Tag Archives: donations

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

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.

 

Social media for charities

Charities and Social Media

Almost all businesses, organisations, charities and not for profits have a social media presence, why is this? Well because the likes of Facebook has 2.3 billion users, meaning social media is one of the easiest and direct methods of promoting your cause and reaching out to your supporters.

It’s not that easy though, you need a following of supporters who are legitimately interested first, which can be somewhat difficult to build.

To enhance the engagement and conversation on your social channels, it may be a good idea to have cause-related content.

Content

Have content that encourages people to stop scrolling through their feed and stop at your post. Have something engaging, something that is eye-catching and encouraging people to comment or share, which is more likely to spark a discussion among your supporters.

Having content that drives engagement will also give your charity the opportunity to gain feedback, as many people tend to put their thoughts and opinions into the comments section below a post.

Credibility

Ensure your social profiles are credible, when someone visits your page for the first time, they are most likely going to form an opinion or thought instantly, first impressions are everything and all that! So, make sure you have got your page fully up to date, giving visitors an insight into the hard work you do to fight your cause. The use of visuals also ways work a treat – people love images and videos over long reams of paragraphs.

Increasing your Following

Everyone knows how difficult it is to increase your followers and supporters on social media. Engage in conversations and posts related to your cause or sector, this can be sort of like “online networking” as such.

Lastly and most importantly, promote, advertise and scream from the rooftops as much as possible. Try to get your cause into the limelight at every possible opportunity. Have your social icons on everything you do, all merchandise, email footers, advertising materials and so on.

There was a program on BBC 1 NI last night called “The Search”, it was actively advertised and promoted over social media the days leading up to it. The program was about missing people in Northern Ireland. This show zoomed in on the work carried out by the CRS – Community Rescue Service. A charity that is run entirely by volunteers. This was an eye-opener into the work that this cause and these people do, which is all voluntary.

It had encouraged me to donate as well as look into how I sign-up or help to be a part of their rescue team.

A lot can be done when actively promoting your cause as widely and as much as possible.

Check out our latest blog post on key dates for your diary, and you could use some of these in your upcoming social media strategy.

SMS marketing

The Growth of SMS

It’s no surprise that SMS has grown significantly over the last number of years with the massive growth of technology and smart phones.

Almost everyone owns or has access to a mobile device of some description. For many of us, our phone is like an extension of our hand – we physically could not live without it! (I know I couldn’t).

SMS is the one sure way to get your message across effectively. Almost all texts received to a handset, have an open rate of 100%.

We wanted to find out for ourselves

An online survey was recently carried out by our team, with participants across the age ranges of 22-50+ on the use of SMS and mobile technologies.

We will be creating an e-guide will all of our stats collated together and analysed to give an insight into the world of SMS and peoples preferences.

SMS is actively used by many businesses and charities to market their message across to their audiences.
I remember when I first started to receive such communications from businesses.

It was from my dentist, reminding me of the date and time of my upcoming appointment. I instantly thought to myself how handy that was! If you’re like me, you often forget things and are trying to organise yourself at the last minute, so this reminder text was perfect.

Why use SMS as means of communication or marketing?

The list of reasons why is endless but to name a few;

  • Its personal
    The recipient will open and read the text
    There is no junk/spam box on a mobile phone
    Texts are short, sweet and to the point
    It doesn’t cost a lot and is very effective

SMS within business

Text messaging in the business sector is commonly used for brand awareness, offer discounts, reminders, events, lead generation and notifications.

The charity or not-for-profit sector most commonly uses outbound for;

  • Support for petition
    Rallies for last minute disaster appeals
    Event sup ups
    Gathering opt-ins
    Gathering contact details
    Donation requests
    Advocacy
    Cause awareness

SMs is a great all-round tool for anyone wanting to raise either cause or brand awareness and for those who want to get their message out there instantly.
Our upcoming e-guide will outline SMS in a more detailed fashion, giving you the inspiration to go for it.

8 sleeps until Christmas

17th of December – how has that happened already?

How has Christmas came around so quickly?
How has Christmas come around so quickly?

This year has flown in for us but then again, time does fly when you are kept busy. We are beyond delighted to see the success of our client’s festive Christmas campaigns for this year and they’re not over yet.

