Marketing Text-to-Give: 7 Promotional Strategies

Launching a successful text-to-give campaign may seem like a daunting task.

But the truth is: it’s all about how you market your campaign.

That’s why we’re going to be discussing 7 of the most effective and efficient means for promoting your text-to-give campaign:  

#1. Market Text-to-Give Via Email.

#2. Use Video to Make a Splash.

#3. Leverage Existing Donors for Promotion.

#4. Take Advantage of Social Media.

#5. Promote Text-to-Give at Live Events.

#6. Play Up the Positives Across the Board.

#7. Go Old-Fashioned With Print Media.

Are you ready to take your text-to-give fundraiser to the next level? Good! Let’s get started!

1. Market Text-to-Give Via Email. 

Chances are, if you’re a nonprofit in the 21st century, you have an email marketing strategy.

If you don’t, not to worry, there’s a really informative article all about the basics of email marketing for nonprofits right here.

For those of you that have an existing strategy, you’re in luck when it comes to marketing your text-to-give campaign.

You may or may not be aware that email is roughly 245 times less expensive than comparable direct mail marketing.

That fact alone makes email marketing one of the most cost-effective ways of communicating with your donor base. And not only is it incredibly affordable, it’s also extraordinarily efficient.

If you want to get the word out about anything, email is one of the first tactics you should look into, as your donors are likely checking their email inboxes multiple times a day. In fact, when surveyed, most people responded that they check their email “too often.”

90% of people admitted to checking their personal email accounts at work, and an astounding 6.3 hours per day on average are spent solely on emailing.

So, if you want to communicate effectively and efficiently with your base, it’s important to hone your email tactics.

Some simple ways to achieve better results (with minimal effort) are:  

  • Segmenting your email list,

  • Making your messages mobile-responsive,

  • Using a real person’s name in the “From” field,

  • Keeping your messages short and to the point,

  • Figuring out the ideal time of day to send your messages out,

  • And cleaning and updating your mailing list regularly.

There are, of course, other ways of rapidly improving your email marketing. For more tips on precisely how to get the most out of an email campaign, check out @Pay’s guide to the most effective email newsletters.

In the end, the most important message to communicate to your mailing list is that they can now give via text message as well as online.

In each of your correspondences, remember to include some information about donating via text.

Give them your organization’s text-to-give number.

Walk them through the quick and easy steps.

Include pictures.

Make sure you emphasize how simple and straightforward the process is.

When all is said and done, the most important point to drive home is that texting to donate is a fantastic option for any donor who wants to give on the go.

To sum it up: Take advantage of how cost-effective and immediate email marketing is to boost your text-to-give campaign’s success.

2. Use Video to Make a Splash. 

Video content is some of the most quickly- and widely-shared information on the web.

And for good reason! People are able to process video and imagery information 60,000 times faster than they can interpret written words.

It’s no wonder, then, that video is one of the most stellar ways to tell your organization’s story and to get the word out about your exciting new opportunities.

As with any piece of promotional material, the best strategies will revolve around honesty, depth, and brevity.

The honesty piece comes about when you’re first drafting your video script. What is the truth that you’re hoping to get across?

You’re promoting your text-to-give campaign. But what is the purpose behind the campaign? What is the real reason that you’re opening up that door?

The answer will obviously vary from organization to organization. The point of the matter is getting to the root of your campaign.

If you can communicate that honestly in a video clip, people will be much more receptive to your text-to-give efforts.

The second piece of the puzzle is depth. Much like honesty, the depth of your campaign comes from what really drives you. What is the human connection you hope to inspire with your fundraising?

When you can answer that question simply and succinctly, you can move on and try to figure out a way to communicate it in a short, sweet manner.

Which brings us to: brevity.

Keeping your videos brief, i.e. under 3 minutes, is crucial to promotion. Any longer than 3 minutes, and you risk losing a large part of your audience.

For a video to be virally shareable and engaging, it should ideally be no longer than a minute. And the first 30 seconds should be the most captivating. After that time mark, regardless of how great your video is, your viewership is likely to decline.

It’s tough to roll all of that depth and honesty into a short, minute-long video — but it’s not impossible.

To sum it up: Create a video campaign that’s inspirational and meaningful to encourage your supporters to give via text.

3. Leverage Existing Donors for Promotion. 

You actually have a wonderful, untapped resource right at your fingertips — that is, if you have an existing donor base.

With the help of your already-loyal supporters, your organization can easily spread the word about your upcoming text-to-give fundraiser through peer-to-peer fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraising leverages your current contributors to grow your organization and increase awareness of your cause and campaigns.  

It’s also often called “crowdfunding.” Some claim that there are subtle differences, but the truth is: they’re essentially the same.

