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Raising money can be tough for nonprofits and charities during the best of times. When the time comes to rev up the financial engines for another fundraising drive, you want to use every promotional tool at your disposal to exceed your organization’s goal. From writing persuasive emails to telling your organization’s compelling story on social media, there are a seemingly endless number of opportunities to promote your nonprofit or charity. However, far too many nonprofits and charities fail to utilize perhaps the most effective promotional tool of all: text message marketing.

An Introduction to Text Message Marketing

Ever since the first smartphone came onto the communication scene, texting is much more than just a way to tell your friend that you are on the way to meet him or her. SMS messaging has grown into one of the most convincing and affordable ways to get the word out about your nonprofit organization. Text marketing for nonprofits and charities works because virtually everyone that you want to connect with is within a few short seconds away from access to a mobile device, whether it’s their own or someone else’s.

The same can’t be said for emails, as users have to log into an account and then spend time reviewing their inboxes. Members of your target audience hear or feel a texting alert, and then immediately reach for their phones to read the message you sent.

Benefits of SMS Marketing for Nonprofits and Charities

Running a nonprofit or a charity often means operating on a shoestring budget. And even if you have a generous budget, you still want to get the most bang for the least buck. By using SMS broadcast software, you can easily remain within your organization’s budget while generating money for a worthy cause. Your organization will benefit from one of the highest response rates of any other type of digital outreach program. Texting is also a powerful tool for building your organization’s subscriber list, as well increasing the number of dedicated members of your charity or nonprofit.

Above all, text marketing gives you a convenient and cost-efficient way to present information about your organization and the fundraising mission it is about to undertake.

Where Does Your Organization Start?

Despite its appeal for offering convenience and powerful results, SMS marketing requires the development of a well-thought-out plan that starts by selecting the right text marketing provider.

How to Choose the Best SMS Marketing Provider

The best texting platforms offer two solutions for your organization: ease and support.

A good SMS platform will make it simple to send automatic text messages at clearly defined intervals. For example, if you want to send out alerts about meeting a certain fundraising goal, you can preset a date and persuasive message to send out to your subscribers. Good SMS marketing companies will also provide customer service around the clock to meet every texting need. Your fundraising events aren’t limited to 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and neither should your support.

Reserve a Memorable Keyword

A text marketing keyword is a word that reflects your organization. For example, the American Red Cross could use the keyword "GIVEBLOOD" to create a powerful reminder for subscribers to donate blood for an upcoming drive. And since ‘short and sweet’ is the guiding principle for SMS, the "GIVEBLOOD" keyword can even be shortened to an emoji or emoticon, like a red heart.

Spend time mulling over possible keywords and run your ideas by some of your organization’s members.

Educate Your Members

One of the underlying reasons your organization attracts members is because the people drawn to your organization are also drawn to your cause. Perhaps no other niche requires the efficient distribution of information more than the niche filled by nonprofit organizations. After selecting the best SMS messaging provider and reserving the most memorable keyword, spend a little time educating your members and building your credibility by sending them links to useful information.

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Texting Platform Ideas for Nonprofits and Charities

With the average text messaging open rate at nearly 96%, you can spread awareness of your cause by simply texting your target audience. Just make sure to get permission from subscribers to ensure you gain trust before building credibility.

Here are a few other ideas for leveraging the power of SMS marketing for nonprofits and charities:

Attract Volunteers

Your organization needs two types of equity: financial equity and sweat equity. Although you spend most of your time raising money, you also have to attract enough volunteers to pull off a social extravaganza or run a booth at a wildly popular civic event. Text marketing for nonprofits and charities is also about promoting your organization to people that are willing to make the time commitment to help you achieve your nonprofit’s financial goals. Texting is a highly effective method for motivating current volunteers or recruiting future volunteers for your organization.

Promote Fundraising Events

Did we say promote? More like invite subscribers to attend fundraising events. Instead of sending overly long emails or uploading too much content on your social media page, SMS messaging can help you get to the point quickly and smoothly by informing subscribers about an upcoming fundraising event. Include the most important information— like the time, place, and reason for the event— and maybe a quick "Hope to see you there!" or similar sentiment. Then, let your website fill in the information blanks. As a bonus, you can also send reminders for the event using SMS.

Announce Positive News

One of the primary goals of a text message marketing campaign is to keep your donors motivated to keep giving. You can accomplish this by sharing good news with your SMS subscribers. Good news can come in the form of exceeding a financial goal or presenting information that describes a breakthrough in the niche where you have chosen to donate both time and money. And don’t be afraid to get personal and send birthday well wishes or anniversary congratulations to donors via a one-on-one SMS.

Sending Notifications

Whether you run an organization dedicated to curing cancer or a group that is preserving a delicate ecosystem, your worthwhile cause probably involves attending seminars and conferences that pertain to your main operating goal. Many of your donors might want to participate as well or hear news and interesting tidbits from the conference. Or perhaps you’re hosting the conference, and want to send out the speaker list or weather updates. SMS texting is an effective and efficient way to keep your donors, members, and volunteers apprised about your organization and its functions. You can also send alerts that highlight pending legislation and the latest news concerning an important social or political issue.

Turn to Dash Notify for Your SMS Marketing Needs

Running a nonprofit organization requires the sharp business skills possessed by the most creative entrepreneur. Expand your marketing possibilities by making SMS messaging an integral part of your organization’s promotional strategy. Dash Notify offers a wide variety of texting services that cater to the marketing needs of nonprofits and charities. We also provide highly rated customer service 24 hours per day, seven days a week.