All posts by Kirsty

Top tips for optimising your regular giving SMS campaign

You wouldn’t use just one form of fundraising for single giving, so why rely on Direct Debit for monthly donations?

Regular giving donors are a crucial source of income for charities. SMS can lower the barriers that are associated with monthly donation sign up and Direct Debits. It’s quicker, easier, transparent and can help you acquire a new segment of regular givers.  

You can read our latest blog on why SMS regular giving is so appealing to both charities and supporters here.

Here are just a few things to consider when setting up your campaign:

  • Choosing the right keyword
    If you are likely to use the same campaign to acquire regular givers over the long term then a keyword connected to your charity name or cause will stay more relevant.
    Alternatively, if you are planning to run separate appeal acquisition campaigns then you can use keywords related to these.

  • Choosing a donation amount
    The average donation amount for regular giving is £5 – £10. With instaGiv you can offer either of these, as well as £15, £20, £25 and £30. Broaden your reach by offering your supporters the option to choose an amount that they feel comfortable donating by asking them to simply add the amount they want to donate to the end of the keyword. 

  • Customise your response and monthly messages
    Supporters will receive a reminder SMS 24 hours before their donation is taken and a confirmation when it has been taken, increasing your opportunities for touchpoints with supporters. Both of these messages can be customised so that you can build your relationship with them and maintain a consistent brand experience for supporters.

  • Use outbound SMS to recruit 
    Do you already have a base of warm opted in supporters? It’s easy to send them an SMS that they can easily reply to and sign up to monthly donations in seconds.

Interested in learning more about SMS regular giving? Send us a message here and we will be in touch.

Can SMS Giving help you increase your number of regular givers? We think so.

Many charities using instaGiv’s Regular Giving solution are still seeing tens of thousands of pounds of donations each year from campaigns that they set up years ago.

Regular giving offers a multitude of benefits to charities

  • It increases revenue by raising the lifetime value of donors. The amount a supporter donates over a year’s monthly donations is often significantly more than a one off donation. Even though a monthly donation may be a lower value, over the years this adds up to far more. 
  • It improves cash flow. For a lot of charities donations can congregate around certain times of year which can present operational challenges. This can be due to seasonal impacts, as well as large annual events which generate a significant amount of donations within a small period. 
  • It allows for better planning with more predictable income. Once a charity knows the average retention rates and donation amounts of regular givers, it can predict monthly income fairly accurately. This assists with longer term planning and budgeting of operational and marketing activities, as well as the work and services that a charity is providing. 
  • It produces higher ROI. Acquiring donors requires marketing and budget resources. If you are spending this on acquiring donors with a higher lifetime value you will see a better return over time. Many charities using instaGiv’s Regular Giving solution are still seeing tens of thousands of pounds of donations each year from campaigns that they set up years ago.  

For these reasons, as well as many others, regular giving is an essential revenue generator for many charities. Now more than ever it is crucial for charities to have consistent, predictable income. However, research has shown that Direct Debit sign ups decreased by 26.6% between May and September of 2020. There is however some good news, cancellation rates are getting lower. What does this mean? If you can get supporters signed up to regular giving, there is a higher chance of keeping them.

So why is regular giving by SMS so appealing to supporters? 

  • 84% of adults now use a smartphone and spend on average more than two hours online on their devices each day. Additionally, 80% of all donations in 2020 were made digitally. With people now using their mobile phones for many day to day tasks it’s likely that they are also using them to donate. It has been stated that one of the easiest ways to ensure a donation is to reduce the number of steps in the journey. Online forms that take a long time to fill out, require people to switch between screens or which don’t appear correctly on mobiles can lead to high drop off rates. Sending a text message to sign up to a monthly donation offers a simple one step solution for supporters to donate to your cause. 
  • Research has shown that Millennials and Gen-Z are far more likely than other generations to give via SMS (a whopping 92%). If you’re trying to acquire long term supporters from these demographics then SMS giving is a familiar, trusted donation tool. 
  • There are lower barriers to entry with text to donate. Some people may be reluctant to sign up to, or not feel ready to commit to, a Direct Debit. The sign up process for SMS giving is also quicker and does not require as much personal or bank information to be shared. 
  • SMS giving gives supporters more control over their donations, making it a transparent and ethical monthly giving solution. If for some reason a supporter is unable to make their donation one month they can simply skip a donation rather than cancelling their Direct Debit, meaning you don’t lose donors. 

With average retention rates of 89% and skip rates of less than 4% per year, SMS is a great monthly giving option for charities to increase the lifetime value of donors. 

How can instaGiv help?

instaGiv allows charities to collect monthly donations via SMS. All you need to do is set up a regular giving keyword and choose your donation price point. As with our single giving keywords, the text messages are customisable, and all compliance requirements are built in. 

For supporters, donating is easy. They simply need to text the keyword to your shortcode once and their donation will be taken like clockwork each month. No forms or fuss and no card details to enter. 

To set up your regular giving keyword today simply sign up or login

To speak to us, email help@instagiv.com 

Top tips for promoting your SMS donation keyword

So you’re ready to kick of your 2021 SMS fundraising plans. You’ve chosen your keyword, edited your response message, switched on consent and added Gift Aid. Now all you need to do is advertise it and wait for donations to start rolling in. But what are the best ways to promote your SMS donation keyword?

