Do you remember the first time you made a text donation?
For me, it was on January 13, 2010, the day after the earthquake in Haiti. I wasn't sitting in front of a computer when I heard the news. I was watching TV and happened to have my phone on me.
I remember thinking how easy and convenient it was to have the donation added to my phone bill. I was also in awe of the generosity of millions of other Americans who did the same, which helped to raise over $42M in 6 weeks through text donations.
Three years later, I was fortunate enough to join the company behind the technology and evolved thought behind that life experience. Since last March, I've been studying and analyzing a lot of client text donation campaigns.
As you execute your #GivingTuesday campaign and future campaigns, here are 3 ways to maximize results from text donations:
- Make sure that your text donation call-to-action is in real time (not static) - Looking back at some of the most successful campaigns in history, they all have one thing in common—the calls-to-action were in real time. It might be tempting to promote a text donation call-to-action on static signage, or on a social media post, but what I have seen is that they aren't as effective. If you don't have a plan to get media coverage, you can test this theory by hosting live events on Google Hangouts on Air.
- Build a mobile subscriber list at all times - You might have heard about the importance of building your mobile community from our Mobile Strategists. It's because you have the ability to capitalize on mobile moments when significant events occur (or on days like #GivingTuesday) to make a text donation ask. mGive clients have the unique ability to combine messaging and text donations on the same short code. Here's the difference:
- Make sure you have highest possible text donation fulfillment rates - Not all text donation companies are equal. Some might even tell you that text donations are obsolete and that text donations have a low fulfillment rates, but that's not the case. mGive clients have a an average participation rate (those who text your CTA and confirm donations) of 77% and fulfillment rates of over 93%.
- Leverage Owned and Earned Media - There are a lot of nonprofits who say that text donations only work with media coverage. Today, TV viewership is declining gradually since consumers are living in "an always on" and on-demand world. The important thing is that your call-to-action is not only live and in real time, it's that you take into account the people behind the devices and enable them to give.
The mobile landscape has changed drastically since my first text donation. Smart phone penetration and processing power continues to increase at a rapid rate. Mobile is now digital and digital is mobile.
Although mGive has changed the way people give, there are some things that haven't changed. It's about the donor experience and not the device. It's the compelling message during mobile moments that drive action.
Thinking back to my first text donation experience and the priviledge to serve our nonprofit clients today, I'm thankful to be a part of history in the making. I'm also thankful for the work that nonprofits do every day to bring out the best in humanity. Happy Thanksgiving!