SMS fundraising is a popular and efficient method to raise funds for your organization. Luckily, it’s an easy method, too. All you need is a list of phone numbers to text and a well-crafted message, and you can reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of supporters in no time.
However, you shouldn’t just copy and paste your fundraising email into a text. All outreach methods have their own set of best practices — SMS fundraising included. If you're curious about starting launching your first SMS fundraising campaign or want to optimize your existing campaigns to boost donations, try these eight tried-and-true tips to raise more:
8 Tips for SMS Fundraising
1. Keep it simple.
Carriers automatically split text messages into segments of about 153 characters or less, which means you should be mindful of how long your fundraising messages are. For reference, the previous sentence was just over 160 characters. Use your wordsmithing skills and make sure your messages are short, to the point, and easy for any donor to understand.
2. Use clear language.
Use plain language that everyone can understand; you should avoid using technical or complicated words that may confuse people. The average American reads at a 7th or 8th-grade level, so you should avoid using overly complex language. When in doubt, you can use free writing tools like Readable.com or the Hemingway app to determine your message’s level of readability.
3. Emphasize the importance of their donation.
Each donation makes a difference, and you should properly communicate this to your donors. What goal will their donation help to achieve? Why is it important that they donate at this specific moment? Is there a total dollar amount you’re raising towards? These questions can help you craft messages that emphasize urgency and impact.
4. Provide a clear call to action.
One of the most important ways to maximize your SMS fundraising impact is by making it easy for people to donate. Request a specific amount with a direct link to your fundraising portal, and don’t let your fundraising link get lost in your text. Make sure your donors have all the necessary information they need to donate!
5. Personalize your message.
The success of your fundraising efforts depends on the relationships you create with donors. Personalizing your SMS fundraising message, like addressing donors by their name, will allow you to maintain a positive relationship. To take customization a step further, you can personalize the message based on donation history or known interests.
6. Use a unique keyword for donations.
SMS fundraising allows you to create a unique keyword, like DONATE, that donors can text to your broadcast number. Then, you can automate reply text messages triggered by the keyword to send donors donation links. This process streamlines your fundraising campaign. Spread the word about your donation keyword on social media, email, and more, then wait for donors to start texting you.
7. Offer incentives.
Donors give from the kindness of their hearts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer something to sweeten the deal. Ramp up donor participation by offering incentives like gift baskets, movie tickets, or free services. Even something as small as a shoutout in a weekly newsletter can entice people who wouldn’t normally donate!
8. Follow up with a thank-you message.
Thanking your donors is as important as the initial SMS fundraising message. If a contact makes a donation, you should always follow up with a thank you text. Showing appreciation for your supporters allows you to build genuine relationships, which can result in future donations.
Jumpstart Your SMS Fundraising Campaign Today
Now that you know eight ways to strengthen your SMS fundraising campaign, you may be looking for the right text platform to get started on. Impactive is the leading all-in-one outreach and engagement platform for organizations looking to build and grow supporter relationships. Impactive offers multiple texting solutions like Peer-to-Peer Texting, Broadcast Texting, and Friends & Family Messaging that you can use to jumpstart your SMS fundraising campaign.
Ready to get started with SMS fundraising? Schedule a demo with our partnerships team here.