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Text Messaging Service for Nonprofits: Getting Started Guide

As a nonprofit organisation, effective communication is vital. No matter your mission or cause, you need to keep donors and other interested parties informed and engaged, so you can keep on raising funds and bringing about positive change. A text messaging service for nonprofits can help you do just that.

Why use a text messaging service for your nonprofit organisation?

SMS offers a speedy and direct way to communicate with people. Here are some powerful facts and statistics you might not know:

  • 62.07% of people worldwide (4.88 billion people) have a mobile phone capable of sending and receiving text messages. Not all of these people will have access to other communication channels such as email or Messenger on their mobile devices.

  • Texts are delivered over a cellular network – they don’t rely on wi-fi transmission, meaning they can be sent and received in remote areas.

  • SMS benefits from spectacular open rates (around 98%). And response times are swift – most people reply to a text within just 90 seconds.


The fact is that text messaging is still widely popular and effective. Texts feel personal, have a high impact and better still, they’re reliable. Texts are much more likely to get seen than other communication channels. And these aren’t the only reasons that a text messaging service for nonprofits makes complete sense.

Did you know that:

  • 25% of donors complete their donation on their mobile device?

  • 49% of donation pledges come from text links?

  • Text-to-donate fundraisers receive an average donation size of $107?


*Above stats courtesy of Nonprofitssource.

It’s no surprise then that many non-profits use text messaging to encourage donations. This is how the Red Cross managed to raise $43 million in donations after the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Another example is when two UK charities, Comic Relief and Children in Need, came together in 2020 for the Big Night In to raise more than £70 million – £10.3 million was collected via mobile donations.

To sum up, a text messaging service for nonprofits can help you raise funds, connect and build better relationships with your supporters and get important messages across quickly. SMS also provides good value as a communication channel. You only pay for the texts you send, and because the open and engagement rates are so high, you’ll get an excellent return on investment.

Text messaging service for nonprofits – use cases and examples

Text messaging can be used to promote specific fundraising campaigns, thank donors, answer FAQs, send out reminders and much more. Take a look at these use cases and examples below:

1. Donation requests

When you need to raise funds or ask for other types of donations, texting gets the request out virtually instantly. You can use a text donation service to make it possible for donors to give money by texting a unique shortcode (the amount is then added to the donor’s mobile phone bill). Or you can provide a URL to another platform where the donor can make their pledge online.


Examples:

Hi Leah. Can you help your local food bank by donating tinned goods or store cupboard staples? Visit our website to learn more: [URL]

Urgent appeal: Little Angel’s Hospice needs your help to raise funds for our children’s playroom. Text 5 or 10 to 12345 to donate the equivalent amount in $.

Donation request SMS example for nonprofits

2. Event promotion and reminders

Events are a great way to connect with the local community and drum up support. Event promotion, registration confirmation and reminders can all be sent out via text.

Examples:

Hi Mary. We’re holding a craft fair at the village hall on 28/07/21 to raise money for Featherstone Church. Reply Y/N to confirm your attendance.

Hi Mary, thanks for registering to attend our craft fair on 28/07/21! It starts at 10am. Here’s a link to more info: [URL]

Hi Mary, just a reminder that our craft fair starts at 10am tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you there!

3. General awareness

Although you only have a short amount of space to use in a text message (160 characters), you can use SMS to broadcast important information about your cause. Because texts have an impact, sending out some quick facts this way can help generate awareness effectively.

Examples:

Fact: plastic pollution is devastating our environment, yet plastic production will double by 2050. Read how you can help. [URL]

Hey Liam, do you know how many alcohol units you’re consuming each week? Too many can impact your health and lifestyle. Read 10 harsh facts about alcohol: [URL]

4. Communication with volunteers

SMS is very useful when you need to share time-sensitive information with volunteers who are out and about helping your cause.

Examples:

Hi Annie, could you collect Mrs Smith’s prescription from the chemist today and deliver it to her home? It’ll be ready from 10am onwards.

Urgent: we need two extra volunteers to help deliver meals to our elderly residents each Thursday lunchtime. Can you help? Text Y/N.

SMS communication with nonprofit volunteers example

How to choose a suitable platform

It’s essential to choose the right texting service for your nonprofit organisation. Here’s what to look out for when you do your research on providers:

1. Excellent delivery rates

No SMS provider can guarantee that every single text message will get delivered. Many external factors that impact message deliverability can’t be controlled, such as invalid phone numbers, a person’s phone being switched off for a long time or the text getting blocked by carrier networks.

However, by choosing a reliable SMS provider with smart routing algorithms, you can increase the chances of your texts getting delivered. For instance, Messente has access to an extensive network of mobile operators to ensure your messages are delivered via the fastest route and we have backup routes available if your text goes undelivered for some reason.

2. Easy to use platform

A good text messaging service for nonprofits needs to be simple so that you can focus your efforts on your organisation’s core operations. Look for a provider with a user-friendly interface and easy setup process. Read how easy it is to get started with Messente.

3. Good support

While you’d hope that you never have an issue with a text campaign, from time to time, something may go wrong, or you might have a technical question or need advice on getting the most out of your text messaging service. When then happens, you’ll want to rely on proper support, where you can speak to an actual human (not a chatbot). Make sure your chosen SMS provider offers a good level of support and customer service.

Set up a text messaging service for nonprofits today

A text messaging service can enhance communication with donors and other parties that need to know about your mission or cause. It can also help you boost donations, as many people find texting to donate very quick and straightforward.

With Messente, getting started with text messaging is simple. Sign up here to create your free account and explore the dashboard. Then, when you’re ready, get in touch to discuss your requirements – our friendly support team will be happy to answer your questions.

Karl Kalvik
2021-08-16 00:00:00 UTC
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