Nonprofits often use events as a peer-to-peer fundraising tool. Hosting an event such as a fun run, bike to the beaches, or similar event is a great way to maximize donations, engage participants, and amplify your mission, Whether your nonprofit hosts a run, walk, or ride event, each of these is an engaging way to rally community support, raise awareness, and secure donations. Savvy fundraisers know that the success of these events hinges not only on the enthusiasm of participants but also on the effectiveness of the organization’s promotional strategies. Using SMS, also called text-to-give or text marketing, offers nonprofits the unique opportunity to enhance the visibility of their events, increase participation, and boost donations.
The Right Text Messages Get Results
The first step in using SMS in your communications and fundraising strategy is to craft messages that resonate and engage supporters. Our top tips for ensuring your messages are seen and acted upon are:
- Keep your texts concise and to the point, ensuring they convey the event’s purpose, date, location, and how to register or donate.
- Use graphics, emojis, GIFs, and even video to hype up the event.
- Use hyperlinked URLs and strong calls to action to encourage constituents to take the desired action.
To Increase Engagement, Use Personalization
Personalization can also significantly increase open and clickthrough rates. In fact, data shows that a personal touch matters to your constituents, as a whopping 64% of multimedia texts (texts that include GIFs, video, emojis, and images) were personalized. Consider using personalization fields such as the recipient’s first name or donation history or a segment that references any other previous involvement they’ve had with your cause. For example, your conservation-focused nonprofit could send a message that references that you met at a specific community event.
Pro Tip: When combined with a peer-to-peer mobile app, nonprofits can increase their event participation, recruit volunteers, and maximize donations. Learn more by downloading our e-book.
Messages That Were Segmented Have a Higher ROI
According to this study, messages that were segmented raised 36% higher per recipient. Additionally, segmentation led to a 3x decrease in the unsubscribe rate. The most successful nonprofits like March of Dimes, Sandy Hook Promise, and the Alzheimers Association, segment their list in a variety of ways such as donation history, specific events attended, and more.
The Types of Nonprofit Event Text Messages To Send For Increased Engagement
Timely Reminders and Updates
Timing is crucial in SMS campaigns. Schedule reminders leading up to the event to keep it top of mind among potential participants and donors. Updates about the event, such as route changes, weather forecasts, or motivational messages, can also be sent via SMS, keeping your audience informed and engaged.
Engaging with Interactive Content
Text messaging doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t!) be a one-way communication tool. Encourage interaction by inviting recipients to reply with questions or to confirm their attendance. You can also use SMS polls to gather feedback or preferences regarding event details, making your audience feel involved in the planning process.
Exclusive Offers and Incentives
Offer exclusive incentives through SMS to encourage participation and donations. This could include early bird registration discounts, merchandise offers, or special acknowledgments during the event. Such exclusives not only reward engagement but also foster a closer connection with your cause.
Creating a Sense of Community
Use SMS to build a sense of community among participants before, during, and after the event. Share inspiring stories of individuals or teams participating, offer training tips, and send motivational quotes to keep spirits high. After the event, thank participants and share the total amount raised, highlighting the impact of their contributions.
Make the donation process as seamless as possible by integrating SMS with mobile giving solutions. Provide a link in your messages where individuals can easily donate with a few taps on their phone. This convenience is key to converting interest into action.
Analyzing and Optimizing
Finally, utilize the data from your SMS campaigns to analyze engagement and donation rates. This insight allows you to refine your approach, tailoring future messages to better meet the interests and needs of your audience.
Text message marketing offers a versatile and effective tool for nonprofits organizing run, walk, or ride events. By adopting a strategic approach to as part of your holistic marketing and fundraising strategy, nonprofits can significantly increase event visibility, participant engagement, and donations. Remember, the success of your event is not just in the numbers but in the community and connections you build along the way. Embrace texting as part of your fundraising strategy, and watch your nonprofit’s impact grow.