All posts by Adam

Outbound SMS – How can your Charity use it?

Four ways your charity can use outbound SMS with InstaGiv

SMS has become one of the most commonly used methods of communication today. Why? Well because almost everyone either has access to, or owns a mobile phone, which is most likely within arms length of them at all times. Mobile phones are becoming the ultimate tool for everything. They started off being used for phone calls and short texts, now we can access the internet, do banking from them, video call, make payments, watch movies and much more.

Four ways you can use outbound SMS to enhance your mobile fundraising and engagement; Standard message, address verification, response request and donation request.  Lets look in a nutshell at each and ways they can be used.

Donation Request: Compose an SMS asking your recipients to reply with one of your single giving or regular giving keywords. With single, this will secure a one off donation and with regular this will secure a new subscription.

Standard Outbound: An SMS that you do not require a reply to. This is used for information or marketing purposes, you may decide to have URL within the message to direct traffic to a website of your choice, gift aid web form, landing page or much more.

Address Verification: This does what it says on the tin, captures the addresses of your supporters. All information given is matched to a full UK address which is fully recorded and stored on your InstaGiv account.

Response Request: Typically used for anything that you need a response for. This allows you to send a recipient list an outbound text, giving them the ability to reply to you. This is often used for; call backs, email capture, support for petitions, event sign ups, registrations and much more.

You can register for your keyword here.

Charity Gift Aid

Allowing your Supporters to Gift Aid their Text Donations

Using the instaGiv platform, clients can enable gift aid on any of their fundraising campaigns, essentially meaning that for every pound a supporter donates, the charity receives an extra 25p from the government.

When GA is enabled on a campaign, you have the choice to either ask your donors to reply to the GA ask SMS with their name, house number & postcode or, you can ask them to click on a URL within the SMS, directing them to GA capture declaration page.

The webform was built by our developers alongside the HMRC requirements. With both methods, all declarations are recorded and stored on your InstaGiv account, allowing you to easily download this information at any time, for processing.

Why use gift aid? Because you can collect an extra 25p for every pound donated. When supporters opt in to gift aid their donation, any donations from them from the past four years will have GA collected on them.

Do you struggle to get your donors ad supporters to agree to gift aid their donation? Perhaps a factsheet, FAQ section or an informative infographic on gift aid to help give your audience an insight into what gift aid is and how it does not cost them anything additional.

Watch your Charity grow & sparkle with #instagiv text to donate services
#MobileFundraising #TextToGive

Can I Run SMS Competitions with InstaGiv?

The answer is, yes, you can. 

If your charity has something to give away to its supporters, here at InstaGiv we can provide you with the text software allowing you to gather competition or prize draw entries. 

 Another added benefit of this is that you can also add a voluntary donation element to your campaign. Entries are not subject to whether someone has donated or not, however with our campaign setup, you can give them a choice.

At InstaGiv, we use 70### shortcodes for charity donations; these must only be used to receive donations and not to give away an item of monetary value. We have several SMS products available on our 70 shortcodes such as; Single Giving via SMS, Regular/Monthly Giving via SMS, Address collection, Event Fundraising and Registration keywords which have no donation attached.

Competitions and free prize draw campaigns are set up on commercial codes beginning with 84###, allowing us to allow our charity clients to gather entries and, if they choose to do so, add the optional donation tool.

Our campaign setup allows you to set the start and end date and time of your draw as well as pick a mobile number at random for the winner. 

 If you want to spice things up a little for your supporters, you can add the “element of skill” functionality to your campaign. This means that to enter the draw, they must answer a question.

For example;

What is the capital of Ireland?

 A) Dublin

 B) Belfast

 C) Cork

Your supporters would then have to text your chosen keyword, i.e., ENTER + A, B or C

Our system will then gather all correct entries into an inbound report and pick a number winner on your chosen end date and time.

 However, if you wanted to keep it as simple as possible, you can have your supporters text the keyword only, without the element of skill tool.

