got you covered.

Check out these additional text-to-give resources for more information:

 

Text-to-Give: A Complete Guide for Nonprofits and Fundraisers + Comprehensive Checklist

💬❤️ Enable donors to give to nonprofits via their mobile phones.

Inside: The Basics of Text-to-Give, Text-to-Give Pro Tips, and Text-to-Give Platforms and Tools

Get Started Today

Get in touch with us to take a tour of the Snowball platform and find the right fundraising solutions for your nonprofit.