All posts by Caitriona McCarry

What are Dedicated Shortcodes and what are the Benefits?

At instaGiv we recognised the demand for dedicated shortcodes among our charity clients. Many charities prefer to have their own number to create that connection with their supporters. Below are some of the benefits of having your own shortcode.

  1. The 70### shortcode is dedicated to yourcharity, it’s the shortcode your supporters will associate with you and your cause. When someone sees or hear it, they will know its in relation to your charity as no other InstaGiv clients get use of it.
  2. Unlimited keywords. You pay a monthly fee for the ownership of your dedicated shortcode, and with that you get use of unlimited keywords allowing you to create multiple campaigns at no additional cost.
  3. You can use any of our products alongside your dedicated shortcode to include; Single Giving, Regular Giving, Registration, Event, Address Capture and our outbound SMS tool.
  4. Having the flexibility of having unlimited campaigns on your dedicated code opens an umbrella of opportunities as you can create and launch as many new text-to-give campaigns as you want to at no additional cost, in turn helping to increase SMS income and raise further cause awareness.
  5. When using a dedicated shortcode, you do not have to wait for approval on our end or have to check a keywords availability, it’s your shortcode so you can create and have access to new campaigns instantly.
  6. Not to mention all clients get full use of our Mobile Fundraising and Engagement platform at no extra cost. Here you have the ability to customise the thank-you response message sent to donors, add Gift Aid to your campaigns, send response/donation/address request outbound texts, add consent to your campaigns to gather opt-ins, view totals and inbound reporting in real time and much more.

Contact us for more information;

Five Simple Steps to Donor Retention

Improve Donor Retention and inspire Repeat Gifts

Recruiting new donors can be hard, so supporter retention should be a priority. Here are some simple steps to help you improve retention and drive repeat gifts.

Do not underestimate the power of saying thank you
Say it promptly, be sincere and say it every time you receive a gift. With SMS, thank you/bounce back messages are sent automatically to the user’s handset when a text donation is made. This does two great things; it builds trust and it encourages the donor to give again, as they can see your appreciation.

The feel good factor
People like to feel good about giving. They want to know that their gift has made a difference and that they made a positive change. Expressing gratitude and showing them how their gift has helped, will help your donors feel good about themselves and their generosity.

Involve your supporters
Make it about the donor and not the money – the rest will follow. Build a relationship with your supporters, encourage them to engage with you and invest in your cause. Invite them to get involved in other ways or send them updates illustrating to them the change that their kind gift has helped. This way, you are helping to build ambassadors from your supporters and donors.

Build trust
There is no doubt about it, there has been “bad press” around charities previously. Build trust with your audience and one of the most powerful ways to do this is showing them through something visual like a video, that their gift has gone to good use.

What they achieved
Finally, let them know what your charity achieved and what goals were met with their help. Try to be specific, for example the SMS campaign in aid of ABC, raised this much and this is what we have done with it.

Give examples, you recruited a new nurse, you secured a new guide dog, you secured research for another year and so on. This gives your audience a sense of ownership. All these steps work in tandem, each complimenting the other. Shift your focus from the money side of things, to the importance of your donors and you will build long lasting relationships that will have the power to benefit both.

For a free demo of our mobile fundraising and engagement platform, please contact us at

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 and the best way to keep them in the loop, is to have a strong communication process in place.

Why is this important?

Appreciation – 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, phone call or another means of communication to show your thanks. This way, they will know that their efforts have been 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. Either via visuals or via text content, it is always a good idea to illustrate to those people who donate to your charity how their donation has helped and what it has gone towards. People like to know that their charitable donations are going to good use, communicate this to them as 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, maintaining communication and keeping them in “the know” may help you upgrade them to a regular donation. Showing recognition and engaging with your supporters, either directly or indirectly, will always have its benefits.

To learn about our mobile engagement tools contact us at

Attract, Connect, Engage and Inspire your Supporters with SMS

SMS can be incorporated into almost everything in today’s mobile and technology world. Our vision is that SMS has the ability to turn strangers into visitors, then supporters, donors and lastly advocates.

Attract strangers by actively advertising and promoting your work, your cause and how your efforts go towards helping those in need and making the world better. How to do it? By using blogs, social media, SEO, inbound marketing via SMS, look for key interest indicators and keep your message simple. Use both offline and online marketing techniques to ensure you are covering all areas.

