Managing a Text-to-Give Campaign: 7 Top Tips

  • 19

Managing a Text-to-Give Campaign: 7 Top Tips

Launching a text-to-give campaign can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure how to manage a major influx of data or how to keep donors’ information secure.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top tips for managing your campaign: from how to get started all the way to how to make the most of the data that comes your way.

Before we get started, let’s take a look at the tips we’ll be diving deeper into:

#1. Update existing donor information.
#2. Choose a text-to-give provider that’s secure.
#3. Designate someone to be in charge of data management.
#4. Integrate your text-to-give software with other online tools.
#5. Promote text-to-give at live fundraising events.
#6. Have an efficient way to sift through and segment new donors.
#7. Create a system for thanking new and existing mobile donors.

There’s no time like the present, so let’s get down to brass tacks.

#1. Update existing donor information.

One of the most critical parts of managing a text-to-give campaign involves starting out with the most accurate data.

Before you can launch a successful text-to-give campaign, you must first assess your current donor data and make sure that you have the most up-to-date info on each of your contributors.

To get started with the updating process, ask yourself these questions:

  • How long has it been since we updated our data?
  • Have we stored all of our data in one central location?
  • Are there any obvious duplicates in our donor data entries?
  • Has the same person been in charge of data management?
  • Is our formatting standard? (i.e. do we always use “St.” for “Street”?)

Of course, these aren’t the only questions you should be asking of your existing donor management system.

They are a great jumping-off point, though.

Once you’ve evaluated your current donor data management system and combed through the stacks (digital or otherwise) to eliminate any obvious outliers, it’s time to start really digging into the nitty-gritty.

Start segmenting— start cleaning your data up to reveal only the most relevant contacts.

You can begin with this by sorting your donors into two categories:

  1. Those that have given or contributed in some way in the past 2 years,
  2. And those that have been inactive for longer than 2 years.

If a donor or volunteer hasn’t been active (even though you’ve been actively reaching out) for more than 24 months, you can bet that they’re not going to start re-engaging now.

Feel free to remove those contacts from your donor database.

As soon as you’ve tidied up that portion of your contact list, it’s time to start looking into the average gift size of your remaining supporters. This will help you determine how to target potential text-to-give donors on a more individualized level.

First, determine an average gift size. This can either mean the average of all of the gifts you’ve received or a gift size that your organization decides is meaningful. Then, segment your donors into two more categories:

  1. Those that gave the average gift size or higher,
  2. And those that gave below the average.

Don’t eliminate any contacts at this point; simply make a note of the two new distinctions.

Takeaway: Segmenting, cleaning up, and managing your existing donor database is the first step to managing an incredible text giving campaign.

Now that you’ve cleaned up and organized your donor database, you can feel free to move onto finding a text-to-give software provider.

#2. Choose a text-to-give provider that’s secure.

Security of information is something that should be top of mind for any nonprofit— really any business (but right now, we’re focusing on the nonprofit sector exclusively).

That’s why it’s especially important to link up with a text-to-give provider that guarantees the safety and security of your donors’ information as well as the protection of your nonprofit against fraudulent activities.

There are three main security components to look for in a text-to-give software provider:

  • PCI-compliance:

In essence, PCI-compliance is an adherence to a set of standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry. Text-to-give software platforms that are compliant should be able to keep your donors’ information secure.

  • Tokenization:

To put it simply, tokenization is the codifying of sensitive information (like credit card numbers) so that no unauthorized users may obtain access. Only the payment processor is able to use that information to process the transaction.

  • Authentication:

For the most part, authentication involves verifying the identity of a mobile donor via more than one channel of communication. For instance, if a donor gives via text, they may be asked to confirm their identity (to eliminate fraud) through their email.

There are, of course, several providers that meet or exceed all three of these stipulations.

The top providers will undoubtedly keep these standards top-of-mind and let your organization know that security is a priority for them.