This time of year brings out the generosity in many people. According to the Charities Aid Foundations Annual Giving Report for 2018, November and December are the two peak months each year for charity giving.

People are more generous in November and December

This shouldn’t come as a shock as these months have Movember, Giving Tuesday and countless Christmas appeals. This year, we saw a rise in the number of campaigns being created by our clients in preparation for Giving Tuesday and in addition to that, there have been over 200 Christmas keywords requested in recent weeks.

Almost every type of our SMS fundraising range being used this season from Single Giving, Raffles, Lotteries, Competitions, Event type, Outbound SMS and Registration campaigns.

CAFs giving report also illustrates the different age groups and how often they tend to give to charitable causes. This is a great starting point when going into the year with fresh fundraising and campaign ideas as it allows you to aim to provide each of your demographics with the different ways to give that suit them best. See the end of this article for the link to the full report.

With just over one week to go, we would like to wish everyone the best of luck with their remaining fundraising campaigns. We can’t wait to hear how you all got on with your fundraising efforts.

Happy Christmas from instaGiv

From all of us here at instaGiv, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you need any help or assistance over the festive period with your fundraising campaign or would like to set up a last-minute fundraiser contact us on help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

Use PSMS in a broadcast or DRTV appeal

Premium SMS
Premium SMS

Trying to get your supporters to actively engage and donate on a regular basis can be tricky – especially heading into the new year. A great way to get in front of them at the right time is with Premium SMS (PSMS).

You can use PSMS in a broadcast outbound text, DRTV appeal, social event or any type of fundraising activity.

Last minute crisis

Sometimes things pop up last minute or unannounced, like an unfortunate incident. This could result in a disaster appeal and you may choose to send a broadcast SMS to gather donations or actively advertise your text code as widespread as possible, to raise awareness and ask for donations.

In terms of the outbound SMS, if you have a list of recipients or a database of opted-in supporters gathered from using our consent feature. You can use these to send an urgent text asking them to reply with one of your donation keywords, to give to your cause. You can use this as a single one-off donation, or to subscribe your supporters to regular giving which is monthly gifts.

To use PSMS as a standard text-to-donate campaign it is as simple as creating your text code, customising your campaign and advertising it to your supporter base. The journey is very straightforward as we like to focus firmly on the donor experience.

Keyword

Texting a donation is as simple as texting a KEYWORD to 70###. While we have fixed price points for all our donation keywords, we also offer our clients the full flexibility of giving their donors the option to give more or less than the default amount, without having to create additional keywords and campaigns.

All donations and responses to outbound texts are recorded on your InstaGiv platform. You can view your inbound report which captures the finest of details right down to the donation amount, date and time and content of inbound texts.

Our regular giving reporting is something we often get praised on also, keeping tabs on donor retention can be somewhat exhausting and hard to do, with our regular reporting we make it so much easier for fundraisers. Our system is equipped to capture and record data right from the number of sign-ups per month, repeat donations, number of SKIP/STOPS per month, cumulative retention statistics and much more.

Quick turnaround

Our turnaround time is very quick. We aim to have all new requests actioned and set up within the same working day. Often enough, we can do this very soon after the request or registration is received.

Find out more information

If you’d like to find out any more information on PSMS, shortcodes, a member of our team would be more than happy to talk you through the process. Fill in the form on our contact page and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Alternatively, please contact us directly on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

 

Gift Aid

Is your charity making the most of Gift Aid?

"<yoastmark

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid gives charities the opportunity to get an additional 25% for each £1 donated by their supporters.

Traditionally, declarations were collected via forms, with quite a lot of paperwork involved. Nowadays, it is friction-less, efficient and with a much faster turnaround.

Gift Ait is one of the most important tax reliefs for charities and it’s worth over £1.2 million to the charity sector every year, according to HMRC.

Are you promoting your donors?

Research from HMRC shows that people respond the most when they are prompted to include Gift Aid in their donation. They also responded well when they are told exactly how much was claimed the year previous and what the money went to.

You must be transparent with your donors and tell them exactly how this money is spent. Explain what more could be done if everyone claimed it on their donations.

You also need to ensure your volunteers, and supporters fully understand what the Gift Aid system is and the benefits of it. HMRC have also stated that people who understand Gift Aid are more likely to claim it when donating.

