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Benefits and Downside of Text-to-Give for Nonprofits

Benefits and Downside of Text-to-Give for Nonprofits

Posted on October 4, 2021
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Text-to-give is an innovative fundraising technique that allows people to make donations to organizations using their mobile phones. Donors may text donations to their favorite organizations using their phones’ default messaging apps.

Text-to-give has quickly become a need in the charity sector, and for good reason: it works. Individual contributors gave an estimated $43 million through text messages in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Text donations, in addition to increasing income, assist organizations to increase donor engagement and retention, allowing them to secure long-term support for their cause.

In this article, we will give you the complete introduction of the Text-to-give strategy and also discuss text giving benefits, as well as the downside of using text giving.

What is Text-to-Give?

Nonprofits and other cause-based groups can collect money through text message using text-to-give. Anyone can donate to your organization by texting a chosen phone number to a text-to-give service.

Although the method varies depending on the platform, donors are generally required to text a cash amount or a phrase to a specified text-to-give number. They will then either get a confirmation SMS with a link to a contribution form or the amount gets charged on the donor’s monthly mobile bill.

How does Text Giving Work?

The text-to-give procedure varies based on the tools and platform used to collect donations, but it is typically simple whether utilizing a specific text-to-give platform or a payment platform.

STEP 1: Set-up the Keywords

The nonprofit creates a keyword of their choosing (e.g., DONATE). Depending on the platform, numerous keywords can be established to correlate with different cash amounts (for example, text DONATE15 to contribute $15, text DONATE05 to donate $5, and so on).

STEP 2: Advertise your Text-to-Give Campaign

Display your keyword and phone number everywhere your target audience is likely to interact with you (e.g., social media, website, email, radio, newspaper). Depending on the text-to-give technology, you may be issued a campaign-specific phone number or shortcode. Other platforms may permit you to utilize your current company phone number, which is excellent.

STEP 3: The Donor Texts the Number with the Keyword

The donor texts the keyword to the linked phone number and receives an auto-response text message, which begins the contribution. From there, depending upon the service either a text message will be sent that contains a link to the contribution page with a link to a secure payment platform or the donation may be charged on their monthly mobile bill.

STEP 4: Donation is made

The donor chooses to go with the texted amount or set their contribution amount. They may also choose to make a recurring payment or a monthly payment. Once the payment is done, the firm and the donor will get the receipts. And now you can add their name to your ever-growing contributors’ list and innovatively thank them.

What are the Benefits of Text-to-Give?

When used in the proper environment, text-to-give offers several advantages. The simplicity of this fundraising approach is what makes it so successful and popular among organizations and contributors. The best thing is that it is incredibly simple to get started and makes use of the convenience of contributing via mobile phones.

1] Operate from Anywhere

Text-to-give technology enables users to donate to organizations of their choice straight from their mobile devices’ text messaging apps. This method of fundraising allows groups to solicit funds at any time and from any location. It also meets contributors where they are, which is frequently on their smartphones.

2] Easy to Operate

Text-to-give is one of the most straightforward methods of giving. A transaction may be accomplished in only a few clicks with the proper text-to-give software.

3] Using Widely Available Infrastructure

Because most individuals use mobile phones daily, texting to donate is a simple process. Donors may contribute without much difficulty because the learning curve is minimal.

4] Impulse/Fast Giving

Donors who donate through SMS generally make a snap decision in response to pictures they saw on television, with little to no previous research. Furthermore, because the chance to contribute is so instantaneous and the procedure is so quick, donors are more likely to follow through with their first impulse and are less likely to become side-tracked. Online donations, for example, typically take more thought.

The Downside of Using Text Giving

1] No Storytelling

There is very little space for you to convey your organization’s narrative, share the campaign’s mission, and show contributors how they can have a real difference. A lack of storytelling might leave supporters with a slew of unanswered questions, such as:

– To which campaign am I donating?

– Who will be directly benefited by my contribution?

– How does this relate to the nonprofit’s mission?

– Is this gift truly having an effect?

– Can I rely on this SMS message?

These questions are readily answered with the right branding on your campaign website, but text-to-give does not allow you to incorporate that in your appeal.

2] It takes Time to Access the Funds

If your organizations partner with cellular carriers to operate text-to-give campaigns, the proceeds will be sent to the nonprofit whenever contributors pay their phone bills, which might take 30 to 60 days. This might be challenging, especially if your group is seeking funds to help with an immediate need. For example, if a natural disaster occurs, you may have difficulty using the cash you’ve received to give urgent help to those in need. Not to forget that certain carriers will deduct a charge from the donation. This lack of consistency has the potential to wreak havoc on your financial flow and budgeting.

3] Close to Zero Recurring Donations

A one-time donation isn’t always a negative thing; you’re still receiving support for your cause. A frequent contributor, on the other hand, is 440% more valuable to your organization than a one-time donation, according to our latest study (

If you can’t take care of your contributors beyond a one-time contribution, you’re throwing money away. Thus, although text-to-give encourages one-time contributions, it hinders long-term sustainability by not allowing supporters to join up as regular contributors.

4] Cost

Purchasing fundraising software of any kind may be a big investment for your organization. Text-to-give software costs include the program itself, payment service fees, maintenance and installation expenses, supplier fees, shortcodes, and extra keywords and messages. Of course, certain text-to-give providers will be less expensive than others, so your organization may not even have to incur all of these expenses.

IconnectX gives non-profit a sustainable and affordable text-to-give platform. You can click here to know more.

5] Lack of Donor Data

When someone contributes via text-to-give, that’s it. You are unable to collect data other than the amount raised is the greatest failure of text-to-give.

An effective fundraising plan requires donor data to manage donors and encourage them to raise future donations, join up as regular contributors, or soft introduce a new initiative. You’re locked in the domain of “I guess” rather than the concrete reality of “I know” if you don’t have access to this information. As a result, your future funding attempts and your total profits may suffer.

Benefits of Text to Give with IConnetX

There is no shortage of text-to-give platforms, however, if you are looking for a flexible and affordable option IConnectX is a great option. Here’s what you get from IConnectX services:

  • The private mobile number included with each event
  • Custom donation amounts
  • Secure payment process
  • Email support
  • Donation receipts
  • Full reports on donations
  • Social Media sharing
  • Live Software Support
  • Secure payment processing
  • File generation for CRM input

As you can see, text-to-donate is a strong fundraising tool that many organizations have been using for a long time. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the opportunity, it’s never too late!