Typically, text-to-give campaigns involve using a for-profit ASP (application service provider) to act as the trusted third party between the phone carrier and the nonprofit. This ASP provider manages the short codes and keywords and typically charges a monthly fee ($79-$99/mo) and a per text charge ($0.48/txt).Bridge Communities used Give By Cell.
Then they shared this little tidbit of information:
Really? Breaking even a success? She also mentioned her costs to be approximately $4000 to run the campaign for a single special event. This price tag is beyond the reach of most NPOs.
In addition to the high cost, the delay between the donors text and funds actually being received by the charity can be as long as 30 to 60 days.
The process for text-to-give campaigns can be complicated. When a donor texts to donate, they receive a confirmation message to which they must reply to complete the donation.There is an average 30% dropoff rate for Bridge Communities. Many donors were kids on family plans, and carriers frequently do not permit ad hoc text charges on family plans.
My biggest takeaway from this case study is that with text-to-give campaigns,the NPO does not have the ability to collect donors’ personal information such as name or email address. This makes it impossible to follow up with a thank you or develop a long term relationship.Instead, consider text-to-pledge campaigns.
With text-to-pledge, organizations collect vital donor data with which to follow up and collect the pledge, so they can develop the relationship with the donor.
Another consideration was the judicious promotion of the text-to-give campaign. Since the minimum donation on the web campaign was $25 and the text campaign was set at $10, Bridge Communities carefully promoted the text campaign where it would not cannibalize their web and other donations.
For maximum success, Amy recommended using emotional appeals, making it fun, and using an emcee or other high energy spokesperson at the event to create a sense of immediacy and encourage attendees to pull out their phones and donate right then.
For more comments on this topic, read the tweets on #text2donate Twitter hashtag.