I constantly receive questions about text donations. The most familiar form of text donations is the process utilized by non-profit organizations like Red Cross for disaster relief.
And the best example of this is probably the text the word Haiti to 90999 campaign the Red Cross ran.
Although text donations made their debut prior to 2010, this sample became an eye opener for many non-profit organizations due to the incredible amount of money raised for Haiti using this method.
The text donations process is quite simple: Donors text the keyword HAITI to 90999 and receive response text confirming text donations. The donor then simply sends a response with the word and the donation amount is added to the cell phone bill.
The organization must first apply to have the ability to launch such a campaign. For example, an organization must show it reported a minimum revenue of $500,000 in the previous year, must be registered as a soliciting charity in all states that require such registration, and meet several other requirements.
Additional limiting factors include cost involved (limited to $5 or $10 donations), no recurring donations, no donor information gathered, and the rather lengthy amount of time it takes to receive the donated funds (typically 90 or more days).
The options available to organizations that wish to implement fundraising by text donations are not as straightforward as one would like, but hang on, there is hope for your non-profit!
There are companies that provide text donations services to non-profit orgs that do not set the application limitations mentioned earlier and that even allow for any amount of donation by the donor using his or her credit card. This method, in turn, will speed up the funding process to the NPO.
One important limitation this text donations method presents, however, is that the donors are required to first visit the giving page of the charitable organization’s website and register their cell phone numbers allowing them the ability to utilize their cell phone to make a donation via text. If donors are forced to go to a website to register their cell phone numbers, why wouldn’t they just complete the donation online instead of making text donations?
There are several other processes that come to mind as well. One is the process of texting a keyword to a specific number and then receiving an automated call asking the donor to input the amount of the donation and their credit card data. Imagine if you will issuing a call to action at an event with several thousand people eager to give; would the donor be able to effectively hear the prompts on the phone in that type of setting? Another very recent process requires the donor to download an app into their phone in order to make a donation. All of these are limitations to groups that don’t fit the omega-charity profile when it comes to maximizing fundraising via text.
So, what is a small or medium size non-profit to do? Funny you should ask. There is one system available that addresses and eliminates all of these limitations and concerns, MobiPledge. (Full disclosure as this is my company). MobiPledge uses a unique patent pending process that solves all of the problems outlined above:
For more information on text donations, please visit www.MobiPledge.com.