So, how does it work?

It starts with pinpointing your most active and well-connected supporters. They should be the movers and shakers at your organizations, the ones who are always promoting your nonprofit to their friends anyway.

Reach out to these influencers. Let them know that you’re interested in elevating them to the level of “fundraiser.”

Ask them if they’d like to help your organization get the word out about your latest fundraising endeavor: texting to give.

If and when they accept the challenge, your organization must be prepared to give them the tools they need to promote your fundraising campaign.

Tools such as:

  • Pre-written copy for social media blasts,

  • Links to information about your campaign,

  • Talking points for discussing text-to-give in person,

  • And whatever else you think your supporters may need.

With those tools in hand, they’ll be able to promote your text-to-give campaign quickly and easily.

Before you know it, they’ll have reached out to their respective:

  • Friends,

  • Family members,

  • Coworkers,

  • And acquaintances.

And in no time at all, those friends and family members will be avid supporters of your organization as well.

To sum it up: Make use of the love and support that you already have through peer-to-peer promotion and fundraising.

Check out Booster if you’re interested in learning more about how crowdfunding can be used to raise more for your organization — while advertising for your cause.

4. Take Advantage of Social Media. 

Speaking of using what you already have at your disposal, social media is one of the most useful tools to come out of the last decade.

And it’s all free for your organization to access!

You could easily join the over 1 billion users on Facebook, the 400 million on Instagram, and the other hundreds of millions on Twitter.

Become a part of the larger conversation, and you’re bound to have your voice heard about your text-to-give campaign.

In order to make the most of each of these platforms, it’s important to recognize the unique strengths and drawbacks of each. And that’s why we’re going to discuss some of the most actionable and pertinent advice for nonprofits on social media, broken down by site.

We’ll be focusing on the top three sites that nonprofits get the most out of already:

#1. Promoting Text-to-Give on Facebook.

It’s a commonly held belief that’s been confirmed by numerous studies that visual content gets the most response on Facebook.

If you’re planning to post a status, it’s best to include a picture.

Take a cue from this organization:

They’ve included not one, but four images to accompany their status explaining and promoting their new text-to-give option. Your organization could easily imitate their tactics.

Want to learn more about how to ask for donations on Facebook? Click on that link to read all about the top tips and tricks.

2. Spreading the Word with Twitter.

The most engaging content on Twitter is concise. And it has to be. With only 140 characters allotted per “tweet,” your organization has to choose its words carefully.

That’s why, when you’re trying to highlight something like a text-to-give campaign on Twitter, it’s best to link out to your website where followers can learn more (without sacrificing depth of information).

Much like this organization does:

As you can see, they’ve kept their message to the bare minimum, but they’ve made their point and included a link.

If you do the same, you’ll assuredly see great results.

3. Generating Excitement through Instagram. 

By nature of its being an image-sharing site, Instagram favors beautiful content.

Well-curated photos go far on this site. And because of a recent algorithm change, so do posts that have a lot of activity on and around them.

That’s why it’s important not only to choose the most aesthetically-pleasing photos to post, but also to interact with other users on a regular basis to encourage activity on your posts.

You can take a page out of this nonprofit’s Instagram:

Their photo is high-quality, their caption is informative (and encourages users to learn more about donating), and most of all, the post has over 500 likes. The more engagement a post has, the more it ultimately will drive results.

If you follow all of these best practices for the top three social media sites, your text-to-give promotions will definitely go far.

To sum it up: Use social media to spread the word about your text-to-give fundraiser. It’s an essentially free tool that gives your nonprofit access to the vast majority of your donor base in an instant.

5. Promote Text-to-Give at Live Events. 

It’s no secret that live events are a great opportunity for promotions.

Why, then, would it be any different for promoting a text-to-give campaign?

The answer is: it’s not!

Live events and promoting text giving go hand-in-hand!

It all boils down to the fact that at a live fundraising event, you have:

  • An attentive audience right there in front of you,

  • Participants who have their phones with them,

  • And a platform from which to speak.

Your attentive audience members are there because they’re already interested in your organization. They’re attending the event for any number of reasons, but at the end of the day, they’re present, and they’re willing to listen to what you have to say.

In addition to simply being present, these event attendees are also in possession of a very key element: a mobile phone.

With over 90% of American adults owning smartphones, you can pretty much guarantee that most people in attendance will have theirs on them.

This fact benefits your organization because it means that you can readily ask your event attendees to whip their cellphones out to test out your new text-to-give technology.

Depending on the type of event that you’re hosting, you may have a literal platform from which to ask attendees to text your donation number. But even if you don’t, you still have a metaphorical platform.