With both instances, there is a full inbound report available. Once someone enters, they will receive an acknowledgement thank you SMS instantly, and it is your choice if you want to add the optional donation to this text. You can customise this bounce-back text on your InstaGiv platform.

View your total number of entries and total donations raised at any time and in real-time via your platform.

For more information, a copy of our brochure or a free 1:1 demo, please email


Content Ideas for Charities


Here at InstaGiv, we understand that it is often difficult to create content that raises cause awareness and raise the profile of your charity. There are so many charities and non-profits out there who are of similar nature, so it is often hard to get yours to stand out.
After some research, we have put together a few ideas that may help catch the eye of your target audience and supporter base.


Everyone loves visuals, right? Rather the reading reams and reams of text, a short video clip or a vlog documenting some of the work of your charity is almost guaranteed to catch the eye of your supporter base than paragraphs of text. According to My Social Networking Market; 20% of browsers will read text on a website or social channel, whereas 80% will watch a video.

The use of visuals is definitely a good call, which brings us to our next point; images and infographics. A picture can tell a story better than any type of wording can. Images are great for catching the eye and infographics allow you to place some facts and figure on there also.

Go behind the scenes

Why not create a short piece of content showing your supporters the hard work that happens either on the road or within your office environment? Everyone loves a “meet the team” or “check out our HQ” – show your audience what the day in a life of someone who works to fight the cause in which they support is like. Everyone loves a nosey behind the scenes!

Interview your volunteers

Why would this help? Volunteers are there for a reason, they often do not get paid for the time or work they give to charity. It is therefore essential to get their views, thoughts and opinions and put them at the forefront of your charity. These people give their spare time to help a cause that they feel strongly for, a clip of them in action or telling the rest of UK why they do what they do, maybe perfect to help pluck on the heartstrings of your audience.

One final point before we finish this blog, another thing that has recently surfaced after some conversations with employees in the office, we discovered that Instagram stories are a big hit at the minute. We have also seen online some facts around how most Instagram users prefer to watch the stories of those that they follow, rather than scroll through their feed. Some food for thought – sometimes we are afraid to get in front of the camera, but perhaps when you do it once, that is the barrier broken.

Written by: Caitriona McCarry, Marketing

We hope you enjoyed the read! Feel free to let us know what blog topic you would like to see;

Running happy kids in green field during summer time

What summer fundraising ideas have you got in your pipeline?

Running happy kids in green field during summer time

It might be hard to believe, but summer is almost here, and if you haven’t already, you should start to think about your fundraising ideas for the next few months.

While it might be effective, standing on the street with collection buckets in the pouring rain just does not sound appealing to anyone. Fortunately for us, there are loads of other fundraising ideas that don’t involve a raincoat and an umbrella.

Institute of Fundraising

According to the Institute of Fundraising’s most recent giving report, SMS donations are on the rise, and with the help from Instagiv, we can help you get the most out of your text message campaigns. By creating a fundraising campaign with us, you can take the time and hassle out of fundraising, freeing up your staff and volunteers to use their time much more effectively.

They’re quick and easy, as well as being user-friendly and have a very fast turnaround. Not only that, but Instagiv’s mobile fundraising and engagement platform will let you send donors a response message instantly, thanking them for their donation. You can enter information relevant to your charity response message, as well as adding a short URL link directing more traffic to your website if you wish.

Track in real time

By using Instagiv’s platform, you can log in, receive SMS donations from your keywords and track the progress of the campaigns in real time. Another great feature that we can offer you is to send outbound text messages to anyone who has previously donated and given consent to your campaigns so that you can create a long-standing relationship with your supporters. A quick text message can prove too much more effective and prompt donations than a phone call. Just upload a list of phone numbers to the Instagiv platform, and you can start to send out and schedule messages in advance, which is great when you are busy with other fundraising campaigns.