Connect with those visitors and potentially turn them into supporters by using SMS to capture details. This can be done by inserting a URL to a landing page in an SMS. You can also use both inbound and outbound SMS for capturing contact details by simply having your supporters either send a text or a reply to a text. All responses will be fully recorded on your InstaGiv platform.  Capturing visitor contact details will allow you create a CRM or database, and later on you can then send them updates about your cause and keep them in the know about the work you do, keeping them engaged and interested.

Convert your new supporters into donors by engaging with them. The most efficient, user friendly, personal and reliable method is SMS. Using SMS for engagement is a sure way to know that your readers have got your message. A text message tends to be read 100% of the time when received to a handset. Unlike email, you have no risk of the text going into a spam or junk folder. Text is personal, and the reader is more likely to open the SMS and digest the contents. You can gather donations through both inbound and outbound SMS; outbound is sending a text to your opted in supporters and asking them to reply with a donation, and inbound is having your text code well-advertised and promoted encouraging your supporters to send a text to donation to your cause.

Inspire your donors into becoming regular donors or advocates. Having a successful regular giving campaign is the ultimate aim for many charities and with SMS, that is made possible with minimal effort required. In addition, having a database of advocates is only going to bring benefits to your charity as you will have a team of individuals who will publicly support and promote your cause.
This is only one way a donor journey could work with SMS, right from being a stranger to an advocate. One aim of many charities is turn strangers into donors and this shows how incorporating SMS into your marketing strategy could help you achieve that aim.

Why SMS and what are the benefits? We have stated many in the above article but here are some more to add to the list;

  • Two way communication – receive replies to your outbound send, to include; donations, email addresses, names, postal addresses, support for petitions, registrations, event signups and much more.
  • Trackable using our delivery report – you can see how many SMS’ were delivered.
  • Multiple message parts and extra characters available.
  • Can include live short URLs.
  • Costs less than a phone call.
  • Takes less time that a phone call.
  • Recipients do not require internet to receive text messages.
  • People are most likely to receive and read an SMS than they are an email.
  • Fast delivery rate.
  • Opt-in/out available.
  • Detailed, online real time reporting.

For more information, please contact us at

Give your Supporters a Simple Solution with SMS

Give your Supporters a Simple Solution with SMS – don’t forget about your supporters who live busy and hectic lifestyles, consider the below when creating or deciding on your giving options.

People on the go – Getting stopped on the street is all well and good, but when you have a train to catch, it is simply not feasible. Completing forms on a tablet or iPad on the street may not be appealing to many people, especially if they’re in a rush. Why not have a text code advertised on the tube or train? People on a commute often have time to think

People with little time – People who are parents, work full time, have dependants or a hectic social life, do not have time to answer the phone or the front door to complete lengthy forms. More than likely, these types f people do want to give back or support a cause that they feel strongly about, however they do not have the time to complete the registration or setup process. With SMS, it can take less than 20 seconds to text a keyword, to a 5-digit shortcode.

People who don’t carry cash – with contactless, Apple pay and Samsung pay being the new payment trend of the 21st century, less and less people carry loose change on their person. Providing your supporters with and convenient solution to give, will help boost the incentive to give as its effortless and simple.

People who lack encouragement – Having donate buttons on your social channels is all well and great, but when the giving process becomes annoying, time consuming and complicated with forms, bank details, logins to other payment gateways, it throws people off the path and they give up midway through the process.

Register for your keyword here.

Regular Giving with InstaGiv Explained

Regular Giving Reporting – What Stats are Provided?

To track any giving campaign especially a recurring gift campaign, the most beneficial statistics include your monthly sign-ups against the stop rate, average monthly payment, number of skips and lastly the number of continuous donations.

Our monthly giving campaigns provide a wide range of inbound reporting to allow a very detailed insight into the progress and success of your SMS monthly fundraising.

The data includes a number of files to include statistical data on; inbound SMS,  response reports, monthly charts and regular donors.

View donations and/or SMS responses received from your supporters, optionally segregated by channel numbers. Additional information is also provided such as donation subscription rates and external data forwarding results.

On each file there are various columns that you can add to your report to include, date and time of each donation, donor mobile number, payment number, SMS ID, marketing channel number, full message details, campaign details, type i.e. PSMS, SKIP or STOP, custom reference and much more.

This reporting function also gives a brief overview providing information on campaign duration, total SMS received, total unique mobile numbers and amount raised thus far.

Campaign reporting is so important as it allows the charity to measure campaign performance against campaign goals, allows you to easily pin point where changes can be made and also see what is working best, along with many other important factors.