One of the best things about text-to-donate keywords is that they are easy to add to many types of promotional campaigns. People are likely to have their phone on them in most situations so texting to donate can be done there and then in seconds, making it easier for many people than visiting a website and completing a form.

Your keyword can easily be added to your social media account bios, added to the descriptions of images you post or even posted as an image itself. This is great because people are likely already on their phones so sending a donation message is little effort for them.

If you’re running any sort of virtual event, SMS keywords are easy to promote throughout it. Add it to sign up and reminder emails, have your host mention how to donate, add a rolling banner to the screen or add the information to any area where you can add text.

Whilst people are out and about less at the moment, billboards are a good way to promote your keyword. Why not add it to bus stops so people can text as they wait?

Add your SMS keyword and shortcode to your leaflets. This is a good opportunity for you to provide more information about a particular campaign and include a campaign specific keyword for people to donate to make a difference.

If you’re posting an advert in a newspaper don’t miss out on the opportunity to reach numerous potential supporters and add donation information to it.

Another opportunity to promote to a significant number of potential supporters. TV adverts allow you to include more information and create an emotional connection. With people likely to have their phones closer than their laptop, this is an easy way for them to donate immediately and in just seconds as soon as they see the advert.

If a supporter is signed up to receive updates from you they are likely to already be invested in your cause. With many people reading emails on their mobiles now, switching to text messages and donating will be quick and easy for them.

Key things to consider

  • Include all of the information
    Make sure you include the keyword, shortcode and amount they will be donating as well as any compliance information
  • Have a strong call to action
  • Make it clear and visible
    Think about the font, text size and colours
  • Make it memorable 
    Check out our top keyword tips here

Not using SMS Giving yet?

7 Tips to get the most out of your SMS giving campaign

SMS giving is the simple way for supporters to donate to your cause by texting the keyword of your choice to a shortcode. That’s it, there’s no forms or fuss. It’s not just supporters it’s easy for, it takes just minutes to set up your campaign and start raising money. But how can you make sure you are setting your campaign up for success?

  1. Make your keyword memorable, relevant and short. You want to make sure it’s something that is easy for supporters to remember, quick to type when they see the advert, and won’t get autocorrected to a different word.
  2. Offer different donation amounts to broaden your supporter pool and let them donate what is possible for them. The instaGiv platform let’s you set donation amounts of up to £30.
  3. Promote your keyword and shortcode clearly. Limit the amount of text to make your call to action clear, for example “Text CHARITY to 70660 to donate £10”. If you’re making an appeal on the radio state that you’re about to give them the word and phone number so people don’t miss it.
  4. Customise your response message to build your relationship with supporters. There’s lots you can do within this message to increase engagement, such as thanking them, directing them to your website or social media pages, or requesting they upgrade to a monthly donation.
  5. Collect Gift Aid declarations easily with instaGiv. You can choose to collect declarations via webform or SMS response, and all responses are verified before being marked as ready to download.
  6. Collect consent at the point of donation so that you can reach out to supporters at a later date. Whilst you might not be considering an outbound campaign currently, it’s a good idea to start building this up just in case you do in the future. Outbound emergency appeals and regular giving upgrade campaigns have been very successful for a lot of charities.
  7. Don’t forget to say thank you. You can do this as part of the response message, or by sending a separate outbound SMS notifying supporters of how their money helps. This helps supporters feel engaged and like they are making a difference, and increases the likelihood that they will donate again or spread your message.

To speak to a member of our team about getting started email help@instagiv.com

How can you optimise your Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign?

#GivingTuesday is one of the biggest days of the year for the charity sector worldwide, and this year it’s taking place on Tuesday 1st December. Giving Tuesday presents an opportunity for charities to increase donations, engage with supporters, raise awareness of their services and focus attention on campaigns.

This year has been tough on fundraising, with people in harder financial situations. However, it has also been a year that has increased the need for many charities’ services, and a year that has seen people coming together to care for each other and support important causes.

So how can you make sure you are making the most of the day?

  • Get your message out there – Promote your campaign via various channels such as social media, TV adverts, billboards, your website, newspaper and radio. SMS giving keywords are easy to advertise, and supporters can donate anytime anywhere.
  • Use your influencers – Do you have a celebrity spokesperson? Now is a great time to get them to promote your charity and the important work you do.
  • Corporate partnerships – Engage with your corporate partners to run fundraising campaigns around Giving Tuesday. There’s lots of ways they can get involved, from gamification to competitions. They can also help you spread your message to their employees and customers.
  • Launch your Christmas campaign – Launch your Christmas campaign on Giving Tuesday to gain attention and momentum early on.
  • Make it tangible – Connecting your campaign to something tangible can make it feel more real to supporters as they can envision the impact they are having. Let supporters know what different donation amounts could fund or set a target for them to help you reach. 
  • Show how you’re helping – Promote case studies that show supporters the work you have done in the past. This helps supporters feel emotionally invested and engages them with your work long term.
  • Thank your supporters – Make sure you thank supporters for their money, time or any other support they have provided to maintain engagement with them. Outbound SMS is a great way to cut through email competition and increase the chance of your message being read.

Get started today or to speak to our team email help@instagiv.com

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; help@instagiv.com

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 help@instagiv.com

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 help@instagiv.com

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 help@instagiv.com