90% of texts are read within three minutes

While it might seem that text messaging is a thing of the past, 90% of texts are read within three minutes of being sent, and the end of the day will have read 98%. It is still an extremely effective marketing channel, which is also cheap and easy to set up and maintain. The great thing with SMS donations is that no matter how old it is, any mobile phone can receive a text message.

Regular giving, competitions via SMS, address capture, response SMS’, bulk outbound sends – we have it covered.

Why not request a free live demo with one of our experienced team members and see what Instagiv can do for you?

Text to donate

How often do you contact your donors?

Text to donate
Text to donate

With all the hype about GDPR and opting in vs opting out, many charities refrain from communicating with their donors and supporters. We believe it is essential to stay in contact with those who give to your cause, to keep them in the loop about how their donations help, what projects you are working on, upcoming events and much more.

Automated updates

Our system is designed to allow you to send your donors on an SMS journey, you can begin with a Single Giving campaign with consent enabled to gather opt-ins and from this, use our outbound SMS tool to keep in contact with them. Also, with having consent enabled on your campaign, you can also make use of our “extra response SMS” tool which allows automated texts to be sent to your opt-in donors weekly, monthly or at a delay of your choice.

When someone opts into future contact by your charity using InstaGiv’s SMS services, they are always sent a text in response, to acknowledge their consent preference and to give them the opportunity to opt-out again.

Recorded and trackable

All SMS correspondence between any mobile and your text campaigns with InstaGiv are fully recorded and stored on your account within the mobile history section; this information is stored for the benefit of the charity should they ever need this traceability information, and acts as an additional safety net. Our system has the intelligence to block any mobile number from receiving any SMS’ from you if they have opted out at any time post opting in.

When someone opts in, and their mobile number is on a recipient list for you to use within outbound SMS, if any mobile number, later on, opts out again, you do not need to scan through lists upon lists to remove their mobile number.

85% of people prefer SMS

From a recent survey carried out, we discovered that over 85% of people prefer SMS communication over phone call, I suppose it is because people do not need to take much time out of their day to read and respond to a text message, however an information call can take up to 30 minutes on some occasions.

From some client research, we can also see a trend in the times of outbound SMS’ being scheduled; most clients tend to send or schedule their sends for the late evening time after 6 pm.
At this time, most people are on the tube, trains, bus or at home, so they have time to check their phones.

Keeping in contact with your donors has never been easier, let us know if you would like one of our friendly advisors to give you a 1:1 demo.

Written by Caitriona McCarry
Client Accounts


5 ways mobile-fundraising with InstaGiv will benefit your charity

Mobile-fundraising is a fantastic tool used by charities and not-for-profits around the world to raise donations. Donors are given the opportunity to donate money through their mobile phones. These can be smartphones or tablets, and the whole point of mobile-fundraising is to making donating quick, easy and straightforward.

People can give to an organisation from anywhere in the world, through their mobile phone. We use our mobiles for everything in the world, so why not for charity fundraising too? It’s an amazing tool, that can help your charity raise more donations than ever.

In this short blog, we’ll give you five ways in which instaGiv can help your charity in 2019 with mobile-fundraising.



Bulk Outbound SMS tool

Upload your recipient list and send your supporters bulk outbound SMS texts. This can be used to inform your supporters about an upcoming event, marathon, support for a petition and much more. This tool allows you to stay engaged with your donor family, keeping them updated on recent news or requesting a donation. This bulk outbound SMS does not cost the supporter anything to receive; it’s free to the user and allows you to target an audience suited to your charity.


Consent Feature

With the built-in consent feature tool on the InstaGiv online platform, you can ensure you are always compliant with the latest GDPR polices. You can enable the consent feature tool on all of your campaigns, giving your supporters the option to either opt-in or opt out of future communication. The system automatically groups the mobile numbers of donors who have opted out into a separate list allowing you to differentiate between those who have given consent and those who have not.