Secondly, your regular donors report provides full donor data on each individual regular subscriber to your monthly campaign. For example; total signups, total number of subscribers, total skips, total stops, the average amount donated per subscriber, the dates that each donor subscribed on, how long each donor has been subscribed for, the total that each donor has given to date., subscription ID and much more.

What is the importance of all this? Having the ability to measure and report on your fundraising campaigns is essential and extremely useful when analysing the performance and successfulness.

You can monitor the marketing channels you have used to advertise and market your text campaign, this will show you which channel is reaching the biggest audience and drawing in the most donations.

Lastly, the final regular giving report page allows you to visualise via graphs, charts and tables, your full donor data displaying statistics on the monthly breakdown, subscriber donations and gross sign-ups, donations by time/amount, donations by date/amount. The average stops, skips, donor activity stats by monthly attrition and cumulative retention.

All of the above will allow fundraisers to compare and contrast their campaign data alongside their predictions, goals and objectives. Our platform works in real time so any changes to a live campaign will be in effective immediately.

For more information, email

Is Coronavirus on Your Mind?

Charities advised to get creative with fundraising to counter the impact of coronavirus.

Many of the UK’s leading charities rely on large-scale events throughout the year for their fundraising efforts – in fact, the Institute of Fundraising found that they account for as much as 25-50% of charities income. As concerns of the coronavirus disease continue to grow, organisers have been forced to cancel major global events across a whole range of sectors including travel, sports, music and technology. It is therefore a cause for concern that charities might miss out on crucial opportunities to gather donations at public events whilst the disease poses a threat.

At instaGiv we work with a number of prominent charities including British Red Cross, and Macmillan to help with their digital fundraising. As the coronavirus issues compound, we have been working closely with our clients, taking on board their concerns and helping them develop new ideas.

Contingency planning and brainstorms are taking place right now to find new ideas and generate content in case the worst should happen and the events and campaigns they have planned for 2020 are cancelled. Many charities host popular sporting events, office bake-offs, and conferences that they are hoping to host in the coming months – most notable, perhaps, being the London marathon that raised £66 million for charity last year.

So, what can charities do?

We’re urging UK charities to get creative with their fundraising to counter any significant financial losses incurred due to event cancellations and isolation.

“At home giving” have seen incredible success in the past. One you may remember is the Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014. This saw Macmillan raise more than £3m in the UK via instaGiv text donations. Other well-known charities such as Cancer Research UK raised a significant amount of money as well as gaining more than 200,000 new Facebook fans and tens of thousands of new Twitter followers following the No Makeup Selfie viral campaign, driving further awareness and subsequent donations to the cause. Could this be the direction of fundraising campaigns to come amid the coronavirus?

Of course, it’s not quite as simple as just starting a viral challenge. So, we’re also proposing that charities consider hosting virtual events. Virtual events are rising in popularity as they are far more accessible and flexible than their traditional counterparts, especially as technology becomes ever more ubiquitous every day. From virtual conferences, where participants give video talks, to virtual marathons where participants run together from treadmills, there are a whole range of options open to charities. Our text to donate solution can allow charities to integrate fundraising into any of these events.

It’s no secret that social media has become an increasingly popular way for charities to raise funds – and viral campaigns are a big part of that. But now, mechanisms like Instagram and Facebook Live or Twitter’s Periscope are broadening the scope of what is possible with virtual events. We hope to see more of them both during the crisis, and we look forward to seeing some of the creative ways they are implemented.

Find out more about our solutions and how we can support your campaign or virtual event.

Register for your keyword here.

Top Tips for your SMS Campaigns

We have brainstormed and came up with our top four recommended tips for your SMS campaigns. These tips will help your charity in the long run between gaining an extra 25p per pound donated by adding Gift Aid, to increasing your supporter base by enabling consent and gathering opt-ins.

First things first…

Customise your Response Message

Grab the fact that you get to create your own response message by the horns. The bounce back SMS goes straight to the donor’s handset after a donation is made, this is in place to allow you to thank your donors, you get 160 characters to use so we try to encourage our clients to use up this space wisely. Perhaps also say something like “check out how your donations help”, with a URL to your website, this, in turn, will help drive more direct traffic to your charity’s website. Remember, people tend to read and digest the contents on an SMS received to their phone.