Takeaway: When you’re in the market for text-to-give software, it’s important to make sure that you’re signing up with the most secure provider in town.

If you’re looking for some further guidance on purchasing mobile giving software, be sure to give @Pay’s article a quick look.

#3. Designate someone to be in charge of data management.

Almost as soon as you launch your text-to-give campaign, you’ll start receiving new data that will need to be input, indexed, sorted, and all the rest.

At first, it’ll probably trickle in, which will be more manageable on a small scale.

But after a while, it’ll start to flood in, and waves of new donor data will inundate your systems.

That may sound nightmarish— unless you’re prepared to handle exactly that scenario.

It all hinges on finding the right person (or persons) to tackle the job.

Before you can roll out your latest mobile fundraising campaign, you must first establish a concrete system for dealing with incoming donor data.

You may also want to look into ways to retrieve existing data in the event that a donor gives via a mobile device, and you want to look up every point of contact you’ve had with them in the past few years.

However, you can’t accomplish any of that without first finding a suitable team to manage all of those data streams.

Look for data management candidates who are:

  • Diligent,
  • Detail-oriented,
  • Data-minded,
  • And dedicated.

If you have to source from your current in-house staff, be sure that the person or people you designate to take on this task are prepared for its enormity.

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to set aside some time to train whoever takes over the data management process for your mobile fundraiser.

Depending on the complexity of the systems you set up, this training process can take a few days or a few weeks. Plan accordingly.

In the end, as long as you find or designate the right people for the job and have a clear idea of how they should manage data moving forward, your text-to-give campaign should be a positive experience that will provide your organization with tons of useful donor information.

Takeaway: There are two main tasks you have to complete to effectively manage your donor data. You have to designate a person or team to be in charge, and you have to provide them with adequate training to overcome any challenges.

#4. Integrate your text-to-give software with other online tools.

In order to take your text-to-give campaign to the next level, you might consider integrating other mobile and online giving tools.

After all, text-to-give technology is not the only useful fundraising software in town.

Your organization should consider looking into:

  • Online giving portals,
  • Email donation buttons,
  • And goal thermometers.

Each of these tools could help your organization raise:

  • More awareness
  • And more funds.

The key to making them work for your organization is integrating them both with your existing software, like your nonprofit CRM, and your new text-to-give software.

There are platform providers that boast all three options.

What does this seamless integration look like, though?

Imagine a mobile donor who’s input their information into your online giving portal when they’ve given a few dollars.

From there, you’re able to reach out to them because you’ve imported their email address and preferred name into your nonprofit CRM.

They decide a while down the road to donate again, and because you’ve included an email donation button in your correspondences, they only have to click once to give and once to confirm.

Now, as soon as they catch wind that giving has been made even more intuitive through texting, they’ll be eager to test it out.

And because they’ve given through your online giving portal, their info is still stored, so they don’t have to type in their credit card info or personal details into their small phone screen.

In addition to all of this, at every step, your donor can see the impact their contributions are making because the fundraising thermometer is fully integrated across every giving avenue.

With multiple ways to give, it can be easy to lose track of all of the data that comes your way. But when it’s all integrated, you don’t have to worry quite as much about keeping up.

Takeaway: If you want to boost your text giving campaign, your organization should look into integrating multiple ways to raise money and encourage giving.

Curious about raising more money for your organization through visual aids? Take a peek at @Pay’s solution for thermometers.

#5. Promote text-to-give at live fundraising events.

It’s unfortunately not quite enough to integrate with multiple giving avenues.

To make a text-to-give campaign truly successful, your organization must also invest in promotion.

And what’s a more effective promotional space than a live fundraising event?

With a live fundraising event, your nonprofit has the advantages of:

  • An engaged audience of dozens, hundreds, or thousands,
  • A platform or stage from which to explain text-to-give,
  • And, of course, a well-fostered sense of philanthropy.