You have the attention of your participants, and if you throw a megaphone or a microphone into that mix, you have the recipe for a perfect promotional moment.

And that influence lasts well beyond the bounds of the physical event.

When your audience goes home, they’re bound to tell their friends, family members, and coworkers about how they donated to their favorite nonprofit simply by texting a number, like so:


It’s that kind of word-of-mouth promotion that leads to lasting relationships and outstanding results for your nonprofit.

To sum it up: Make sure you take the time out of your next live event to promote your text-to-give campaign — and don’t forget to encourage attendees to test it out for themselves on the spot!

6. Play Up the Positives Across the Board. 

What better way is there to promote any campaign than by playing up its strengths and positives to your donor base?

Regardless of the medium through which you tout these positives, it’s crucial to emphasize them across the board.

Talk them up:

  • On your nonprofit’s website,

  • In your email marketing campaign,

  • At meetings, gatherings, and events,

  • On your nonprofit’s social media accounts,

  • And anywhere else you communicate with supporters.

If you’re in the midst of the starting steps to a capital campaign, for example, you may want to reiterate to potential donors all of the upsides of using text-to-give technology to submit their contributions.

One of the biggest positives is that texting to give is convenient.

Your donors probably already text their friends and relatives on a daily basis. Texting to give is really no different.

It’s the same exact motion — with the added benefit of contributing to charity.

Another huge talking point is the fact that text-to-give technology is an incredibly secure way to donate.

Through various means, the best text-to-give software comprehensively keeps your donors’ information safe and sound.

So when your donors are looking for a secure way to give on the go, there’s no better option than texting to give.

The final major positive talking point revolves around how quick the whole process is.

It’s convenient because it’s right at your fingertips, but it’s quick because it takes less time than tying your shoe.

In order to text in a donation, all a donor has to do is text your nonprofit’s designated text-to-give number with the amount they’d like to give. They’re then sent a link that either opens up an automatically drafted confirmation email or leads them to fill out a one-time donation form.

From there, they either hit “Submit” or take a few seconds to fill out the mobile-responsive form. Once they’ve filled out the form, they never have to fill it out again; they can give whenever, wherever, and however they’d like through their mobile device.

Again, if you make a point of emphasizing these three positives, your promotional efforts will go markedly further.

To sum it up: In order to boost your promotions, it’s important to play up the positive attributes of texting to give, such as its convenience, security, and efficiency.

7. Go Old-Fashioned With Print Media. 

Earlier in this article, we spoke about the fact that email marketing is actually 245 times less expensive than direct mail.

But that’s not to say that you should never send out direct mail.

In fact, sending out direct mail in addition to your email and other online efforts actually strengthens both.

Not to mention the fact that print media isn’t limited solely to direct mail marketing.

In addition to direct mail promotions, your nonprofit should look into:

  • Bus stop advertisements,

  • Magazine promotions,

  • Newspaper ads,

  • Pamphlets,

  • Billboards,

  • Letters,

  • And more!

With a wide breadth of promotional materials, your nonprofit can reach more constituents than ever before, and you can do so in a way that speaks to each supporter personally.

Some millennials don’t love email (though the majority do). Likewise, some older generations are avid tweeters.

You can’t make assumptions about your donor base without first investigating and trying out different methods of promoting campaigns.

When you give various strategies a shot, you end up learning a great deal about your supporters. You may learn that letters are the most effective means of reaching out to your particular base.

On the other hand, you may figure out that print media doesn’t mesh well with the kinds of supporters that you have. And that’s okay. If you don’t test it out, you’ll never know.

In any case, be sure to include information about your text-to-give campaign in all of your communications.

Let recipients know that they can text your designated number in order to give whenever they’d like.

You can even provide examples, like the direct mail piece below does:

This nonprofit has given their donors two options to donate instantly. Unlike in the past, when direct mail was met with envelopes that contained checks weeks and months later, modern text-to-give technology lets supporters give in less than a minute!

To sum it up: Don’t limit yourself to digital promotions. Mix it up with a variety of good “old-fashioned” print materials to get the absolute best results.

Looking for some great, actionable tips for crafting an eye-catching letter? Click here to learn more!

Feel free to pick and choose your favorite strategies for promotion. They all work really well together, and they also function perfectly on their own.

In the end, it’s totally up to your organization how you get the word out about your text-to-give fundraising campaign.

But we hope these suggestions have helped clarify what pairs best with texting to give specifically!

This post was contributed by Eric Griego, Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. Griego has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of Nonprofit & Church organizations. In his spare time he roots for the Denver Broncos while enjoying a nice craft beer.

Author: Eric Griego
  • Nonprofits
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Text-to-give