6 Ways to Effectively Maximize Text Message Fundraising ROI

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Text fundraising is a great resource for nonprofit organizations to have in their tool belts. This fundraising method boasts a 98% open rate, which is much better than email’s open rate. Plus, with most texts being opened within the first two minutes of receipt, you can raise funds quickly for your nonprofit. But how do you effectively maximize text message fundraising’s ROI? We’ve put together some helpful tips to help you make the most of your text fundraising software. 

A man makes a donation via text message on his smartphone.

What is text fundraising?

But first, what is text fundraising? Text fundraising is a method of fundraising in which nonprofits send a text to donors or create a text fundraising keyword that donors can text to make a donation. Because there are both outbound and inbound text options, this fundraising method is a versatile way to earn more donations for your nonprofit organization. 

1. Create simple keywords

The first step in maximizing your text fundraising ROI is to create simple keywords. Your text fundraising keywords should be short and easy to remember. This makes it more likely that your text fundraising audience will actually text the keyword to your text fundraising phone number.  

But how do you choose the right keyword for your text fundraising campaign? First, make sure the keyword you use is relevant to the campaign. This helps make it memorable for the people who are exposed to your messaging. Next, stick to a single word that is short and easy to text on a cell phone. Autocorrect can do a number on longer, more complex keywords which could keep you from earning the donations your supporters want to give. Finally, before you decide on your keyword, test it out. Make sure it’s easy to text and that autocorrect leaves it alone. You’ll want to try it on both Apple and Android devices if possible to check that the keyword works on both kinds of phones. 

2. Send time-sensitive fundraising messages

Our second step in maximizing your text message fundraising ROI is to send time-sensitive fundraising messages. Once you’ve established your keyword, it’s time to come up with your campaign messaging. The most effective text fundraising campaigns use time-sensitive messaging. Because of the nature of texting and its fast response time, this is the perfect strategy for raising funds quickly. If you have an emergency need, for example, text fundraising can be an ideal solution to getting those funds in your nonprofit’s hands.  

A time-sensitive text establishes when donations are needed by. The sooner the donations are needed, the sooner your supporters are going to act to help you reach your fundraising goal. 95% of texts are read within three minutes of being sent, and if that text includes a time-sensitive call to action, your nonprofit could receive funds in three minutes or less. Now that’s fast fundraising! 

3. Pair text fundraising with a fundraising event

Another great option for increasing text fundraising ROI is to pair your text fundraising tools with a fundraising event. At Qgiv, our text fundraising platform includes a live screencast option, which means that you can use text fundraising to reach fundraising event goals and guests can see their gifts applied toward your goal in real time. 

What makes this effective is that supporters can see the impact of their gifts during the event rather than having to wait for a fundraising update when the event wraps up (though you should still send a post-event summary to supporters).  

Additionally, you can use outbound messaging to communicate to supporters, volunteers, and staff about your upcoming fundraising events and get everyone in the know with segmented communications for each group. For example, you can collect the cell phone numbers of past event supporters to send a quick reminder about your upcoming fundraising event and let them know how to register. This helps you get more registrations quickly because of the fast response time that most text messaging experiences.

4. Personalize your text messages

Another great tip is to make sure that your supporters know the messages you send are meant for them. This means personalizing your text messages for your attendees. Personalization is easy with the right text fundraising tools. These tools can take the first and last name fields from your contact lists and plug them in automatically to your text messages so your supporters get messages addressed to them without a lot of manual input from you.  

Personalizing communications to your supporters shows them that you know who they are and that you care about their support. Recognizing a supporter by name makes them more likely to support your nonprofit organization because you’re asking them specifically to help make a difference. 

5. Target past donors

Your past donors are supporters who care about your organization. They’ve got a proven track record of supporting you, and a text fundraising campaign can be a great way to re-engage this group of donors. Collect their cell phone numbers and names and create a contact list for past donors. Then, send personalized, time-sensitive campaign messages to this group to see who engages with your campaign. This is a great way to get newly lapsed donors to give again.  

Our last tip to maximize tet message fundraising ROI is to make sure you’re getting the word out about your text fundraising campaigns. When you create a keyword, be sure to share that keyword far and wide. One key place to share is on social media. According to our Generational Giving Study, most generations go to social media to find crucial information about your nonprofit, making it a great place to share crucial fundraising campaigns, like your text fundraising campaign.  

Share your keyword and encourage your social media followers to take a moment to text your keyword to the text fundraising phone number it’s associated with and complete their gift. This way, you can capture text campaign donations from people who aren’t already in your contact list.  

From there, you can add new donors to your text fundraising contact lists and expand your reach for future text fundraising campaigns.  


There you have it! With these six tips to maximize text message fundraising ROI, you’ll be able to earn more in less time. It starts with creating simple keywords and sending time-sensitive fundraising messages. Or, you could pair your text fundraising campaign with a fundraising event. Targeting your past donors and personalizing your messages to reach out by name to your supporters are other great strategies to maximize your return on investment. Finally, advertising your text fundraising keyword on social media can help you get additional mileage out of your keywords. 

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