Today, we are featuring a guest post from Jasmine Somaiah, a content creator & social media marketer at Call Hub. With the rise of technology, nonprofit organizations have several new tools available for engaging donors. Among those tools, text messages are one of the most underutilized yet powerful ways to connect with your donors. With an average open rate of 99%, SMS marketing lets you connect with donors, build awareness for your cause, attract an audience, and boost donor engagement and retention. In this article, I will take you through seven ways you can use text messages to boost donor engagement for your nonprofit.
Donors appreciate when your organization takes a personal and genuine approach while engaging them, which means taking interest in your donors as individuals and being transparent in your interactions with them. You can easily achieve this approach by personalizing your the text message that you send to each donor. For example, an easy change to make is to use the donor’s first name and tailor the message to appeal to their interests. A personalized text will grab your donor’s attention, make them feel important, and increase your response rate.A simple example may look like this: Hi Jen! This is Adam volunteering with Hope Society. On 10th April we are gathering outside City Hall to protest against <insert cause>. Want to join?
A good way to keep your donors’ engaged is to keep them consistently updated with the goings on of your nonprofit. You could share information about upcoming projects or behind the scene efforts that your organization is making to support different initiatives. No matter how minor the information is, sending timely updates will make donors feel like an important part of your organization. Text messages can be a great vehicle to deliver these updates! You can send a broadcast text to your donors to keep them in the loop or to surprise and delight them. For example, if you’re hosting a fundraising event, you can send helpful updates about the location of the event, any guest speakers, or event promoting your silent auction items.
Usually, engaging your donors and supporters is a means to motivate them to take a specific action. You can give them this motivation or drive to donate by creating urgency around your cause. We suggest hosting a matching donation drive or setting a specific timeline to meet your defined goal.This works because you’re clearing outlining to your donors that you need their help to reach your goal within a certain amount of time. Creating urgency helps you keep your donors engaged and will help you reach your fundraising goals faster.
A simple thank you goes a long way in keeping donors engaged and in retaining them. Instead of sending a standard thank you text or email, take some time to explain how donations have enabled your organization to reach its fundraising goals and how the funds are being used to make a difference. When donors know how their gifts have helped, they will feel more connected to your cause and will be more likely to contribute again. For example:If a donor makes a donation of $25 on your website, you can send an automated text explaining how their contribution has made a difference. Hi Alice, Thank you for your contribution. Because of you, we can now buy books for five underprivileged children for the year!
Text messages are a guaranteed way to make donors pay attention to you and boost event attendance. Let's look at some ways in which you can keep donors and prospective donors engaged by sharing event updates:
It may not always be convenient for donors to make a donation as soon as they receive your fundraising message. You can help by make it easier for them by allowing donors to submit a pledge or donate at any time via text message. Allowing supporters to donate via text message and sending out timely reminders to donors will help you keep your audience engaged and will lead to more consistent donations.
One of the best ways to help donors feel like an integral part of your organization is to let them join the conversation for your cause. Make time to let donors share their thoughts and inputs about your mission and how your nonprofit can further improve to achieve its goals. These are a few ways by which you can encourage donors to speak up via text messages:
After receiving donors’ feedback, tell them how you will use their answers to create better experiences and further your work. This will show donors you’ve listened to what they have to say and value their input.
Remember, boosting donor engagement is about being genuine, giving donors relevant information, and letting donors be part of the conversation. Experiment with the various techniques listed above and see what works best for you! Author bio: Jasmine Somaiah is a content creator & social media marketer at CallHub a cloud telephony company building voice and text outreach tools for political campaigns, organizations, and businesses. She spends part of her days wondering how to combine her two loves, reading classic literature and partying. The rest of her time she spends writing or Instagramming.