Using Text Fundraising to Grow Annual Fundraising

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Your annual fundraising campaign is imperative to keeping your nonprofit fully funded as you work to achieve your mission. The most effective annual fundraising campaigns incorporate a multi-channel marketing approach to reach donors and prospects where they are in order to convince them to give. That includes reaching donors via text fundraising!

Many nonprofits use email appeals, social campaigns, and direct mail to reach their supporters and grow their audience. Text messages can set your appeals apart from other nonprofits operating in your service area. The best part is, appealing to supporters by text has some great advantages!  

Read on to learn why your nonprofit should invest in text fundraising software and how to implement text campaigns into your annual fundraising strategy. 

Why invest in text fundraising software?

If you’re unsure why a nonprofit needs to invest in fundraising by text, consider these statistics. 

With an open rate of as high as 98%, text messages are noticed and read more frequently than other forms of communication. Not only is that open rate higher than direct mail or email appeals, they work quickly.  

According to Mobile Squared’s report, Conversational Advertising, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider that this is how many of your supporters want you to communicate with them! According to Tatango, 78% of consumers shared that SMS messaging is the fastest way to reach them.  

Not only that, but the adoption of text donating is growing. From 2019 to 2020, Qgiv clients saw a 16.3% increase in dollars raised through text campaigns. In 2020, the average text donation amount on the Qgiv platform was $81.11!  

Wondering how text messaging be effectively implemented as part of your annual fundraising?  

With texting tools, your messages can include links to your secure online donation form. Plus, you can build your text messaging list from your own donor database. Just make sure you give donors the choice to opt in!  

Additionally, using text messages gives donors the opportunity to receive and respond to your appeals from anywhere in the world–even while on the go! 

How to implement a text appeal strategy

Now that you know why you should implement text fundraising as part of your annual fundraising strategy, here’s how to implement it.   

Your keyword is key

The most effective text campaigns start with good keywords. The keyword is what your donors can text to make a donation to your annual fundraising campaign between your nonprofit sending outbound appeals.  

How do you choose the right campaign keyword? There’s a science behind this.  

First, you’ll need to choose a keyword that’s relevant to your nonprofit or the campaign you’re launching. Relevance makes it easier for your supporters to connect the keyword to what you’re raising funds for.  

Then, consider the K.I.S.S. principle. The acronym is short for keep it short and simple (there’s a not-so-nice version of that, but… we’re nice!).  

Simple text fundraising keywords are best for successful text fundraising.

Compound words are overly-complicated and can be hard to spell. Additionally, longer keywords or keywords made up of more than one word can be broken up or changed by autocorrect. If donors can’t easily text your keyword, chances are you won’t get many donations during a text campaign. Short keywords that donors can spell will easily make your text campaign more effective. 

When in doubt, test out your text fundraising keyword. Make sure autocorrect doesn’t change it to something else and that you can spell it correctly every time.  

Connect your text campaign to an online donation form 

Qgiv’s Mobile Suite connects text fundraising campaigns to online donation forms. If you use an annual campaign form, setting up a related text fundraising keyword on your form makes it easy to integrate text fundraising into your annual fundraising strategy. 

Once you’ve tied your text fundraising keyword to your form, donors can text the keyword and be prompted to give on that form.  

Additionally, you can reach donors with outbound text messages to ask them to give. Links to your donation form work in outbound messages, so create a shortened URL with a free service like Bitly and insert the link to your secure online donation form in your text fundraising appeal. 

Check out these text fundraising templates for inspiration when crafting your text fundraising appeals for your annual campaign.  

Promote your keyword

You can text the donors in your database, but how do you grow your pool of donors who give by text? By promoting your keyword! Share your text fundraising keyword in direct mail appeals, emails, on social media, and during any presentations given by your organization. This gives donors the freedom to give via text without being directly asked in an outbound text message. 

Not only that, but when donors text your keyword and then make a donation on your online donation form, you’re able to capture the donor’s phone number and add them to your text fundraising contact list. The next time you send an outbound text appeal, the donors who give by text will be on your list. 

Other ways to implement text messaging

Text fundraising tools can be used for more than just your annual campaign.

Obviously, your annual fundraising campaign is for collecting donations all year long. Text fundraising for your annual strategy must align with that purpose. However, you can also implement text messaging for other purposes simultaneously! Consider these four other ways to implement Qgiv’s text messaging tools into your fundraising strategy. 

Text fundraising for peer-to-peer

Did you know Qgiv’s peer-to-peer platform includes a text fundraising tool for your fundraising participants? Fundraisers can create a keyword and ask their family and friends to give to their personal fundraising page using their unique text fundraising keyword. Team captains can also create a keyword for their team members to use! 

Text fundraising for peer-to-peer doesn’t include the outbound messaging option included in Mobile Suite, but it does offer a simple way for a donor’s social network to give to their campaign. It’s included with Qgiv’s peer-to-peer package too, so you can implement it without incurring additional costs.  

Encourage your fundraising participants to create their unique keyword and share it on social media so they can quickly fundraise via text. If implemented enough, text fundraising can boost the performance of your next peer-to-peer event. 

Use outbound texts for non-fundraising communications

We’ve mentioned before that Qgiv’s Mobile Suite includes the option to send outbound messages for fundraising appeals. That said, you can also send outbound messages for other reasons than fundraising.  

With the ability to create unlimited keywords, you can build text message lists segmented by purpose. You can create a list of people who want organizational announcements via text, a list for event reminders, a list for volunteer opportunities, and more!  

The best part is, you can grow your lists without manually entering information. Your supporters can opt themselves into lists they want to be a part of by texting the list’s keyword to your text fundraising number. Qgiv will build the list automatically when supporters text the keyword to opt in. 

Your supporters can even manage their own text messaging subscriptions with your organization. They can remove themselves from the list any time via text and your list will automatically update and opt them out. It’s a low-hassle way for you to send targeted messages to specific groups of supporters. 

Send urgent donation requests

Another use for text fundraising tools is to send urgent donation requests. Whether your nonprofit was impacted by a natural disaster, unexpected expense, or is facing an urgent need, you can raise funds fast with a donation request via text.  

An outbound text message with a link to a donation form can motivate your donors to act quickly. Plus, you can separate your fundraising appeals by using a new keyword for each urgent need that arises. That way, your donors can ask their friends and families to help you raise emergency funds. Plus, those friends and family who give become part of a text message contact list.  


Building text campaigns into your annual fundraising strategy can easily grow your fundraising and set your nonprofit apart from other organizations in your area. You can launch your appeals quickly and see responses in minutes. 

Text fundraising is useful in various areas as part of your annual fundraising efforts. Use this strategy to help fundraising participants raise more money at your peer-to-peer events, solicit donations for emergency needs, and use outbound messaging for event reminders, volunteer requests, and more. 

Qgiv’s Mobile Suite makes adding text fundraising to your annual fundraising strategy easy. Request a demo to see how this suite of tools can grow your fundraising. 

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