All posts by Naomi

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

Event Fundraising can really boost the cash you take in from your events

How can our charity use Regular Giving?

Regular giving, also known as monthly giving, holds several benefits for any charity.

To begin; we often get asked how our charity clients can upgrade their single donors to a monthly giving subscription? There are many ways you can do this; however, our most recommended and successful is by using our outbound SMS tool.

How can my charity qualify?

To qualify to be able to send your single donors an outbound SMS up upgrade them to a monthly gift, you must have first enabled our consent feature on your initial campaign. Our consent feature allows you to explicitly gather opt-ins and consent records from your donors, allowing you to use their mobile number for future marketing & communication.

From this, you can extract all opt-in mobile numbers, create a recipient list and send them a message asking them to reply to subscribe to a monthly gift of say; £3 per month to your cause.
All recipients who reply will then get an SMS in response to acknowledge their new subscription. Every month after that they will get a reminder SMS with the option to SKIP or STOP that month’s payment.

Customise

Your charity can fully customise all of these messages that go out to your subscribers so you can make them that little bit more personal. Some of our clients add live URLs to either their social channels, websites, videos or infographics to help drive more traffic to those direct channels.

The reporting side of things of regular giving is a different topic; it is up there with one of our main USPs due to the final detail it gives.

Contact us for more information on our entire regular giving package.

SMS analytics

An insight into the reporting for SMS campaigns

All clients get an overview of the total amount raised and the total amount of texts received.

Our platform works in real time, so you can see donations flowing in instantly. This is great for helping you measure the progress of your campaigns, and also very useful as it will allow you, at a quick glance, to view your fundraising stats thus far as soon as you log in.

You get access to stats on the number of unique mobile numbers which gives you information with regards to how may mobiles numbers donated more than once.

Top tip

This is useful when scoping out the possibility of having a regular giving campaign. If you see that their several individuals are donating to your campaign on more than one occasion, it may be beneficial to upgrade them to regular giving, where their payment is taken each month automatically.

You can schedule your inbound reports to be sent to either yourself, a colleague or a call centre via FTP or email. If you have consent enabled on your SMS campaigns, schedule for all opt-ins to be sent to the applicable parties for follow up. This takes out the stress of logging in and doing it manually or giving additional people access to your InstaGiv account.

There are 22 columns of data on your inbound report, and you get full data ownership.
Using our CSV tool, you can download your report at any time. This allows you to analyse and evaluate your SMS campaigns effectively and, in a user-friendly fashion. More importantly, you can add and remove columns from your inbound report to suit your requirements, so you download a report with only the columns you need, making it efficient and applicable.

As well as your inbound report, you also have access to a response SMS report.

This shows you all messages that have been sent to anyone who has engaged with or donated to your text campaign.

This is useful as it allows you to see that everyone who has donated, has received the thank you bounce-back message. Also, if you have Gift Aid enabled on your campaign, you can see that all donors have successfully received their Gift aid ask. All of our campaigns have an additional tool called “extra response SMS”. What this is for is if you have consent enabled n your campaign and you want to create an SMS journey for your opt-in mobile numbers, scheduling SMS’ to be sent to them later on, you can certainly do this.

For more information contact us for a copy of our brochures.

Instagiv

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.

 

Instagiv
Instagiv

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.

Instagiv
Instagiv

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.

Instagiv
Instagiv

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.

Instagiv
Instagiv

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.

Instagiv
Instagiv

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.

instaGiv

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

April Fool's Day

April Fool’s Day Prank Ideas

We have something a little bit different for this week’s blog post and it’s all about April Fools. It’s almost the end of March, which can only mean one thing – April Fool’s Day is almost here!

It’s on Monday in fact, and we’ve already been discussing ways in which we can prank our office friends at instaGiv HQ. We work in shared office space, with two of our sister-companies; Landed, a recruitment software provider, and Zymplify, a sales and marketing automation SaaS product. As you can imagine, there are a lot of us floating about the office, and the banter can be brilliant at times. We all get on so well, and we know exactly how to wind each other up, so we often play practical jokes on each other. (We do work from time to time as well, we promise!)

