Text messaging is a great way to reach your donors where they are most active – on their phones.

Here are stats and below are tips on how to utilize text messaging during your fundraising event to increase donations:

1. Short and simple
You don’t want donors to take their attention away from your carefully planned program to read your text message; make it short and easy to read so that your donor can spend just a few seconds reading and your message will be properly conveyed.

2. Call-to-action
In your messaging, tell your donors what you want them to do and make it easy for them to complete that action by including a link. Most of your donors will have cell phones, so accessing a link on their phone will be simple and lead them to your pre-prepared web material.

3. Urgency and FOMO
Compel your donors to do what you are asking them to do by utilizing the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) technique. Giving something an expiration date, or additional time to increase a sense of urgency to get in their final bids or donations.

4. Timing
Create a communications plan for the event and dedicate a volunteer or staff member to execute this plan. No matter the amount of planning behind an event, the timing will deviate so having a person send the messages instead of using an automated program will ensure the messages are delivered at the right time!

5. Meaningful content
You don’t want your donors to think that your messages are spam and want to unsubscribe because they are annoyed. Make sure that you are sending content that is relevant and useful to them. For example, it matters to each attendee that the silent auction is closing at 10:30 pm, but it may not matter to everyone that Gail GiveSmart is the winner of the rock climbing package item.

6. Easy way to give
If you are using text messaging to reach donors, donors should be able to give using their phone. Whether you use text-to-give, a mobile-friendly donation site, or an app, the ultimate call to action of each message should be for the donor to make a donation to your organization. The easier you make it to give, the more likely you will receive donations!


See mobile bidding and text-to-donate in action here!

Brandon Stec is the Director of Marketing at GiveSmart and an Indiana University graduate who's worked across sports and tech over the last decade. Brandon has sat on several boards of Nonprofits in Chicago and Kansas City. He resides in Chicago with his wife, son, and dog, Mango, and is a published author.
Brandon Stec