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Text Giving is now available to small and medium sized charities

 5 Steps to Organizing a Great Text Giving Campaign for your Charity

Did you know that:

  • The average person in the UK spends more than 24 hours a week online (that’s one whole day every week).[i]


  • 24% of all online donations to charities in 2018 were made using a mobile device.[ii]


  • People in the UK donated £37.5m via text in 2017/18 – the largest service user category of any paid phone services. Charity donations by text messages are expected to rise by 34% in the next year.[iii]

If your charity struggles getting donations and you’re wondering where all the donors have gone, follow the trail from the above reports and you’ll find your donors online on their smartphones. The future of fundraising is mobile and therefore every fundraising strategy that a charity makes should revolve around that. Especially text giving. Making text giving an integral part of your fundraising campaign can give you an unanticipated and rather surprising boost!

Text Giving for Charities

Text giving allows charities to accept donations and donors to make donations via a text message (charges are made to their phone bills). It is one of the simplest and easiest ways for people to donate. Because text giving requires little effort on the part of donors, it is one of the most preferred modes of charitable giving as well. Charities too love text giving as it takes much of the administrative load off them and provides an easy route to Gift Aid.

Even though text giving is usually aimed at small donations, collectively it can lead to massive results. The Red Cross’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort was text-based and US former president Barack Obama too used it for his campaign for the presidential race. This strategy is frequently used by almost all major charities and it is equally available to smaller charities.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, Doddie Weir’s charity committed to improving the lives of those affected by Motor Neuron disease, received overwhelming results through the DONATE text giving platform.[iv]

Text giving is straightforward but even the simplest way to raise funds needs a strategy. To achieve the most out of a text giving campaign, your charity needs to take the following 5-step approach which will help you plan, organize and accomplish your fundraising goals.

So, start taking notes!

 5 Steps to Organizing a Great Text Giving Campaign for your Charity

Step 1 – Build Your Campaign

The first step to text fundraising is the same as any other form of fundraising. Sit with your team, brainstorm and hash out what exactly will you be fundraising for. Though general campaigns work well enough, donors are more likely to get warm-hearted for the campaigns with a specific and

tangible outcome. The more the emotional connection raised by the campaign, the greater the likelihood of larger donations.

As an example, a campaign dedicated to raising money for getting “hand-held GPS devices to map turtle nests” might work better than a campaign aimed at “research into changing turtle habitats.”

Having a defined goal to work towards is also a motivating factor for donors and charities alike. Therefore, be sure to include the amount of money you intend to raise in your fundraising campaign.

Step 2 – Choose a Text Giving Platform

This is probably going to be the most effortless step of your fundraising campaign. For a text giving campaign, your charity needs a platform which can facilitate SMS text giving for you.

DONATE™ is one of the easiest-to-use platforms made especially flexible for small and medium charities. The platform enables charities to self-administer their own campaign using a secure portal. If your charity is new to text donations, DONATE’s platform offers guidance on every step of the way. There are no set-up fees or monthly charges involved and charities can also gather text donations on a monthly recurring basis through the platform as well.[v]

You can also run text giving campaign through a service provider.

Step 3 – Pick the Right Keyword

The keyword is the core of a text giving campaign; it is the string of letters or numbers given by a charity that donors text on their phones to initiate donations.

You want your keyword to be your campaign’s call-to-action. It should motivate your prospective donors to immediately get attached to your campaign.

Shorter keywords are always a better option than longer ones. Shorter ones are easier to remember and less likely to get spelt wrong. Longer or complicated keywords are likely to be forgotten or have typing errors leading to donation abandonment. You can also add in a number to your keyword suggesting expected donations for your charity. Adding numbers can also make your keyword stand out.

For example, for a charity helping people with clean drinking water can use the keyword 54CLEAN suggesting £5 donation for their clean water initiative. A charity for rescued cats can use the keyword KITTY999 for their text giving campaign.

A quick brainstorm among your team members will generate good ideas for picking up a keyword for your text giving fundraising.

Step 4 – Market Your Keyword

Once you’ve selected a keyword and set up the campaign through a text giving platform, it is time to shout out the keyword to let the world know how they can support you.

For marketing a text giving campaign, use a multi-channel approach to help your charity reach wider demographics. You can use a set tagline like “Text BUZZ to 90909 to donate £5” across all of your marketing campaigns. You can label your collection plate or boxes with this tagline or get it announced at the local radio station few times a day or post it on your social media channels or advertise the tagline in local newspapers and magazines. You can even announce this tagline at local ceremonies, games events and school fairs.

Approaching prospective donors personally and talking to them one-on-one requires time and a handful of volunteers, but is another effective way to spread the word. You can distribute stickers printed with the text giving tagline to the people your volunteers speak with.

Step 5 – Gratitude and Tracking Your Campaign

Everyone appreciates being appreciated and so do your donors. You must thank your donors for their generosity and make them a part of your journey by letting them know the results of your campaign. Remember, a happy donor is a recurring donor!

Once you have successfully implemented your text giving campaign and taken a breather, your team must come together and have a look through the results. Go through the reports and analyse data about what worked well and what didn’t. Every text giving campaign offers an abundance of learning opportunities and each campaign makes you better and better at fundraising.

Is it your first time planning a fundraising campaign? If yes, you can head to our FAQ page and get more information about charities and fundraising.

Have you planned and executed a fundraising campaign before? Do share with our readers your insights in the comments section below.