4 Tips to Grow Your Nonprofit's Text-to-Give Contact List
In today's digitally connected world, reaching supporters through text has emerged as a powerful tool for nonprofits to expand their outreach and achieve their fundraising goals. Unlike other mediums like email or direct mail, text messaging uniquely simulates a one-on-one conversation, allowing nonprofits to foster a strong emotional connection with supporters that leads to more donations down the line.
However, launching a successful text-to-give fundraising campaign requires more than just a compelling cause; it demands a strategic approach to growing your text contact list. To get the ball rolling on your text-to-give fundraising campaign, you need to encourage as many supporters as possible to opt-in to your texts.
Growing your nonprofit’s text-to-give contact list is an essential part of expanding your reach and revenue. After all, you can’t motivate people to donate if you don’t have the means to reach them first! Luckily, growing your text-to-give contact list isn’t difficult when you have the right tools and strategies in place.
By implementing the following best practices, you'll pave the way for substantial growth in both your supporter base and your campaign's impact:
- Create a text-to-give landing page
- Include a phone number field on your forms
- Host a social media contest
- Highlight text-to-give in your email newsletter
With more subscribers, you can keep your supporters in the loop, inspire giving at a large scale, and create lifelong partnerships to power your mission. Let’s begin.
Create a text-to-give landing page
Your nonprofit website is a powerful marketing and fundraising tool, making it the perfect place to promote your text-to-give fundraiser. Harness this potential to its fullest by crafting a dedicated landing page to promote your text-to-give fundraising campaign. A well-designed landing page acts as a one-stop shop to everything supporters need to know about your text-to-give campaign, from its purpose to how they can get involved.
Make sure your page includes the following critical details:
1. Clear instructions on how to opt-in
Explain to supporters how they can opt-in to your campaign by laying out each step in as much detail as possible. Your instructions should include your text-to-give campaign’s unique keyword and short- or long-code. Keep in mind that you might have supporters who have never opted into a text messaging campaign before, so sharing these instructions in an engaging and easy-to-grasp way will increase the likelihood that they’ll support your text-to-give efforts.
For example, you might:
- Develop a video walkthrough of a staff member showing the opt-in process in action
- Create a GIF with easy to follow steps, such as 1-2-3
- Generate an infographic that explains the process
Repurpose this content in your email newsletters and social media posts to help spread the word about your campaign and excite supporters with this simple donation method.
2. The convenience of text-to-give for supporters
Supporters who are already subscribed to your email newsletter or following you on social media might wonder why it’s worth their time to additionally opt-in to your text messages. Explain the value of text-to-give on your landing page to grab your supporters’ attention and encourage them to sign up right away. Tatango’s guide to nonprofit text messaging explains that text-to-give has the following inherent benefits:
- Supporters can donate on-the-go from their phones at any time.
- Supporters can receive updates about your current projects, fundraising progress notifications, event reminders, and more so they’re always in the loop.
- Supporters can play a more impactful role in pushing your nonprofit’s mission forward.
Text-to-give caters to all types of donors and encourages them to stay involved in your mission, wherever they might be. Emphasize this popular donation method’s convenience in your landing page copy.
3. The impact of joining your text-to-give efforts
To cultivate trust with your supporters and further highlight the value of joining your text-to-give efforts, explain how the donations will be used. Illustrate this impact with emotionally compelling images of your volunteers in action or photos of beneficiaries who have benefitted from donor support.
Once you’ve included these key items in your text-to-give landing page, you’ll also need to make sure your visual design is engaging and user-friendly. Ensure your landing page aligns with your branding to unify it with the rest of your website and reinforce your identity.
Include a phone number field on your forms
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), nonprofits do not need express written consent to opt their supporters into their text messaging campaign. If a supporter has given your phone number to your organization at any time (such as at an event or on your donation page), this is known as implied consent and your organization has the legal go-ahead to begin texting these donors.
To get your donors’ implied consent and opt them into your text messaging campaign, include a phone number field on the following forms:
- Event registration forms
- Your online donation page
- Advocacy alert forms
Consider adding a brief disclaimer to your forms that says “By giving your phone number, you consent to receive text messages from us with updates and ways you can help.” This transparency helps to build trust with your supporters.
You are also legally required to provide a way for supporters to opt-out of your campaigns, so make sure to work with an intuitive nonprofit text messaging platform that will allow you to set up an easy opt-out mechanism for supporters (such as texting STOP).
Host a social media contest
Social media is a great way to reach hundreds to thousands of people with an interest in your mission and create buzz around your text-to-donate campaign.
Consider challenging current supporters to repost content about your text-to-give campaign on their social media channels and compete to get the most impressions, likes, reposts, or other metrics you can track. Add a memorable hashtag to your contest to help boost your visibility. For example, an animal welfare nonprofit might use the hashtag #Dollars4Dogs.
Make sure to express appreciation once your contest is over! Fundraising Letters’ guide to volunteer appreciation recommends thanking everyone that participated by writing a thank-you letter, calling them on the phone, or sending them branded merchandise.
Highlight text-to-give in your email newsletter
Email is another great marketing tool to tap your existing supporters and encourage them to opt-in to your text messages. Spotlight your text-to-give campaign in your email newsletter by including the following elements:
- A catchy subject line related to text-to-give
- A bold call-to-action that directs people to opt-in
- Links to other resources where they can learn more (like your text-to-give landing page)
Make sure to explain the benefits of text-to-give in your email newsletter so supporters feel compelled to opt-in. For example, a higher education institution running a text-to-give fundraiser could explain in their email newsletter that opting in will give alumni an opportunity to get regular updates about academic breakthroughs and alumni events. Highlighting perks like this will help you grow your contact list from zero to hundreds or thousands of subscribers in no time!
Building your text-to-give contact list doesn’t have to be a chore! With the right strategies, you can effectively turn casual supporters into loyal text-to-give donors. Make sure you’re working with a comprehensive text messaging platform so you can easily develop a winning campaign that will inspire donations.
Mike Snusz brings 19 years of digital fundraising experience to his role as Director of Nonprofit Customer Experience at Tatango, a text messaging platform for nonprofits and political campaigns. Prior to Tatango, Mike spent 15 years at Blackbaud leading a team of digital consultants that helped nonprofits improve their online fundraising, monthly giving, email marketing and peer-to-peer fundraising programs. Mike started his nonprofit career managing the Ride For Roswell from 2003 to 2005 in his hometown of Buffalo, NY.