Make the right claims

Education is so important when it comes to Gift Aid. You want to make sure your employees or volunteers are explaining it fully to your donors and supporters in order to eliminate any flawed claims.  It is estimated that around £45 million is made in mistaken claims every year – more than £15 million lost due to fraud.

To ensure you are keeping on top of all your donations, regular audits and internal checks are the best practice. You should also contact long-standing donors who claim gift Aid to ensure they are still paying tax.

How can InstaGiv help you?

We have modernised the way you manage your Gift Aid from your supporters, by solely capturing it with SMS. This integrated system is completely automated, that reports in a user-friendly manner to successfully make your Gift Aid claim with HMRC.

There are two ways to capture it, via SMS or via a web form. You can select which one you prefer in the setup of your campaign in the overview area.

For both methods, the Gift Aid ask is sent via SMS at a delay after the supporter receives their thank your response message. Supporters reply to the text with their details, and for the web form method, supporters click the URL and complete the form.

The Gift Aid ask is sent out at a delay, for example, 5 minutes after your donors receive the thank-you response message. Gift Aid can be claimed on future donations and those made in the past four years.

Addresses are captured and stored in a dedicated area of your InstaGiv dashboard, where you can easily download all declarations, in preparations for processing.

Our form has been approved by the HMRC and is fully compliant. Both the form and the SMS capture all details needed and has the appropriate legal terminology.

Book a demo today

To find out more, request a demo or a call-back today. One of our friendly team members will go over everything in more detail with you.

Alternatively, for more information on this additional guidance on licencing, please contact us at any time on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

Overwhelming Support for Raffles and Lotteries

Raffles and lotteries
Raffles and lotteries

It’s been over 2 months since we launched raffles and lotteries with InstaGiv and we are overwhelmed with how it has gone down with our clients.

Having recently launched this new product, the response has been massive. We spent months developing the latest development and we’re so glad you guys love it too.

Following pressure from the charity sector and AIME networks, they introduced a range of shortcodes during the summer. Along with the approval of HMRC, these shortcodes (72xxx) now allow SMS entries for society lotteries and raffles to be vat exempt.

Find out all about it

In case you’re still not in the loop, we recently held a webinar where we covered all things raffles and lotteries. In the webinar, we discuss:

  • how you can introduce this into your fundraising
  • how you can incorporate SMS with your current offering
  • what license you need
  • what an ELM is and much more

We are happy to schedule calls with any UK registered charity who is interested in learning more. We take pride in the fact that we guide you step by step through your SMS fundraising and engagement journey with InstaGiv.

Catch up on demand

If you missed our webinar last week, luckily, we have recorded it and uploaded it to our YouTube channel. Here, you can watch and listen to the full recording filled with facts and FAQs. Watch our Raffles and Lotteries webinar here.

Have you downloaded our brochures on Raffles and Lotteries via SMS yet?

Many UK charities hold their own weekly or monthly lottery or one-off raffles with us. At InstaGiv, we are giving you the opportunity to use SMS as a means of collecting entries and monies.

With our built-in address verification system, the only thing the charity needs to do is issue tickets and contact the winner. It’s that easy! At present, we have two price points for you to choose from along with many thoughts and ideas to share with you.

Book a demo today

To find out more, request a demo or a call-back today. One of our friendly team members will go over everything in more detail with you.

Alternatively, for more information on this additional guidance on licencing, please contact us at any time on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

Bake for a Day Off MacMillan Coffee Morning Success

Last week we hosted our first ever coffee morning and we were delighted with how the event turned out. We raised a massive £330 from all our cash and SMS donations. Thank you so much to everyone who got involved and donated.

To make things more exciting, we teamed up with two of our neighbouring companies to organise a bigger coffee morning with extra the fun. LANDED and Zymplify are situated in the same office as us, so we thought why not get together and host something exciting?

We mightn’t have an in-house Paul Hollywood, but we still had our own Bake Off, but with a twist. We got everyone involved in an exciting competition where they would all ‘Bake for a Day Off.’ The winning cake would win a free day of annual leave to use whenever they wanted – who wouldn’t want to enter?

Some of the silly contestants – you can tell they are all taking this very seriously.

The Big Event

We asked everyone to donate £5 to enter the competition and saw loads of people entering. We were shocked by the amount of cake that arrived on Friday morning. Shocked, but loved it!

