[UPDATED] Executing A Successful Text Donation CampaignBy Eric Bryant,
You've just signed up for our text to donate service, and now you're looking for guidance on how to execute a successful text donation campaign. Do SMS donations work? You may be wondering: What do I do next? How do I ensure I raise as much money as possible? Moreover, you have other duties to attend to, so you don't want to spend all your time fundraising.
This blog post gives you helpful tips for using your shortcode and keyword to raise funds online.
Put Your Shortcode and Keyword Call to Action on Your Website
The first and perhaps most important thing you can do is put your call to action on your website (If you don't have a website, just apply everything we're about to say on websites with "your Facebook page"). This is also relatively easy to do. Doing so will help turn passive website visitors into active, engaged visitors.
We have done this on our website in the past (it’s not there now). We’ve placed a text to donate call to action right inside a banner up at the top of our site:
You don't necessarily have to put your keyword and shortcode on every page. You may wish to pick a few high-traffic pages to include it on. In this way, you turn your website into your digital storefront. You want as many people as possible to see your prompt and have the opportunity to give you money.
Send Out Your Shortcode and Keyword in an Email Blast
Another tip is to include your text donation call to action in email blasts. If you've built up a donor list, you probably use some sort of email customer relations management software, like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Mailchimp is good because it's free forever for up to 2,000 subscribers. Be sure to make your subscribers aware of how easy it now is to donate to your charity by including instructions for how to donate in email communications.
Schedule Social Media Posts
If you have a Facebook or Twitter page, you can easily use free tools like IFTTT, Buffer or the free version of HootSuite to schedule a recurring post about your fundraiser. IFTTT enables you to schedule social media posts weekly for our Smart and Pro Plan customers. You set up the posts once, set it, and forget it. The application will then post your updates at the same time every week or every day, as you request.
Run A Facebook Fundraiser
In addition, you can run a Facebook Fundraiser. This is a way to get your active Facebook fans to donate to your charity. Combining your Facebook Fundraiser with your text to donate call to action gives fans multiple options for donating. If you upgrade to our Pro Plan, a monthly Facebook Fundraiser is included.
Take Advantage of Text Blasts
With our Smart and Pro Plans, we provide you with additional text blasts each month. This is how we help you secure donations from people who have already subscribed to your short code but who did not follow through with the process. When a prospect texts your keyword to your shortcode, they become a subscriber. Just like an email subscriber, you can send your shortcode subscribers a message, pretty much any time you like.
When you're ready, you just email us the message you would like to send, and we blast it out to all your subscribers at once. You can send news, alerts or, most importantly, additional reminders to donate to your organization. Subscribers will continue to receive messages from you until they text STOP to your keyword to opt out.
Facebook Groups Can Send Quality Traffic
Another easy, free tactic is to use Facebook Groups, but not in the conventional way. You can drive good traffic to your website by following these steps:
Identify and join Facebook Groups where members would seem interested in your charity
Write a blog post on your site that answers a question these members have or provides useful information for them
Include your text to donate call to action somewhere in the post
Post the blog on your company Facebook page
... and now here's the important step ...
5. Share the post from your Facebook page into the groups you've selected
Facebook makes this sharing process super easy. They now offer you the ability to post any post into any group of which you are a member:
Examples of Successful Text to Give Campaigns
Below are a few recent case studies with examples of successful text to give campaigns we’ve run for clients:
CASE STUDY #1: baltimore school for the arts
The Baltimore School for the Arts is a performing arts high school that seeks to prepare the next generation of the creative workforce by providing inspiring arts and academic training to high school students.
BSFA utilized our text to give technology during a weekend fundraiser that included auctions and various fundraising ideas. The school raised over $20,000 in a 3-day period.
Results and Key Takeaways
Provide more than one way that donors can give to your organization. BSFA offered text to donate, silent auction, ticket sales as well as a a gala dinner to raise funds. Get creative. Text to give is not meant to stifle your creativity but to enhance it.
Consider upgrading to our Smart Plan. With this plan, BSFA was able to send out follow up donation requests to prospective donors who did not complete their gift on day one. This will help your organization generate more repeat donors.
CASE STUDY #2: Bronx charter school for excellence
The Bronx Charter School for Excellence aims to change the longstanding narrative of inequality in historically underserved communities by closing achievement, opportunity, and creativity gaps.
BCSFE (a.k.a. “Bronx 1”) came to us for help with a fundraiser for their school. Using our simple but effective text to give platform, they were able to raise $7,200 in just 2 hours.
Results and Key Takeaways
Activate your staff and constituents. For example, if you are a school, activate your students. If not, get the populations you serve involved. BCSFE motivated their students, faculty and staff to spread awareness for their fundraiser in the days leading up to the event.
Utilize social media, your website, and email to promote your short code and keyword. BCSFE promoted their keyword and short code on their website and social channels to create interest and buzz.
Think about your timing: Text to donate campaigns often work optimally during urgent situations where the impulse to give is strongest.
CASE STUDY #3: pacific beach town council
The Pacific Beach Town Council (PBTC) is a membership organization, open to everyone, dedicated to the betterment of Pacific Beach, in San Diego, CA. They are a current customer and have acquired several hundred prospective donors using our platform.
Results and Key Takeaways
A town of only about 49,000, Pacific Beach has acquired over 350 prospective donors in less than 30 days, utilizing our award-winning text to donate service.
Don’t be afraid to use text to donate during an outdoor event for greater effectiveness. PBTC utilizes our platform during their Sunday evening, outdoor concert series and it works very well. Remember, people carry their phones with them everywhere, one reason why text to give is so effective during benefit concerts and outdoor summer events.
Even in a relatively small community like PBTC, you can still create a big splash using text to donate. Think of ways to create buzz, intrigue and excitement around your campaign like PBTC does, and you're sure to be a success.
Whatever You Do, Don't Get Complacent
The old adage, "If you build it, they will come" does not apply to the world of digital marketing. You are competing with tons of voices all clamoring for attention. Don't just sit back and think, "Now that I have a keyword and shortcode, the donations will suddenly start rolling in." Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way in the world of digital marketing. You've got to stay active in promoting your fundraiser. The pointers above are meant to give you a start and show you what's possible.
Remember, our staff is here for you at each step of the way to help you. As a Smart or Pro Plan customer, we will also be working behind the scenes on your behalf to promote your charity. Feel free to reach out to us anytime you need.