August 22, 2023
Nonprofit Technology & Fundraising Blog
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Texting is a surefire way to ensure your message is received, with 90% of messages being read within 3 minutes of being sent. That’s why more and more nonprofits are leveraging fundraising software and integrations that allow them to text donors, often called text-to-give tools, especially on Giving Tuesday when it’s important to act fast and stand out.
Here are some ideas to help you with the content and timing of your text messages.
When developing the communication strategy behind your nonprofit’s Giving Tuesday campaign, think about the way you want constituents to receive and understand your messages. Decide which methods of communication are most important to your donors, compared with how much time your staff will be able to spend. Your approach will likely differ between communication channels. For instance, you may want your appeal letters to inspire heartfelt emotion, while you want your text messages to inspire immediate action
Once you’ve come up with a campaign theme, start thinking of ways to sum it up in just a few words, including a call to action. A “call to action” (CTA) is a statement encouraging donors to act now, providing them with the means to do so, usually in the form of a hyperlink. Your CTA could be a link to your general online donation form, or it could be a link to a specific landing page or form that you’ve created for the campaign.
You might want to consider sending more than one text message if you want to communicate more than just your theme, like options to get involved, invitations to upcoming events, and links to check campaign progress. For example, DonorPerfect Online Forms allow you to include a goal meter that tracks donations in real time.
Marketing best practices will encourage you to keep each text message to 300 characters, including any links. Keep in mind that donors will need a link to opt into your text service in order to receive subsequent updates on Giving Tuesday and beyond.
Here’s an example of a text message under 300 characters:
“Now is your chance to make your biggest impact yet! Today only, [NONPROFIT NAME] major donors are matching your donations. For just $25, you can provide a single mom with Christmas gifts for her children: [ONLINE FORM LINK]”
With a text-to-give solution like DP Text that integrates with your fundraising software, you can set up multiple updates that will be sent straight to your donors’ mobile devices at peak giving times during the day.
If you plan on continuing to send text message updates after Giving Tuesday, or in general, make it easy for donors to opt into your text service. If you have space in your message, explain that it’s the easiest way to stay informed about your nonprofit’s happenings.
If there is a particular donor group that you think will appreciate text updates and the option to donate from their phone, you can use customized CRM reporting to create a targeted list for your text-to-give tool.
For example, you might want to pull a list of donors under the age of 50 who gave through your online donation form last Giving Tuesday. You could even break up your donor list into smaller segments based on how much they gave last Giving Tuesday, and create different text messages that recommend different ask amounts.
Need help writing text messages? Generate them with Artificial Intelligence!
Nonprofit AI tools allow fundraisers to go straight from brainstorming to the finished product. For example, you can ask your generative AI tool to write a text message geared to donors under 50 who donated online last Giving Tuesday inviting them to give again.
Here are some ideas:
Never used generative AI before? Learn how with our free guide, AI for Nonprofits!
Get set for Giving Tuesday by creating a list of donors to receive your texts. For example, you can create a custom list for your text-to-give tool by reporting on your fall event attendees or those who gave last Giving Tuesday.
If donor retention is part of your campaign focus, you can even plan to re-engage lapsed donors by pulling a “LYBUNT” report showing donors who gave last year, but not this year.
On the morning of, text a reminder of the important work you’re doing, along with a link to your donation page. If your text message will be sent to recurring or past donors, it doesn’t hurt to show gratitude for their previous contributions.
On the day of, promote your custom text-to-give CTA on your social media, emails, radio and anyplace else you’re asking people to give.
Get more quick tips for Giving Tuesday: Download your free Cheat Sheet »
The day after, send a thank-you message to your opt-in list. You’ll be busy, so schedule ahead if you can! Using DP Text, you can schedule an automatic follow-up text to your list.
Your first follow-up message should also serve as a reminder (with a link to your online form) to those who missed the chance to give.
After you’ve counted up your Giving Tuesday donations, you can use text messages to tell donors how their gifts have been or will be put to use. This time is also your chance to get creative and be specific by including links to videos or web pages that feature your beneficiaries and volunteers.
In the months after Giving Tuesday, stay connected with your supporters by sending regular bi-monthly text messages inviting them to upcoming events and alerting them to all of the wonderful things you’re doing.
Many nonprofits are left scrambling in the days leading up to one of the biggest days for donations, but planning can be done quickly and efficiently with the right resources. Check out our Giving Tuesday Cheat Sheet, available for free download below, and our Giving Tuesday Hub, chock full of email templates, social media strategies, and campaign ideas.