Many nonprofits are experimenting with text-to-give fundraising, but thus far results have been mixed. Nonprofits that have the resources or connections to tap into media, celebrity or large e-mail lists have done well, but many others are simply breaking even (or not). One reason may be that the online promotions of text-to-give campaigns have been mostly limited to text-only KEYWORD and SHORTCODE pitches, such as “Text TIGER to 20222 to donate $10!” in print materials, Tweets, and Status Updates. Personally, I am not convinced that text-only text-to-give pitches are enough to inspire donors to give. A recent survey revealed that most text-to-give donors are ready to give some more, but for text-to-give campaigns to motivate donors to pull out their mobile phones and text-to-give, I think nonprofits would be wise to ramp up their text-to-give pitches to make them more visually appealing and inspirational.

To begin, your nonprofit should design a minimum of three graphics that speak to your mission and include your text-to-give pitch, such the the Food Bank of New York City. Next, upload them to Flickr or you preferred photo-sharing community. That allows you to then easily promote the images throughout the Social Web and monitor the number of people (or clicks) that each image gets. Once uploaded, then:

1) Promote your text-to-give pitches in Status Updates and Tweets.

Most nonprofits are sending out simple text-only text-to-give pitches in Tweets and Status Updates that do not inspire and consequently are mostly ignored. However, a Status Update that pulls up an image or an inspirational Tweet that links to a visually poweful text-to-give pitch is more likely to motivate donors. For example, “Approximately 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on soup kitchens and food pantries. Please don’t make them beg:”

2) In your Facebook Profile Pic.

3) On your Twitter background.

4) In your videos.

5) During check-ins on Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla.

When checking-in to location-based communities, shout out your text-to-give pitch. Your friends and followers will already have their mobile phones in hand when reading your text-to-give pitch thus increasing the likelihood that they will give:

You can also upload a photo of your text-to-give pitch at Venues, Spots, and Places:

Related Links:
Text-to-Give Graphics Set on Flickr
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Utilize Mobile Websites, Group Texting and Text-to-Give Technology