When you have an engaged audience and a platform, all you really need to do is throw some slides up on a projector, like this organization has done:

They’ve broken the process up into just a few simple steps, and providing a visual component has made it much easier for attendees to understand how to give via text.

Your organization can do the same sort of thing at your next live fundraising event. It’s yet another quick thing you can check off of your event checklist, and it’s bound to have a lasting impact.

Think about it this way: if a handful of your event attendees give via text and then feel inspired to tell their friends and families about it, that’s dozens more donors than you would have had otherwise.

How spectacular is that?

Takeaway: Promoting your text-to-give campaign at a live fundraising event ensures that you’ll not only be able to retain/acquire the donors who actually attend it; you’ll also possibly gain new supporters from their respective networks.

#6. Have an efficient way to sift through and segment new donors.

Before the campaign, you were tasked with segmenting the donors you already had in your donor database.

Now that you’ve put all of these systems for management in place, you’ve promoted your campaign, and you’ve integrated other ways to give, it’s time to take a second look at your database.

As you likely know, donor retention is equally as important as acquisition.

That’s why it’s crucial to make sure that you’re not sorting your new donors into the same pools as your existing contributors.

By nature of the lengths of their relationships with your nonprofit, they will want to interact with you differently.

A donor who’s been with your organization for 5 years doesn’t want to be addressed in an email the same way a donor who just started giving after your latest event does.

That newer donor wants to be welcomed, to know what’s going on, and to be let in on the freshest opportunities.

On the flip side of the coin, the loyal supporter who’s been with you since Day 1 wants to be updated on the progress of long-term projects.

They want their individual contributions to be acknowledged, and they want to know how they’ve had a lasting impact on your efforts.

Obviously, the way to appease both of these groups is to segment your donor database once again to accommodate the new levels of stewardship that are required.

You’ll want to break donors down into:

  • Donors who have given most recently (within the past couple of months),
  • Supporters who have given within the past year,
  • And contributors who have given in the past 2 years.

The individuals that comprise each group will shift over time, but the categories should remain fairly consistent.

There’s no rule that says those are the 3 segments you must funnel donors into; they’re merely an example of the kind of segmentation you should do post-fundraiser to keep your stewardship pertinent.

Takeaway: In order to retain new and existing text-to-give donors, it’s important to segment your donor database once again. This should allow you to communicate most effectively with each respective group.

#7. Create a system for thanking new and existing mobile donors.

Speaking of stewardship, let’s delve into one of the top ways to keep donors coming back year after year, month after month.

It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: thanking your donors is one of the best things you can do for your organization.

Even though it’s common sense to thank donors after a gift has been made, 37% of nonprofits still don’t follow through.

Perhaps it’s because it’s overwhelming to keep up with where to send thank you notes and to whom to address them.

Or maybe it has to do with limited resources.

In either case, text-to-give technology can help your nonprofit out.

First of all, because industry-leading text-to-give platforms allow organizations to export tons of useful donor data whenever it comes in, there’s never any confusion about:

  • How much a donor has given,
  • Who has made the gift,
  • When they made it,
  • Or how they submitted it.

Not only that, but this kind of technology also sends out automatic thank yous— which solves the second issue of resource shortages.

For larger donations, major gifts, and special occasions, you may also want to send out more personalized acknowledgements.

The key is to have a system in place to manage thanking your text-to-give (and other mobile) donors.

Takeaway: The final system you must put in place when you’re managing a text-to-give campaign has to do with thanking your donors. As long as you have a strategy that works for your organization, you should be golden!

In the end, managing a text-to-give campaign comes down to three things:

  • Keeping organized and ahead,
  • Having the right team of people,
  • And being thoughtful of your donors.

If you’re curious about how MaxxVault can help you reach these goals as well as cut your costs and secure your data, check out this article.

Thanks for reading, and happy mobile fundraising!

This post was authored by Eric Griego, the Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. He has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of Nonprofit & Church organizations. In his spare time he roots for the Denver Broncos while enjoying a nice craft beer.