Mobile devices are the constant companion of just about everyone these days. The ubiquitousness of smartphones enables nonprofit organizations to use them as mobile fundraising tools to reach their campaign objectives, including text-to-donate.

What are the benefits of text-to-donate fundraising?

Enabling donors to complete donations via mobile devices offers several valuable advantages for nonprofits:

  • Convenience: With text-to-donate, individuals can make donations or place charity auctions bids from anywhere. The lack of need to physically attend the event leads to increased participation. Plus, the interactive nature of the process generates more excitement.
  • Simplicity: Donors appreciate how easy the text-to-donate process is. In most cases, they only need to type a code or keyword into their mobile device to have the amount billed to their credit or debit card. Here are 6 tips for texting your donors.
  • Text notifications: Nonprofits can use text messaging to provide instant alerts and notifications regarding the progress of bidding or the status of their donations. It can also help establish a relationship between the organization and donor that continues after the event.

Mobile fundraising statistics

How important is text-to-donate fundraising for nonprofits? Consider the following statistics:

  • Approximately 25% of donors use mobile devices to discover nonprofits they were unaware of
  • The average text-to-donate donation size is $107
  • About half of the people who visit a nonprofit’s website use a mobile device to do so
  • More than half of the emails from nonprofits are read on mobile devices
  • The majority of text donors are in the 49-59 age bracket, which represents the category that is likely to have the highest amount of disposable income

Statistics from a couple of the most successful campaigns of the past decade shed light on the effectiveness of text-to-give:

  • Change 4 Change Campaign for The Breakfast Club: A popular iHeartRadio show called The Breakfast Club held a Radiothon text-to-donate campaign in 2019 called #Change4Change to benefit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Breakfast Club Scholarship. In their previous year, they raised over $119,000, but in 2019, by promoting the chance to text “Change” to 76278 and expanding their reach, they were able to raise over $353,000 through their text-to-give platform.
  • First Responders Children’s Foundation: In March of 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic, the First Responders Children’s Foundation partnered with iHeartRadio and Fox for a living room concert event hosted by Elton John. This campaign was a donation campaign where anyone could text “Thanks” to 76278 to support. They ended up raising over $140,000 in this streamlined and time-sensitive text-to-give campaign.

What types of organizations can benefit from mobile fundraising tools?

While virtually any nonprofit can use text-to-donate to bolster their fundraising efforts, it’s particularly effective for emergency relief. Organizations that need to raise large amounts of money quickly to aid victims of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes can benefit from the speed of mobile fundraising. Text-to-donate is also a great option when you want a collective of people, in a room together, or #OutsideTheRoom, to achieve a fundraising goal. This can be assisted by providing visual displays so that donors can watch the tally climb!

These are essential steps for any text-to-donate campaign.


Related Resources:
Webinar: Year-Round Giving
Webinar: Your Pivot to a Virtual Fundraising Event

Related Blogs: 
6 tips for texting your donors
Essential tips for a text-to-donate campaign

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