As a nonprofit professional, you’re constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest fundraising ideas for your cause. Fortunately, as technology advances, many tools have emerged for engaging supporters, including text-to-give.
Thanks to the prevalence of mobile phones in today’s society, text-to-give is a powerful addition to any fundraising strategy. What’s more, you can couple it with an event, such as a charity auction, to provide attendees with an additional opportunity to give and secure extra revenue for your nonprofit.
In this quick guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of promoting text-to-give at your next auction, then walk you through the following tips for maximizing your efforts:
- Choose a relevant, memorable keyword.
- Promote text-to-give on your auction registration page.
- Feature text-to-give on event flyers and decorations.
- Communicate the impact of text-to-give.
By mastering the art of text-to-give, you can unlock more year-round revenue and keep supporters tuned into your nonprofit’s mission for the long term.
Why Promote Text-to-Give at Your Next Auction?
Whether you’re hosting an in-person, hybrid, or virtual auction, text-to-give makes it easy for your nonprofit to accept donations from event attendees. All you need to do is partner with a text-to-give platform and they’ll provide you with a shortcode that auction participants can text to make a gift. From there, they can choose from a variety of online payment options and complete the donation process in minutes.
Snowball’s text-to-give guide shares the following statistics that prove why text-to-give is an effective fundraising tool for your auction:
- 97% of Americans own a cell phone.
- 57% of nonprofit website traffic came from mobile devices last year.
- One in four donors use mobile devices to discover new nonprofits to support.
- 91% of Americans look at their cell phones around 80 times a day.
- People read 90% of text message reminders within three minutes of receiving them.
Your attendees are likely accustomed to using their phones for a variety of purposes—so why not empower them to make mobile donations as well? The ease and convenience of this fundraising method means that, at any point during your auction, they can pull out their phones and give to your nonprofit. They’ll appreciate the flexibility, and your organization will receive more funds for its mission.
4 Tips for Promoting Text-to-Give at Your Charity Auction
Providing text-to-give opportunities at your next auction can go a long way toward securing more revenue for your nonprofit. However, to reach your full fundraising potential, you’ll first need to make attendees aware of this option. This includes communicating clear instructions on how text-to-give works and assuring donors that their data will be secure.
1. Choose a relevant, memorable keyword.
To initiate the giving process, donors will text a specific keyword to your nonprofit’s shortcode. When selecting one for your next auction, keep it simple, short, and relevant to your mission. Doing so ensures that attendees feel confident that their mobile donations will go directly to your organization.
For instance, an animal shelter hosting an auction might pick “BIDS4DOGS” as its keyword, so attendees know they’re giving to the right campaign and nonprofit.
Additionally, consider offering an option to enroll in recurring donations, so attendees interested in making consistent contributions to your nonprofit can do so without having to text your shortcode every time. Just make sure that it’s easy for them to adjust their giving amount and opt out if they ever decide to.
2. Promote text-to-give on your auction registration page.
Set your nonprofit’s text-to-give campaign up for success by promoting it ahead of your auction. Using your auction technology, set up an event page that includes a section about text-to-give alongside other important auction details. This way, your attendees will already be aware of the giving option coming into the auction.
You can encourage more text donations leading up to and following your event by promoting text-to-give in other areas, such as your:
- Ways to Give page
- Social media platforms
- Email newsletter
Your supporters have varying preferences when it comes to how they prefer to hear from your nonprofit. Use these preferences to guide your text-to-give communication strategy and maximize your reach before your next auction.
3. Feature text-to-give on event flyers and decorations.
Flyers and other event decorations are excellent ways to recognize your nonprofit’s corporate sponsors, increase your brand recognition, and share important information with attendees. Use these materials to remind them about text-to-give during the auction itself. Include the shortcode and keyword around the event and consider adding a QR code that takes them to a more in-depth rundown on the process.
If you’re hosting a hybrid or virtual auction, you can add text-to-give instructions in the live chat and even create a short explainer video to play during your event programming. Have your speakers make live appeals to encourage more people to give.
4. Communicate the impact of text-to-give.
In your auction marketing materials and programming, emphasize how text-to-give donations will make a difference in the lives of those you serve. For example, a hunger relief nonprofit might share that a donation of $25 will provide a week’s worth of meals for someone in need, while a donation of $100 will feed a family of four for an entire month.
Keep the momentum going throughout your event by setting up a live scoreboard or a fundraising thermometer to illustrate your real-time fundraising progress. According to Double the Donation, fundraising thermometers can be anything from a printed poster to an online visual. These tools are particularly useful because they:
- Inform donors about your fundraising progress in an eye-catching way.
- Inspire more people to give through social proof.
- Add a sense of urgency to your fundraising.
- Provide a feeling of achievement when the thermometer moves upward.
In addition to your fundraising thermometer, you can even include a donor roll that showcases the names of all attendees who made a mobile donation. This level of recognition can incentivize even more people to give.
Text-to-give doesn’t have to be a one-time fundraising strategy. To continue effectively implementing it at your future auctions, remember to thank everyone after the event, from volunteers to text-to-give donors. Send out surveys to collect feedback on attendees’ experiences and identify ways to improve your approach moving forward.
In your follow-up communications, inform your supporters about other ways they can get involved, from donation matching to becoming a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Making the most of all the tools at your disposal increases your chances of meeting and exceeding your fundraising goals time after time.