Text-to-Give Fundraising: 8 Best Practices (Part 1)


By: Eric Griego, @Pay

Whether you’re in the midst of your first text-to-give fundraising campaign, or it’s old-hat for you at this point, one thing remains true: you can always stand to learn something new.

If text message fundraising is a new foray for your organization, rest assured that the tips we’ll be exploring in this article (and in the follow-up article) will be both applicable and actionable.

And if you’re a mobile fundraising pro, keep an open mind, and you’ll be sure to pick up some new tricks.

For a sneak preview of the first 4 best practices we’re going to touch on in this post, check out the table of contents below:

  1. Look into Multiple Mobile Giving Solutions.
  2. Choose a Secure Text-to-Give Provider.
  3. Make Sure that Donors are the Drivers®.
  4. Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

A wise man once said, “There’s no time like the present.” And that’s why we’re going to jump in feet-first.

#1. Look into Multiple Mobile Giving Solutions.

Let’s Begin at the Beginning™— with looking into the multiple mobile giving solutions.

Texting to donate is just one of the pieces in the giant puzzle that is mobile giving.

In addition to texting to give, there’s also:

  • Mobile bidding,
  • Mobile giving portals,
  • QR code promotions,
  • Mobile goal thermometers,
  • Mobile email fundraising,
  • And so much more. 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a mobile fundraiser is not to explore every option available to your nonprofit.

The first step in remedying this misstep is to conduct a survey of your current donor base.

Put your feelers out and be on the lookout for fresh giving ideas.

You never know what your supporters will come up with. In addition to sending out an open survey asking for suggestions, you might also consider sending out an email poll.

Give them a wide array of options from which to choose, and tally up the votes.

The first, second, and third most popular giving solutions among your particular donor base should give you your answer.
The point is: Letting your donors help you elect their own mobile giving opportunities guarantees that they’ll be more engaged with your text-to-give campaign as well as your overall mobile fundraising efforts.

#2. Choose a Secure Text-to-Give Provider.

One of the top concerns that most donors have around online donations in general, and text message fundraising in particular, is security.
It’s understandable.
It seems almost too good to be true that a donor could simply text a number and automatically donate to your cause, right?

Well, luckily, it’s not. In fact, it looks a little something like this:

Pay Image 1

But how can your organization verify that any given donation isn’t fraudulent if giving really is that simple?

It all has to do with something called “2-factor authentication.”

A donor may give via text message, but they have to confirm their payment in their email inbox, thereby confirming their identity, like so:

Page Image 2

Yet another way that the top text-to-give platform providers ensure the safety and security of both organizations and their donors is by being PCI-compliant.
PCI-compliance essentially means that a platform provider adheres to the strict standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry (hence the name).

A major part of that compliance is in “tokenizing” sensitive information.

Tokenization is the process by which credit card (and other classified) info is encrypted so that no one outside of the transaction has access to it.

This ensures that everyone involved in a mobile giving transaction remains totally protected against fraud.

The point is: Security should always be front-of-mind when it comes to your text-to-give campaign. That’s why it’s vital to find a provider that meets or exceeds all standards.

#3. Make Sure that Donors are the Drivers®.

If you think your organization is too small to make a difference with a text-to-give campaign, think again.

It’s all about using what you already have at your disposal.

And if you’ve been around the block at least once, you more than likely have some loyal followers.

How do you use that fact to your advantage, though?

Through peer-to-peer fundraising, of course.

This approach is pretty basic, and it’s been around just about as long as fundraising itself.

Peer-to-peer fundraising hinges on the idea that every donor is capable of being a fundraiser.

And as we know from Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™, Donors are the Drivers®.  Individuals are the ones who are providing 90% of all philanthropic dollars.

That being said, all you really need to do to get the ball rolling with a peer-to-peer text-to-give campaign is to give your most avid donors all the tools they need to succeed.

Tools such as:

  • Pre-written copy for email blasts,
  • In-depth info about the campaign,
  • Tips for using social media,
  • And whatever else they may need.

Set your donors up for success, and before you know it, they’ll be out there expanding your nonprofit’s network.

They’ll be telling everyone they know— all of their:

  • Friends,
  • Families,
  • Acquaintances,
  • Coworkers,
  • And more.

Want to know the best part? Once those donors have given to your text-to-give campaign, you’ll have their contact info and can steward them to become long-term supporters.

Voila! You’ve just grown your organization using your existing donors.

The point is: Incorporating peer-to-peer fundraising tactics into your text-to-give campaign is a surefire way to propel your organization to the next level.

#4. Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

Speaking of kicking it up a notch, let’s talk about the amazing tool that is social media.

With over a billion daily active users, Facebook is clearly a giant in the digital social sphere.

Not far behind, Twitter and Instagram have hundreds of millions of users.

It’s easy to see how these platforms could have more than their fair share of influence on your donors.

What you need to do to enhance your text-to-give campaign is to harness that influence.

In order to get to that point, you’ll need some quick, actionable advice. Which is why we’ve provided some here, broken up by the top 3 social media sites that nonprofits use.


  • Twitter

  1. Engage in trending convo’s that are relevant to your cause.
  2. Create and register your own campaign #hashtag.
  3. Include your text-to-give number in every post as well as your bio.
  • Instagram

  1. Post your text-to-give number as a photo and also in your bio.
  2. Set Instagram reminders every week about your campaign.
  3. Use the same hashtag that you registered for Twitter.
  • Facebook

  1. Take advantage of the long-form platform by posting the thoughts behind your campaign.
  2. Don’t forget to include images of your text-to-give campaign in action to engage users.
  3. Create an event page and invite your followers to “attend” your text-to-give campaign.

With these tips in mind, you’re bound to host a highly successful mobile fundraiser.

The point is: Tailoring your social media strategy to your donors’ preferences will increase the chances that they’ll engage with your text-to-give campaign.

Stay tuned for the final four best practices, so you can become a veritable text-to-give expert!

To give you a little teaser, in the follow-up article, we’ll be looking at:

  • Integrating text-to-give technology with your email newsletters,
  • Promoting text-to-give at live fundraising events,
  • Taking it a step further with prospect research,
  • And figuring out how to thank mobile donors. 

Until next time, happy mobile fundraising!



Eric Griego is the Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. He has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of nonprofit & church organizations.