Add Channels

Adding channels to your campaigns brings the benefit of knowing which of your marketing channels are working best for you. You have a number for every marketing channel that you have your text code and campaign advertised. Allowing you to analyse your inbound report and view which channel is reaching the biggest audience and drawing in the most donations. If you are spending your budget on paid ads or expensive advertising, channels are perfect for measuring success.

Enable Gift Aid

Our Gift Aid tool allows you to collect names and addresses from your donors. We have two GA collection methods for you to choose from, both of which records and stores all declarations on your platform. You can then view down downloads this information at any time to send to the HMRC for processing. Enabling Gift aid is recommended as you can claim an extra 25% per one pound that is donated to your charity.

Enable Consent

Add the consent feature to your campaigns, this is where you can gather opt-ins from your donors and supporters. InstaGiv has two methods that you can choose from; Implicit and Explicit. With both, all consent records and stored on your platform where you can easily view and download them. Consent is user-friendly and straight forward, for example, rather than having your donor’s text KEYWORD to donate, ask them to text KEYWORD, YES to donate and opt-in- simples!

For any further information, please contact us at

The Benefits of Real Time Reporting

Real-time reporting is critical for any kind of marketing or fundraising campaign, but more important than ever when you are dealing with money and donations.

Why is it so important?

You need to ensure you are fully up-to-date with your figures and how effectively the donations are coming in. Regular monitoring of your fundraising campaign will allow for adjustment if you need to respond or react to any important changes. Real-time reporting is an essential part of any effective fundraising campaign.

Real-time monitoring also allows you to post exciting content across your social media platforms. To build momentum across your social media platforms, it’s great to tell your audience exactly how much has been with raised since the campaign has started. Keep your followers engaged with regular updates about the total amount raised and where this money will go to.

Instagiv & Real-time reporting

With Instagiv, the campaigns on your dashboard will update in real-time. This means that everything you can see exactly how successful your fundraising efforts have been.

If you have your unique text code advertised at an event, you can have your Instagiv dashboard open on your phone and simply refresh to see your donation totals. You’ll never have to wait hours for totals to load, and because our platform is mobile-friendly, you’ll be able to check your donations wherever you are in the world.

We can even tell you some clever analytics, in our overview area of the platform. You will be able to see the exact number of inbound texts your campaign has received, as well as totals raised, rather than flicking through different screens.

Facts & Figures

By checking statistics and totals in real-time, you can effectively measure the success of your campaign and see it’s strengths and weaknesses in one easy-to-use dashboard. If you see your latest campaign gaining momentum, you can quickly adjust it by adding Gift Aid, or changing the price point at any time.

Check out our new content

We have recently updated all of our product brochures which are packed with great content and information on the following Instagiv services:

  • Single Giving
  • Regular Giving
  • Competitions via SMS
  • Event Fundraising
  • Registration Keywords
  • Address Collection
  • Consent via SMS
  • Gift Aid

Contact a member of our friendly team today for your free copy. Email us at

5 Ideas when Promoting your Cause or Text Code

We often find it difficult when trying to think of new ideas and new places to promote and advertise our cause or business.

We have come up with 5 ideas that may come in useful when trying to brainstorm what to try or do next.

Email Footer – If you haven’t tried it already, why not put your text code in the footer of your emails. Many of us send external emails on a daily basis so it’s possible that someone within your communication chain will see your text code and wants to donate. With that said, making use of your LinkedIn account, blogs and newsletters may also come in useful.

YouTube Adverts – Almost all YouTube videos now have adverts and whilst we can skip after 5 seconds, more often than enough if the avert is interesting or captures our attention, we tend to continue watching it. A possible way of capturing the attention of your audience would be to create a video illustrating the work you do and why, helping to raise cause awareness.

Local bloggers– Bloggers are also seen as influencers and often talk to their followers live on their social media accounts. Using a blogger to help boost your cause awareness could potentially help get your message out there and make more and more people aware of your charity and how it helps those in need.

Social Media – Use your social media platforms to the best of your ability. Facebook as got a “go live” option, where you can go on video live to your friends and followers. Many people get a notification when someone they follow or are friends with goes live, which often intrigues people to click and view the live feed, to curb their curiosity. Make use of this tool, even if it is showing something small, it’s getting your cause out there and capturing attention.

Sponsorship or Partnership – Sponsor a child’s sports team or club, sponsorship can be big or small, choose an amount that suits your budget. In turn, the club could print your text code on their t-shirts, merchandise and or give your charity a shout out. In addition, partner with a business or organisation where you can help one another via promoting or mentioning. Not only businesses can do this, we have seen recently that activity clubs also take part.