A select few of us have already been discussing our April Fool pranks for Monday, and we’ve come up with some hilarious ideas. We thought we’d share them with you, in case you’re stuck for some ideas this year.

*Disclaimer: We will not accept responsibility for any of your office banter blankets who won’t take well to an office joke.

Make a nickname for someone in the office, but don’t tell them

Our Head of Development is called Martin, who loves a good joke just as much as the rest of us. We thought it would be hilarious to get everyone in the office to call him ‘Marty’ on Monday, but we obviously wouldn’t let Martin in on the joke. It’ll be funny to see how long it takes him to catch on. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this blog post.

Add more cards to a standard deck of cards

We often play cards at lunchtime in the office, typically a game of Jack Changes always creates a bit of fun. If you’re familiar with the game, you’ll know that the dreaded ace of hearts means the next person has to pick up five cards. You always know who has it, because they are smug and are waiting for their chance to ruin someone else’s chances of winning. We thought it’d be funny to add a few extra aces of hearts into the deck we normally use to create even more fun.

Create a fake parking ticket

We often park right outside our offices, which has hourly rates and we are forever swapping spaces to ensure we don’t get stung with a parking ticket. We think it would be hilarious if you pranked a team member with a fake parking ticket and record their reaction.

Taste test

Trick someone in your office with a sweet treat, with a twist. Give them a rotten piece of candy or cover onions in chocolate and fool them into thinking it’s chocolate apples. More suggestions in our office include:

  • Take the white part out of the Oreo and fill it with toothpaste before putting them back together
  • Fill doughnuts with mustard instead of jam

You might think we’re evil, but it will be hilarious! Watch this space; we might have a social post up next week on the reactions to our practical jokes. Let us know if you use any of our ideas.

More from instaGiv

Why are Charity Awareness Days Important?

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.

Donations

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?

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 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 help@instagiv.com.

 

Why are charities using text-to-donate?

I am sure you often wonder when you’re working within your charity or fundraising role, what is the best way to go with your next campaigns? Or why are charities starting to use SMS donations more and more now?

We have put together a few of our main thoughts as to why charities may choose text-giving over other methods, or else to add to their list of donation collection methods.

User-friendly

Our first thought is that text-to-give is incredibly user-friendly. There are no forms, fuss or verification checks required. The donor simply texts their chosen charities “keyword” to the 5 digit shortcodes and a donation is made.

People don’t often like to partake in anything that takes up too much of their time or requires long-haul forms. It is also user-friendly for the charity. Text campaigns can be created and inactivated in a matter of minutes. This helps to reach deadlines that little bit easier.

Quick and Easy

SMS Giving is also quick and easy to do. It takes around 60 seconds or less to send a donation by text. If someone wanted to give a charitable donation without much effort – SMS is the answer.

Most people within the UK today either own or have access to a mobile phone, therefore, it is one of the most effective ways to make a donation. If you are at an event with no change in your pocket, no problem – you probably will most likely have your phone with you so the donation can be made easily through your phone. Donations can be as little as £1 too.

Detailed reporting on progress

Reporting is so important when it comes to SMS fundraising, you need to be able to monitor the progress and measure the success of your campaigns.

Mobile Fundraising and Engagement with InstaGiv has a realm of various reporting functions from your inbound campaign report, consent and opt-in report, Gift Aid collection report and much more.

Our regular giving reporting displays everything from the number of subscriptions per month, number of new sign-ups, gross donations per donation, number of skips and stops, retention percentages and much more. This is essential and is readily available with InstaGiv campaigns.

These are just to name a few; the reasons are endless as to why charities continue to choose SMS giving as part of their fundraising efforts. Other thoughts we had include:

  • It’s cost-effective
  • Has a fast turnaround
  • Works in real time
  • It can be accessed 24/7 among lots of other benefits

We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog if you have any thoughts you would like us to focus on we would be happy to hear them. Reach out to us at help@instagiv.com.

More from instaGiv

Top Tips for your SMS Campaigns

Charities and Social Media

The Growth of SMS 

 

SMS comps

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!