Introduction to SMS Donations

Are you a non-profit or organization looking to use text messaging to collect donations? Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango explains how SMS donations work and two different methods for setting up a text message marketing campaign that can collect donations.


Video Transcription

Hi, Derek Johnson with I get asked all the time, "Derek, how do I run an SMS donation campaign? I want to collect money, or put text "donate" to 63898 to donate $5 or have everybody that I know donate $5 to my cause."

Well, there's two ways to do it. One, they can be added directly to the person's mobile phone bill, the donation. This way, text "donate" to a short code, and they would get a message back saying "Thank you. The $5 has been added to your mobile phone bill." That's the first way. The problem with the first way is that it's very expensive, and a lot of groups and organizations can't afford it. Set up fees can be five-hundred plus dollars, and the monthly fees are pretty large. That's why you see a lot of these types of campaigns on TV when natural disasters strike, because they can afford the set up cost and the high monthly fees.

The other way is more of a hack, as we call it in the internet world, where it works, but it's not as smooth as this way, but it costs way less. So this way what you want to do is you want to have people in your organization text "donate" which is a keyword, to a short code, Tatango's is 33733. And instead of actually putting it on the mobile phone bill, which is where all the administrative costs get in there, making it so expensive. What you do is you use something like PayPal, and you link your donors to PayPal. And then they type their credit card in PayPal, PayPal charges a very small percentage, transaction fee, and then you collect your donations through PayPal, not through the cell phone carrier. This kind of version, you can run one of these, for $49 per month. This kind of version is much more intense and you're going to spend a lot more money.

Both are awesome. Some work for organizations, some work for better for other organizations. That's how you run an SMS donation campaign for your group or organization.

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