Back in 2010, the Red Cross revolutionized mobile giving with their relief fund campaign in response the earthquake in Haiti. The immensely successful campaign raised millions of dollars and marked the first large-scale Text-To-Give effort. Since then, organizations of all sizes, from small, local congregations to national-level nonprofits, are jumping on board fundraising’s newest wave. Donors are also embracing the technology, using their thumbs to donate nearly $100 million each year via text messaging. The popularity of Text-To-Give isn’t slowing down and the option currently ties with live events as the second most popular method of giving among donors, sliding in just behind online giving.
The dramatic increase in popularity of Text-To-Give is due largely to its ease. Through ClearGIVE, an organization simply sends an appeal, via text message, to all their potential supports. Donors then reply with the dollar amount they wish to give and they immediately receive a confirmation and message of thanks. The amount is added to the donor’s mobile phone bill and the carrier passes the amount along to the charity.
Let’s compare the ease of that process with the mail campaigns many organizations have relied on for decades. Staff members or volunteers need to commit hours of precious time to stuffing and sealing envelopes and then wait a week for their message to be delivered to mailboxes. If the envelope is lucky enough not to get tossed out with the junk mail, donors then need to write a check, find a stamp and get the envelope back into the post. More likely, the request sits around collecting dust until it’s forgotten about.
For donors, Text-To-Give is instant, pain free and takes no time out of their busy schedule. In fact, it eliminates all of the excuses and leaves no reason not to donate.
If your mental picture of Text-To-Give donors is limited to tech-savvy Millennials kicking in a donation equal to the cost of their favorite latte, you might be surprised. Though Gen X and Gen Y donors have been quick to embrace the trend, Baby Boomers, between the ages of 50 and 70 years old, were responsible for 46% of Text to Give donations in 2013.
Most Text-To-Give campaigns rely on many small donations to reach to large goals. Typically, donation amounts are preset to $5, $10 or $20. These micro donations allow donors to give instantly without needing to put a great deal of thought into it. However, many donors report that they are ready and willing to give more through Text-To-Give campaigns.
The instant and inexpensive nature of Text-To-Give donations also means that these campaigns don’t take away from other campaigns within the organization, allowing efforts to work alongside each other, rather than competing. Donors often view small, quick text donations as an addition to their regular charitable contribution. That means your organization’s funding may actually increase, rather than just getting scattered through many different campaigns.