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Why You Should Text Your Donors

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Overcoming Misconceptions About Texting Donors

As the town crier for donor love, I like to suggest free and inexpensive ways to steward donors with a personal touch.

Challenging Stereotypes in Donor Communication

When I suggest texting donors, a lot of people respond as if I just suggested something wildly inappropriate. I run into equal amounts of ageism and righteous indignation. Most people who scoff at my suggestion are in the 45 – 55 age range and while they may have some belief that texting a donor is socially intrusive the reason they give why this won’t work for them is “my donors do not text”.

I beg to differ.

The Surprising Impact of Texting on Donor Engagement

Think older people are technophobes? Here are a few stats to change your mind:

Texting: A Preferred Method Among Seniors

  • Texting is the most popular feature on a smartphone
  • 94% of seniors (adults 70 and older) are sending text messages weekly, with a daily average of 11 messages. (Experian)
  • 95% of texts from businesses are read within 3 minutes of being sent (Forbes)
  • SMS open rates average 98%
  • You are 8 times more likely to get a response from a text message than a voicemail or email
  • When it comes to sales, 90% of leads prefer to be texted, compared to called (FranchiseHelp)
  • In 2017 texting surpassed email as the most popular tool for staying connected among people aged 50 – 70 years old 
  • 86 percent of people older than 50 connect with other people through text messaging

A recent study from Bloomerang found that organizations that reached out to their supporters over the phone, in personal 1:1 emails, by text message and (virtual) in-person interactions had higher revenues than those who didn’t.

Texting is the status quo. It is the 21st-century version of a phone call.

Best Practices for Texting Your Donors and Innovative Tools

Why should you text your donors?

Your odds of your donor reading your text are a whopping 98%.

Let’s face it, the chances of them reading your email might be as low as 20% (if you’re lucky) and odds of them answering your phone call might not be better.

How and What to Text Your Donors

Allow me to be very clear: I want you to use texting for donor stewardship. Yes, it is possible to do text to give campaigns but I’m not talking about that: I’m talking about donor stewardship.

What should you say?

Imagine making a gift to the ARC and getting this text thank you.

What if it was the anniversary of your first gift to your favorite animal care organization and they sent you this text message?

What if you were an avid bird watcher and monthly donor to Audubon and you get this text message from them to see how you were faring in the pandemic?

Leveraging Textology for Effective Communication

My favorite thing after delighting donors is helping fundraisers save time and make their jobs easier.

My favorite tool for text stewardship is

The great thing about using texting to steward donors is how easy it is. Of course, you can text your donor from your own mobile device but you can save tons of time using affordable tools to send individual text messages like the examples above to donors from the convenience of your desktop using a landline. It’s as easy uploading a contact list and Textology’s system will let you know if you have your donor’s mobile number or landline. Then you can copy and paste the same message, sending it individually to each donor on your list. There is no mass texting in this platform because this is 1:1 communication. The nice part of that is your donor never gets any opt-in messages from the carrier.

Textology allows you to send and respond to text messages from any computer phone or tablet using your own email. This means you can send donors text messages from your desktop and reply to them, not from a mobile device, but from your own email. It still shows up as a text to your donor.

Now that we live in a virtual world, we’re 100% reliant on technology to get our messages through and rehumanize our connection. How will you show up in a way that engages your donors and helps you deepen your relationship with them?

I hope you’ll try texting for donor stewardship. Let me know how it goes!

Want some help delighting your donors? Download a copy of Rachel’s “Virtual Guide to Donor Cultivation” It’s loaded with time-saving technology tools, 11 ways to thank a donor after a gift, and 21 virtual stewardship ideas to delight your donors.

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  • Kristen Hay

    Hi Sabrina, thanks for the update on Textology. We've updated the article. I also wanted to share with you that we do have integrations with trusted text fundraising and video partners like Qgiv and Gratavid. We're sorry to hear that you're unhappy and would like to help with any specific issues you might have. You can reach out to our customer accounts or support team if you have questions about your database, and you can learn more about all of our integrations here:
  • Sabrina Flores

    I am sorry to share that I reached out to Textology myself also and Justin said they are no longer honoring the trial for nonprofits - or any trial at all for that matter. Their cheapest plan for nonprofits right now is $1200 - that's after I mentioned our organization will need to text 400 donors twice a year. Very disappointing. As the nonprofit fundraising sector evolved I hope Bloomerang will continue to evolve, and consider making these partnerships with vendors and add in integrations for texting and video. For now - I am an unhappy customer using Bloomerang because it's all we can afford, but falls short in all aspects.
  • Justin

    Rachel, Thanks so much for the shoutout! Textology now has mass texting so you can do your stewardship reachout at scale!
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