By Shay Lessman, Content Writer and Editor for Qgiv — an online fundraising platform empowering 20,000+ nonprofit fundraisers to raise money for their causes while keeping costs low.

When the first text message was sent on December 3rd, 1992, no one could have conceived how important this mode of communication would become for people worldwide. Now, text messaging is ingrained into our everyday lives. Many of the text messages we get are personal messages between friends and loved ones, but there are also many major brands that capitalize on this communication medium to help reach their customers. There’s a lot to learn from them about text marketing. Here are four text marketing lessons we can take from big brands:

  1. Text messages are a necessary tool for modern communication
  2. Meeting your target audience where they are is important
  3. Multi-channel communication keeps you top of mind
  4. Mobile purchasing—and giving—is on the rise

1) Text messages are a necessary tool for modern communication

What’s currently in your communications tool belt? Your organization likely relies on direct mail, emails, social media, and even phone calls to get the word out about your organization’s work and solicit support for your mission. Text messages are another valuable tool you should add to your outbound communications strategy! Big brands know that texts have an incredibly high open rate—that’s why many of our favorite retailers have adopted a text marketing strategy.

You can use outbound text messages to inform donors about upcoming fundraising events and campaigns. You can even use outbound messages to solicit donations from your supporters. Just be sure that your donors have opted in to receive text messages from your organization first. The rules for opting in are different for nonprofits. You can read all about it here.

Marketing-related text messages have an incredibly high open rate of about 99%, compared to the average email open rate, which is closer to 30%. This means that this method of communication gets more eyes on your message than a more traditional method, like email. With more eyes on your message, more people will be persuaded to take action and help support your mission.

2) Meeting your target audience where they are is important

Big brands and retailers know this—to reach their target audience they need to have an active presence on the social media platforms their target audience uses, and they need to use the communication channels their audience prefers. In a recent Statista survey, nearly half of respondents admitted to spending an average of five to six hours a day on their phones, excluding work-related smartphone use. That’s a lot of time spent engaging with a communication tool!

Leverage the power of this communication tool by incorporating text messaging into your strategy! If the average person spends five or six hours a day on their phones, that means there’s a five-to-six-hour window where most people are going to be receptive to your messages.

Want to learn more about effective text message marketing? Check out Qgiv’s Text Fundraising Success Toolkit.

3) Multi-channel communication keeps you top of mind

The average American sees 4,000-10,000 ads per day! Only a fraction of those ads makes it past our “attention wall” and are something we remember as consumers. This is why reiterating your message across several different communication channels is important. Text messages help your organization accomplish this!

Text messaging offers an additional communication channel that, instead of casting a wide net, targets your supporters based on their interests. That means text messages make it possible to send relevant, targeted messages to your most receptive groups of supporters. Messages can be used to solicit donations, recruit volunteers for a fundraising event or activity, and more. The sky’s the limit!

4) Mobile purchasing—and giving—is on the rise

It’s not surprising that with people spending more and more time on their phones, they’re using their smartphones to make purchases and donate to charities.

Amazon revolutionized the easy checkout process. Now, making a purchase on Amazon is as simple as sliding a button from left to right on your cell phone. Society’s shift to digital experiences has resulted in an almost continuous increase in online purchase rates. In 2022 in the United States alone, mobile e-commerce (purchases made on a mobile device) surpassed 387 billion U.S. dollars, more than double the spending done in 2019, and nearly one-third of U.S. internet users bought something online each week via a mobile phone. These figures continue to rise, indicating a shift from e-commerce on a desktop or laptop computer to purchases made on tablets and smartphones (devices capable of receiving text messages).

The same holds true for donations to charity. In 2021, an estimated 28% of online donations were made using a mobile device. This shows steady growth in mobile adoption since 2014, when the estimated percentage of donations made on a mobile device was only 9%.

What this means is that people are transitioning to giving on mobile. Your nonprofit organization needs to embrace a mobile first strategy to handle giving, and part of that mobile-first strategy is enabling giving via text message. This method is quick and easy for your donors, making it more likely they’ll adopt this tool and make use of it.


Communication is going mobile, and big brands are at the forefront of the transition thanks to text message marketing and a mobile-first strategy. Nonprofits can get ahead of the curve by adopting text marketing tools to send outbound messages and sign users up to receive communications via inbound texts. There are a variety of text fundraising tools out there for nonprofits to choose from because this communication channel is great for cutting through the clutter and getting your message seen by your supporters. That’s why big brands have incorporated text messages into their marketing strategies, and it’s why you should too.

About the Sponsor

Qgiv is an online fundraising platform empowering 20,000+ nonprofit fundraisers to raise money for their causes while keeping costs low. Through online giving and event registration forms, text fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraisers, and auction events, Qgiv provides a suite of fundraising solutions that integrate with industry-leading CRMs and email software to provide a personalized giving experience for donors.

Did you know that text messages have around a 98% open rate? That means that with a text fundraising campaign you can reach your donors where they are on their mobile devices. That’s why we put together the Text Fundraising Success Toolkit.