Running a nonprofit fundraising campaign can seem daunting, especially if you’re doing it on your own. With the rapid pace of our modern, online world, groups and organizations are shouting over each other for attention and resources. Cutting through the noise and creating real change takes effort and planning. But you don’t need a team or a huge budget to reach people directly, build connections, and raise funds. The key is SMS marketing.
Many people block banner ads or generic social media posts, scrolling past everything except the most eye-catching content. Fundraising emails easily find their way into junk folders, never seen or skimmed over by the recipients. Some nonprofit organizations use a multi-faceted fundraising system to contact people through every possible communication method.
With a smaller team or budget, your efforts should be more focused. Text message marketing is highly effective and offers an incredible return on your investment of time and resources. Supporters can join your cause, donate through simple links, and stay on subscription lists for future efforts. SMS messaging is perfect for nonprofits of all sizes. Let’s take a closer look at five steps to get your campaign off the ground, plus how to optimize your time as a small team
How to Raise Nonprofits Donations with SMS Marketing
Text messages reliably reach people more than any other form of communication. In fact, 78% of consumers say SMS messaging is the quickest way to reach them. Incredibly, over 99% of mass text messages are opened and read—90% of those are read within the first three minutes of being received. For this reason, many nonprofits have integrated SMS marketing into their fundraising plans. Texting campaigns are easy to set up and run as an individual or small group, provided you find the right partner. Take the following five steps to start your SMS campaign.
1. Choose an SMS Provider
Finding the right SMS provider and platform is critical. Consider your fundraising campaign’s needs. Do you want personalized messages? Are you looking for multimedia support with integrated GIFs and videos? If you have large subscriber lists, your SMS platform needs secure and reliable tools to help you track progress and reach your goals. You must also follow strict laws regarding SMS marketing. Organizations violating these laws can swiftly incur very hefty fines.
An experienced SMS provider, like Tatango, offers advanced software tools and support for all of these needs. Tatango has partnered with nonprofits for years, helping them reach supporters and achieve their donation goals. See a comparison of the top SMS marketing platforms for nonprofit organizations.
2. Get a Short Code
Your SMS provider can set you up with a short code. These five- or six-digit numbers are much easier to remember and promote than standard phone numbers. Some short codes are customized to spell out specific words or reference dates related to the nonprofit. However, many basic short codes are randomized. Your SMS provider will ensure your short codes are registered for your campaign, so all messages go to the right place.
P.S. Prefer a 10-digit long code? Not to worry; Tatango supports all kinds of SMS phone numbers and can help your organization determine which one will best help you reach your fundraising goals.
3. Select Your Keywords
Keywords are the short phrases or words supporters text to your short code to engage with your campaign. These simple words or phrases streamline the process, making it easy for people to join your subscriber list. They also help people opt-in for your fundraising messages. You can ask supporters to text a keyword to your short code (for example, “DONATE” to 222-222) to opt in to your text messaging campaigns.
Keywords are also useful for gathering information or segmenting your comprehensive list. If your nonprofit has multiple initiatives, you can designate keywords to match each initiative. Specific or regional keywords can help you better understand your subscribers. An industry leader like Tatango will advise you on the best keyword options and strategies.
4. Offload Design to the Tatango Design Studio
Creating every text message from scratch is not efficient. SMS templates help you plan your texting campaign and get the most out of your time, money, and resources. Test different tones and message styles and refer to the metrics provided by your SMS platform’s software for insight on what’s working and what isn’t.
Create templates for donation requests, event reminders, thank-you notes, and other types of messages you plan to send regularly. Then use merge tags (available with Tatango) to include each subscriber’s name in every message you send them. Personalization helps build a long-term relationship with supporters and encourages future donations.
The Tatango Design Studio is a free resource for Tatango clients, where specialized nonprofit designers help organizations craft eye-catching text messages complete with images, GIFs, audio files, videos, and more. Cross resource-heavy design work off of your to-do list and let the Tatango experts handle it for you.
5. Integrate Donation Tools to Easily Grow Your List
Instead of spending time manually growing your subscriber list, with Tatango, you can integrate a simple line of code onto your website. As soon as someone fills out a web form or provides their phone number, that person automatically syncs with your text messaging list for future updates.
Your SMS provider will also help set up integrations with donation tools. Giving money should be as simple and mobile-friendly as possible for your subscribers. Make sure the donation journey is straightforward from start to finish. If your process involves confusing steps or lengthy donations forms, you risk losing donors. Supporters should be able to tap a link in a text message to go directly to an easy-to-use donation page. With Tatango, you can insert these links into your text messages and instantly track the ROI of each and every message you send.
Get Started Today
Even with a team of one, your SMS fundraising campaign can be hugely successful. By partnering with the right SMS provider and following these steps, you’ll lay a great foundation and set yourself up for success. People are more likely to stay connected with your campaign when the mission statement is clear, the steps to donate are simple, and the lines of communication stay open.
Tatango’s platform and expertise can jumpstart your fundraising strategy. Track progress, set goals, build subscriber lists, send follow-up messages, and much more. To learn more and get started today, contact our team of experts for support.