Fundraising Via SMS: Complete Guide

How to ask for donations using SMS

Peer-to-peer fundraising relies on our relationships – people make donations at the recommendation of a friend or colleague. This also applies to fundraising via SMS. Generally, we only have the phone numbers of people we are close to. Sending a text message with a donation form link has a higher chance of being opened because of this relationship. With this dynamic in mind, Rallybound’s fundraising platform has SMS functionality built in through our personal and team fundraising pages for visitors, and through our mobile app for fundraisers.

Personal fundraising page sharing

When potential donors access a Rallybound donation page from a mobile device, they will see an SMS and WhatsApp icon under the social share section. Both of these buttons will generate an editable text in the visitor’s default messaging app with a short message and a link to the donation page. This allows visitors to easily send their contacts text messages that include a direct link to donate to the specific fundraising page or campaign. 

When a prospective donor clicks on the link, they are taken to a fully mobile-responsive Rallybound donation form, which means the donation forms show the best possible UI/UX on any sized screen. 

Fundraiser mobile app

For fundraisers, Rallybound provides SMS functionality in our fundraiser mobile app. The Rallybound mobile app lets fundraisers quickly send text messages to request donations, send reminders and recruit more supporters.

This can also be a great solution for large fundraising teams, as the app shows team progress. For example, if someone is falling behind on their fundraising goals, team captains can quickly send a text reminder that will nudge them to get back on track. The app has a full integration with smartphone contacts, so there is no need to go through the process of importing contacts. Please contact us if you would like more information on our mobile app.

Why SMS is so effective

Receiving a text message that is coming from a known contact increases the likelihood of it being read. It’s safe to say that potential donors will be very hesitant to click a link in a text message they receive from an unknown, automated number – many would consider such messages, even from a nonprofit they may have heard of, as spam. However, with peer-to-peer fundraising, this issue is avoided as the receiver knows – and therefore trusts – the person the message is coming from. 

For many fundraisers, requests sent by SMS is likely as welcome an option to ask for donations as Rallybound’s email and social media sharing options. Whatever medium the fundraiser prefers, however, SMS is another strong channel to re-engage with donors, whether the fundraiser is asking for a first or subsequent donation.

Text-to-give

Rallybound does not provide text-to-give services. Nonprofits that wish to explore text-to-give will need to take into consideration many complicating factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Working with (expensive) mobile carriers to secure shortcodes and transact donations
  • Restricted donation amounts (i.e. $5 or $10 donations)
  • Donations taken from mobile phone bills, which might annoy/surprise donors
  • Inability to collect and track donor data beyond what limited information mobile carriers provide

We do, however, have an integration with TextMarks that nonprofits can use for text messaging with a link to a Rallybound personal or team fundraising page, which is inline with peer-to-peer fundraising. If nonprofits are interested in other SMS fundraising approaches such as text-to-give, they will need to search for a third party provider for these services.