The new Gift Aid Feature

We have recently just launched our new Gift Aid collection mechanism. We will now automatically match your Gift Aid declarations to SMS donations collected on the platform and provide straightforward tools that allow you to download batches of donations for processing with HMRC. Gift Aid declarations can be collected from supporters via SMS or through our new mobile-optimised form – both of which we have ensured are compliant with the relevant regulations.


Data Ownership

Clients get full ownership of all data and activity on their instaGiv dashboard and platform. The InstaGiv platform has many features allowing you to see detailed statistics on your fundraising campaigns as well as supporter information on all donations and SMS’ received. The platform gives you the ability to download all your campaign data in report form using the download CSV tool which brings several benefits. Having the ability to download your campaign data and donation amounts allow you to effectively analyse your different campaigns and see which works best for your Charity.


Track donations

When you log in to your InstaGiv account one of the first pages you will see is your dashboard with all your donation and campaign activity – updated in real time. There are graphs, charts and statistics illustrating the success of your campaigns, how much money each different campaign has raised, top campaigns, incoming activity, monthly donations, and overall amounts. You can instantly see any incoming donations with options such as viewing how many times a supporter has donated.


To find out more about our services, and how we can help your charity, get in contact today. 

SMS Marketing

5 reasons why you should be using SMS marketing over Email

SMS Marketing
SMS Marketing

Email is usually the medium of choice for marketing. Most people find that they receive a couple of marketing emails daily and ignore quite a few of them. Or they spend their lifetime sitting in an inbox, with the ‘intention’ of being followed up on. But that never really happens.

SMS, on the other hand, remains a much more intimate way of getting in front of your target audience. It’s usually a quick message from a friend or family member. With more and more people using their smartphones for their everyday business, people tend to look at their phones much more than they will look at their emails.

SMS marketing campaigns have increasingly become a quick and cost-effective marketing platform. And when you look at how audiences respond to SMS marketing, you may be surprised to see how well it competes with email. Let’s look at some of the main advantages of an SMS marketing campaign, compared to an email marketing campaign.

SMS can reach more people than any other platform

Email can reach anyone with an internet connection, but what about those who don’t have access to it? Of the 7.5 billion people in the world, less than half, which is around 3.7 billion have access to the world wide web.

Mobile phones are a very different story.

According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, there are now over 9.01 Billion mobile connections worldwide, which surpasses the current world population of 7.67 Billion implied by UN digital analyst estimates.

Just think about it, people may have one or two mobile phones and generally use them every day. It’s not uncommon on the other hand for people to have a couple of email addresses, some of which are rarely used. They might use just one regularly, meaning your marketing messages may be getting lost in transmission.

Mobile phone figure stats
Mobile phone figure stats

Higher open rates for SMS marketing

Common sense can tell you that people are more likely to open an SMS than an email. According to a new research study, Americans check their phones an average of 80 times a day while on vacation, with some checking their screen more than 300 times each day.

Opening your inbox and finding five or six marketing emails can make you unlikely to click any, especially if you have lots of other emails coming in for other reasons.

Email marketing can prove difficult when people receive so many emails. An SMS, on the other hand, is so short that most people will take the time to read it. Recent research showed that the average open rate in the UK for emails was just under 25% while estimates for SMS marketing in recent years state that as many as 98% of phone owners open an SMS message, usually within a few minutes of receiving it.

Higher click-through rates for SMS

The data also shows a much higher click-through rate for SMS messages compared to emails. The most recent research shows that email marketing tends to generate a click-through rate of around 4.2%, compared to 36% for SMS messages. When you work that out, that means around one in every 25 people will click-through when they get an email, compared to one in three for an SMS. SMS is a much more effective way of driving potential customers towards your website.

Quality Over Quantity

As people’s email inboxes take in more and more messages for all angles, the chances of your email sitting there unnoticed are quite high. This means that email marketers tend to send quite a lot of emails, hoping to eventually catch the attention of their target with one or two.

