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Five Ways to Promote Your Text-to-Give Campaigns on Social Media

February 28, 2011

Many nonprofits are experimenting with text-to-give fundraising, but thus far results have been mixed. Nonprofits that have the resources or connections to tap into media, celebrity or large e-mail lists have done well, but many others are simply breaking even (or not). One reason may be that the online promotions of text-to-give campaigns have been mostly limited to text-only KEYWORD and SHORTCODE pitches, such as “Text TIGER to 20222 to donate $10!” in print materials, Tweets, and Status Updates. Personally, I am not convinced that text-only text-to-give pitches are enough to inspire donors to give. A recent survey revealed that most text-to-give donors are ready to give some more, but for text-to-give campaigns to motivate donors to pull out their mobile phones and text-to-give, I think nonprofits would be wise to ramp up their text-to-give pitches to make them more visually appealing and inspirational.

To begin, your nonprofit should design a minimum of three graphics that speak to your mission and include your text-to-give pitch, such the the Food Bank of New York City. Next, upload them to Flickr or you preferred photo-sharing community. That allows you to then easily promote the images throughout the Social Web and monitor the number of people (or clicks) that each image gets. Once uploaded, then:

1) Promote your text-to-give pitches in Status Updates and Tweets.

Most nonprofits are sending out simple text-only text-to-give pitches in Tweets and Status Updates that do not inspire and consequently are mostly ignored. However, a Status Update that pulls up an image or an inspirational Tweet that links to a visually poweful text-to-give pitch is more likely to motivate donors. For example, “Approximately 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on soup kitchens and food pantries. Please don’t make them beg:”

2) In your Facebook Profile Pic.

3) On your Twitter background.

4) In your videos.

5) During check-ins on Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla.

When checking-in to location-based communities, shout out your text-to-give pitch. Your friends and followers will already have their mobile phones in hand when reading your text-to-give pitch thus increasing the likelihood that they will give:

You can also upload a photo of your text-to-give pitch at Venues, Spots, and Places:

Related Links:
Text-to-Give Graphics Set on Flickr
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Utilize Mobile Websites, Group Texting and Text-to-Give Technology

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 11:55 am

    Please see my article on homeless American and quotations from this article and the linked Flickr photo in my Blogger blog, with a link to this article.

  2. February 28, 2011 12:07 pm

    It was shocking to read that “Approximately 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on soup kitchens and food pantries”, though I have read articles that state that ‘13% to 17% of Americans live below the federal poverty line at any given point in time’. In fact I did not take such evaluations by statistical sources seriously. Your articles, and your initiatives through social media and photo-sharing sites like Flickr are in fact praise-worthy and sure to raise awareness levels.

  3. February 28, 2011 3:58 pm

    Hi Heather,

    Great post! I haven’t thought about adding the text-to-give into our YouTube videos via the Annotations feature. I think I’ll work on that.

    Thanks for featuring the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network text-to-give!

  4. March 3, 2011 9:48 am

    Great ideas on text-to-give

  5. March 3, 2011 6:31 pm

    I think that text-to-give campaigns are going to continue be a really hot topic as 2011 moves along.

    Another way text-to-give can be integrated into nonprofit marketing communications is by including it in any guerrilla marketing tactics. UNICEF did a great job of this (check out for the full scoop).

    Also, with mobile phone usage on the rise, I wonder if we’ll start to see text-to-give numbers included on marketing materials just as much as webs addresses are now.

  6. March 13, 2011 12:23 am

    LOVE this article and it will really help me with some groups I’m working with, but I have a very basic question. How do I go about setting up a text-to-give for a non-profit? That would be the first step before utilizing the ideas in this post 🙂
    Thanks so much, Deborah

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      March 15, 2011 6:32 am

      You have to sign up for a text-to-give service. A quick Google search reveals many.

  7. April 17, 2011 8:49 pm

    I love your article on Text-to-Give. Actually, I was not aware of this. But, your article has explained me all and I am very happy with us. It was really nice to read this post and gained much knowledge. I look forward more post from you. Thanks for sharing.


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