In a crowded end-of-year giving season, charities need to make use of all the tools at their disposal
This article is sponsored by mobile fundraising specialists, instaGiv
The world has gone mobile.
Advances in mobile technology have changed every facet of the way we live. Recent figures suggest that 84% of the UK’s population now owns a smartphone. Amongst younger demographics, that figure rises even higher.
This widespread adoption of mobile technology has changed both our behaviour and our expectations. Convenience has become the governing principle. With so much of the world’s content available to us at the touch of a screen, the general public’s digital expectations have risen and risen. People expect digital processes to be simple and seamless. If users can purchase a pair of trainers or stream a film with just a few clicks on their phone, why should they expect charitable donations to be any different?
As this technology emerged, it was seen in some quarters as the end of older giving methods, such as text-to-donate. Instead, it has rejuvenated these formats: in a world that prizes convenience above all else, SMS giving is ideally placed to deliver on consumer-level expectations in a donor landscape.
Perhaps the best donation strategy a charity can pursue is to cater to as many people as possible and offer a wide range of choice. The work of charity digital fundraisers is to remove as many obstacles to donations as possible; to pre-empt concerns and build in alternatives and to make the business of donation both simple and seamless.
With the festive season and Giving Tuesday on the horizon, now is the time for charities to put their best foot forward with a well-planned fundraising campaign. Here’s how SMS donations can help.
Single giving is one of the most common methods of donation.
Text-to-donate offers one of the simplest giving journeys possible. This ease and convenience align perfectly with the giving experience a one-time donor is looking for.
All supporters need to do to donate is text your keyword to a short phone number. No forms, no fuss. This makes it as easy as possible for supporters to donate; wherever and whenever suits them.
With market-leading SMS giving solutions from instaGiv, charities can accept donations of up to £30 through SMS Giving. With this automated solution, you can choose your own keyword - something relevant to your campaign or charity.
Part of the appeal of an SMS giving solution is that it’s easy to integrate into a wider fundraising campaign, and can be simply and effectively promoted alongside content from any number of channels, from TV to social media.
Unless their contribution is acknowledged, one-time donors are likely to remain just that - one-time donors. A single thank you can go a long way, and is the vital first step on turning one-off donors into longer-term supporters. With instaGiv, you can customise a thank you message that is relevant to your mission, and start to develop a relationship with donors.
Longer-term giving doesn’t have to be any more complex than this. With an automated text-to-donate solution, you can accept monthly donations via SMS like clockwork.
This can be as simple and easy as one-off donations. Supporters only need to text in once, and no card or bank details need to be entered. You can give supporters the option of single and monthly giving in your campaigns.
Regular SMS giving works by applying the same principles of convenience and ease as one-time donations. The solution remains attractive to supporters because of a lack of admin and the absence of time-consuming or dull forms. The barriers of direct debit or recurring card payments are removed in a way that does not impact a supporter’s desire to donate.
This is a great way to move them into regular giving with a very high retention rate (89% in year 1).
SMS donation is simple. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be dull.
There are a number of ways to make your SMS giving campaign more interactive. This can help drive engagement with the wider campaign, as well as to spread your message.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to turn your SMS keyword into a campaign of its own by gamifying it. This can increase engagement, offer a competitive element and help you stand out with your promotion.
You can also set up more complex interactive experiences, such as quizzes, murder mysteries or crosswords. By customising your response message you can send clues, challenges and answers in response to a donation.
“We incorporated text to donate asks within the gameplay of our various Games Night In games and have been blown away by the engagement and income that has resulted from this. I’d encourage other charities to think creatively about how they can apply text-to-donate to maximise the value of the InstaGiv platform.”
- Macmillan Cancer Support
Another option is to set up competitions linked to donation. You can do this by setting up a simple text to enter, or make it more competitive with a quiz question, or poll, where participants must text the right answer to be in with a chance of winning a prize. Teaming up with corporate partners can allow you to offer catchy, appealing prizes at a low cost.
One way to keep things simple is to try an emoji keyword. This festive season, encourage supporters to text in a Christmas tree to donate.
Choosing keywords is one of the most important parts of any SMS giving campaign. They must be relevant, memorable and not something that willon’t accidentally be autocorrected.
Offer different donation amounts. By setting the bar too high (or low) you could be missing out on donations! Be sure to include options that will appeal to a variety of donors.
Don’t forget to enable Gift Aid. This is one of the easiest ways for charities to boost donations. In this difficult fundraising landscape don’t leave money on the table by neglecting this.
There’s plenty of time to make SMS donation part of your Giving Tuesday or festive fundraising campaigns