For SMS, you know the open rate and click-through rate is high, so you have to work on crafting one or two good messages. That’s simple too as you only have a small number of characters to fill. You just put the most important information in your text and get right to the point straight away. Campaigns that adopt SMs marketing often prove to be much cheaper than email marketing campaigns.

SMS is Cheaper

It’s a much cheaper medium, as you are sending out fewer campaigns. It should also be more cost-effective, as a high click-through rate should lead to some sales. This means the SMS campaign should soon pay for itself.

They also take much less time to create. You don’t need to worry as much about the design as in an email. You also don’t have to worry about how it will appear on different devices. InstaGiv can help your charity create SMS marketing campaigns that work. We work with more than 300 charities to help boost their fundraising with SMS. To find out more, check out our Services page or Contact Us.


Why are Charity Awareness Days Important?

In this week’s blog post we have come up with the main reasons why we think that awareness days are important and the importance of promoting them.

The purpose of awareness days is generally to give knowledge to the public about various health, social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

There are various awareness days for all types of causes throughout the UK.

  • They not only help raise the awareness of what they are, but they help raise cause awareness also. Do you think I have used work awareness too much?

Well, what we mean by this is, for example; from the 1st – 31st of March is Ovarian Cancer Month, this is the perfect opportunity for cancer-related charities and not for profits to get their message out there, shout from the rooftops about the work that they do and how it helps. This is a great way to spam your social newsfeeds with your upcoming campaigns projects, fundraising events and ways for your supporters to donate to your charity.

  • They make the public more aware of “what to look out for” in terms of their health

What we mean by this is, awareness days give us an insight into the signs of the likes of breast cancer, prostate cancer when someone is having a stroke and much more. Campaigns for causes such as these educate us on what to look out for and how to recognise when something isn’t right.

  • They encourage your supporters to participate in a fundraising event or do their activity to help raise funds and awareness for a cause.

When people are reminded of a good cause, it often inspires them to do something to help that cause or charity out. It may be a good idea to have an event or fundraising campaign running alongside the dates of the awareness days that suit you. This can be something as small as a sponsored walk, no sugar for a day, no alcohol or a week or a larger event like a fun run, sleepout or a fashion show. People like something that gets them out of the house and out of their comfort zone. I am the worst footballer, and I am not a great cook either, but I would still make a good attempt at a fundraising Five Aside Match or Come Dine with Me!

We hope you enjoyed our thoughts and took something positive away from this blog. Let us know what you would like to see next!

Charity donations

Why is Donor Engagement Important?

Creating relationships and maintaining donor and supporter communication is essential for charities. You want to build a solid, credible supporter base. The best way to keep them in the loop is to have a strong communication process in place.

Why is this important?


Your supporters like to know that they are appreciated. After events, big campaigns or any other charity happenings involving your volunteers, donors and supporters, follow up with them either via SMS or life the telephone to show your thanks. This way, they will know that their efforts are being recognised.

To show how their money has helped

Follow up with your single or regular donors to show how their generous donations have helped your cause. You should always be transparent when it comes to your donations. People like to know that their charitable donations are going to good use. Make it clear where the donations go, and it may also help with donor retention.

To keep people up to date with your cause

People like to know the progress of the cause that you are fighting, especially if it is something that is close to their heart. Maintain communication and tell your supporters a story, show them what your next campaign is going to be and give them an insight into the positive work that you are doing. People like to see active charities continually working towards something better.

Repeat Donations

If you have a donor base who give to your charity on a one-off basis, by maintaining communication and keeping them in “the know”, may help you upgrade them to perhaps a regular gift. By showing recognition and engaging with your supporters either directly or indirectly, will always have its benefits.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post. If you have any thoughts on what you’d like us to talk more about in our blog, we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you have any questions about this week’s post, get in touch today. Reach out to us at