Nonprofits should take note of the potential of text messaging

August 5, 2013

Nonprofits should take note of the potential of text messaging

Nonprofit marketing teams are beginning to learn that more people want to donate to their mission, but it is up to them to deliver their message on a platform where supporters can interact. This is why mobile initiatives are becoming more popular among organizations;giving supporters an opportunity to send money straight from their cellphones is a strategy on the rise.

Test messages can help spread information
The annual "mGive Text Donation Study" recently released by mGive, the 501(c)(3) public charity supporting U.S. mobile donation campaigns, revealed 7 in 10 donors said they want to receive information about how they can contribute to fundraising on their cellphones. More than 37 percent are open to getting text messages containing news and updates from their favorite nonprofits and nearly 33 percent are interested in receiving notices regarding volunteer events. Nonprofits that are ready to embrace text message marketing may see their number of supporters continue to grow.

"The takeaway from this year's survey is that mobile isn't just for text giving anymore," said Jenifer Snyder, executive director of The mGive Foundation. "Nonprofits should use text messages to engage their supporters in more robust ways than fundraising."

Text fundraising campaigns can be a good idea
Organizations like the Red Cross have been running successful "Text to Donate" initiatives for years, and more nonprofits should understand the potential of such strategies. The mGive study showed 85 percent of respondents said they would be willing to give $25 to $50 through a text message, while text ranked third behind an organization's website and events as their preferred method of sending a donation.

Despite these findings, nonprofits have difficulty getting supporters to learn about their text message campaigns. However, according to mGive, social media has provided the boost that many of these strategies need to be successful. While TV ranks tops on the list of ways people can learn about text campaigns, social media increased 6 percentage points over the past year to rise to second and email marketing efforts are third.

Mobile strategies have high potential for nonprofits
By implement mobile marketing, nonprofits have the opportunity to draw in a larger audience. A blog post from digital marketing agency J Campbell Social Marketing suggested making content designed for smartphone and tablet owners and creating mobile-optimized websites are two ways nonprofits can boost their support network.

By giving people the chance to learn about recent happenings at organizations straight from their phones, nonprofits are increasing the number of channels that they can interact with their audiences on. Combining these efforts with text campaigns will help organizations create higher expectations for fundraising, due to the potential of mobile.

"Text campaigns are popular and increasingly important not just for donations, but for multiple types of information sharing," Snyder said. "We hear this from our clients, and the survey results add more proof that mobile communication is a central part of supporter outreach."

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