3 Text-to-Give Strategies to Increase Event Giving

When you’re gearing up to host a fundraising event with ambitious goals—like a high-energy auction or gala—there’s a chance that the turnout falls short of your expectations, or the progress towards your fundraising target is slower than anticipated. But, what if there was a way to proactively boost engagement, foster giving, and create excitement well before the event kicks off? 

Luckily, there is a way with text-to-give. Text-to-give is a dynamic tool that empowers you to rally your community, encourage early giving, and create hype around your event. Plus, you can use text-to-give throughout your event to offer guests another way to push your fundraising goals forward. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into three essential text-to-give strategies to maximize your event’s impact and success:

  • Encourage Early Giving
  • Create Anticipation and Excitement Through Text
  • Gamify Fundraising for Enhanced Engagement

Your nonprofit puts a lot of time and effort into planning your fundraising events. Text-to-give can help make sure you turn over a high profit and meet your donor engagement goals, bringing you closer to your mission. Let’s dive in. 

Encourage Early Giving

Fundraising for your event doesn’t have to start the day-of! Open up the opportunity to give to your event before it even begins with text-to-give. Text-to-give is the perfect tool for early fundraising because it’s convenient from an administrative and donor perspective and allows you to reach supporters immediately with your donation requests. 

To incentivize early giving, craft compelling text-to-donate requests that will resonate with your audience and relate to their interests and motivations. Tatango’s guide to nonprofit text messaging recommends including the following elements in your text-to-give requests:

  • The transformative impact of event donations: Highlight how the donations will be used to make your mission a reality. For example, you might tell a story about a beneficiary of your organization whose life was transformed by donor support. With additional funds, you can make this same change possible for hundreds or thousands of more people. 
  • Engaging visuals that foster a sense of connection: Enhance your storytelling by using images and video to connect with your audience. For instance, let’s say you’re a marine conservation organization hoping to restore sea turtle populations. You might share photos of your volunteers releasing rehabilitated sea turtles back into the ocean. This hopeful image helps to showcase your nonprofit’s impact and reinforce why your organization is worthy of donors’ support. 
  • A compelling call-to-action: Use a persuasive call to action to direct supporters to donate to your organization in advance of your big event. Request a specific donation amount, use active verbs, and create urgency by setting deadlines. For example, you might text your supporters “Donate by midnight to have your donation matched!” to prompt them to give right away and maximize their impact. 

Text-to-give is also a great option for supporters that can’t make it to your event, giving them a way to give even if they can’t physically be there on the day-of. Make sure to promote your text-to-give campaign widely to encourage all supporters to opt-in and spur early donations. For example, your website, email, and social media are all great platforms to get the word out about text-to-give. 

Create Anticipation and Excitement Through Text

You can also leverage text messaging as part of your overall digital marketing strategy to create hype around your event. Here are some ways you can use text to get supporters excited to register and attend: 

  • Share photos of some of the items up for bidding if you’re hosting an auction
  • Tease who the entertainment at your event will be
  • Send a picture or video from the last time you hosted this event if it’s been held before
  • Share testimonials from guests who attended your last event

You might also text your supporters links to resources that provide deeper insight into the event’s purpose and mission, such as your event landing page on your website. A well-crafted message could read: “Sign up for our upcoming live auction and get a sneak peek of our auction catalog. Check out [Link] now!” Make sure to include a mobile-friendly link to your landing page so supporters can easily learn more and register for your event from anywhere, at any time. 

Gamify Fundraising for Enhanced Engagement

Gamification is the process of adding friendly gameplay into your fundraising to motivate supporters to give as much as possible. For example, let’s say at your next auction you create a contest where the top five donors win a special prize, like nonprofit merchandise or a free meal at a local restaurant. 

On top of bidding, you can also offer supporters another avenue to give and increase their odds of winning with text-to-give. Display your text-to-give keyword and short or long code prominently at the event, enabling attendees to effortlessly contribute mobile donations in real-time.

To keep energy levels high and spur as much giving as possible, you can also leverage gamification features like: 

  • Fundraising thermometers: A fundraising thermometer is a great way to show supporters your progress in reaching your goals and how much additional funding is needed to help you cross the finish line. If you hit your goal in the middle of your event, consider challenging supporters with a bonus objective to hit your fundraising numbers out of the park. 
  • Leadership boards: A leadership board displays the top donors at any given time, fueling supporters to increase their donations to see their names. You could also sort supporters into teams and display the top fundraising groups, helping to build camaraderie and a strong sense of community. 
  • Countdown clocks: Countdown clocks create immediacy and let donors know exactly how much time they have left to get their donations in and meet your fundraising goal. As the timer winds down, supporters will feel even more motivated to step up their text-to-give contributions.

A text-to-give contest is a great option for all types of events—whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid. If your event has a virtual component, make sure there are clear instructions available for your remote attendees on how to opt in to your text messaging campaign and submit a donation. 

Once your contest is over, shout out your winners and thank all of your supporters for their participation. NXUnite’s guide to donor recognition recommends personalizing thank-you notes to all of your supporters that reference their donation amount and how they helped make a difference in your mission. Rather than manually creating these thank-you letters, leverage a text messaging platform that offers automation and personalization features so you can power off these thank-you notes in just moments. 

Wrapping Up: Maximizing Impact with Text-to-Give

You’ve put a lot of thought and planning into your fundraising events. Now, you just need to leverage text-to-give to engage donors more closely and fuel giving at a large scale. Text-to-give has helped all types of organizations, from churches to nonprofits, meet their fundraising goals and ignite change in their communities. 

To fully harness the potential of text-to-give, it’s essential to invest in a nonprofit text messaging platform that works specifically with nonprofits. Backed by a comprehensive platform that offers fast messaging speeds, segmentation, and automation, your nonprofit will be in great shape to pair any event with a winning text messaging campaign. 

Mike Snusz

Mike Snusz brings 19 years of digital fundraising experience to his role as Director of Nonprofit Customer Experience at Tatango, a text messaging platform for nonprofits and political campaigns. Prior to Tatango, Mike spent 15 years at Blackbaud leading a team of digital consultants that helped nonprofits improve their online fundraising, monthly giving, email marketing and peer-to-peer fundraising programs. Mike started his nonprofit career managing the Ride For Roswell from 2003 to 2005 in his hometown of Buffalo, NY.

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