The Contestants

We had over 15 entries that were all equally delicious. We sampled several different Cheesecakes, a few Duffins (that’s a muffin that tastes like a doughnut in case you didn’t know) and a few traditional Victoria Sponges.

The winner

Our Graphic Designer, Johnny, blew every other contestant out of the water and won the competition with his Pavarotti’s Pavlova.

The winner!

It was sensational! In joint second place was a Flake and Crunchie Roulade by our Client Success Executive, Grace McGinnis and a Victoria Sponge by our Head of Finance, Michael Green.

Joint 2nd place went to a Victoria Sponge and a Roulade.

 

Third place went to ME! My Cookie Dough Salted Carmel Brownies went down a treat with our audience.

And I came 3rd!

 

After all the eating and voting, we had a raffle because what fundraiser event is complete without a raffle? Loads of our friendly neighbouring businesses donated prizes including Campsie’s Electrical, Bonds Jewellers, Super Valu, Bob and Bert’s, Jam Jar and The Anchor Bar and Restaurant. Thank you so much to everyone who donated prizes.

How much did we raise?

Between the Bake-Off competition and the raffle, we raised an incredible £330. We were so pleased with the final result and again, would like to say thank you so much to everyone who donated.

The money raised from the national Bake-Off events goes straight to MacMillan’s pioneering charitable services. So far, £3,099,459 was raised from all the coffee mornings hosted across the UK. To give you an idea of how much this will help, it costs just £28 for a MacMillan nurse for an hour to help people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with all things InstaGiv, check out our Facebook and Twitter. Or you can follow us on our brand-new Instagram profile.

Top tips when organising a fundraiser event

Organising an event can be stressful and frustrating, never mind organising a charity event. Not only do you have to think about the basics such as venue and invitations, but you also have to worry about collecting cash.

As the age old saying goes, if you fail to prepare you can prepare to fail. (Sorry for the cliché, but it really is true). To help you prepare and get the most out of your fundraising event, we have come up with our 5 top tips that will help you along the way.

Fundraising event

Top Tips

  1. Draft a budget

A budget is important for any event but even more so with a charity event. You need to ensure you are minimising expenditure and maximising the fundraising.

  1. Ensure you have enough time

Time is everything, and if you try and launch your fundraising event too quickly you will only add to the stress and frustration. Give your self a realistic time frame. An absolute minimum of six months is recommended. In this time, you will be able to take care of sponsorships, vendor bookings and selling tickets.

  1. Pick your venue carefully

Location is everything, and you should look at a few different ones before making up your mind. The location will impact the atmosphere of the event and will add to the overall theme so choose carefully.

  1. Look for sponsorship

The more money you can get from sponsors, the more opportunities you will have. The less money you spend on things such as venue costs, printing, marketing materials, refreshments etc, the more money you will have raised for the charity. Spend wisely and try your very best to get a sponsor on board. Don’t be scared to approach business, they might be more than happy to be involved.

  1. Assess your available resources

Do you have enough resources on hand to execute your event? If you need help, make sure you get it and don’t try to do everything yourself. However, before you start to outsource, make sure you research and budget.

 

If you follow our top 5 tips, we’re pretty sure you’ll organise the best fundrasing event possible.

You’ve got it!

How can InstaGiv help

Our Event Fundraising tool is used for several types of campaigns among our charity clients. If you have supporters fundraising on your behalf, you can easily issue them with a

unique text code, allowing them to gather donations via SMS for your cause.

Unique codes are typically attached to a keyword and you can generate over 100, 000 codes at no additional cost. Each supporter is given a fundraiser code, attached to a keyword such as GIVE_H7Y5, which acts as a tracking device that captures their fundraising journey directly on the platform.

In real time, you can see who is raising which funds and when. We also have what we call, a totaliser page. This is displayed as a search bar and when a keyword + fundraiser code is entered, the total raised will be displayed.

This is commonly used by charities to give to their corporate partners. Our event fundraising tool is used for some of the UK’s biggest annual fundraising campaigns, such as Macmillan’s Coffee Morning. Each year we issue Macmillan with their keywords and unique codes to add SMS as a donation collection tool for their UK wide campaign.

We can create hundreds of thousands of unique codes, and with our built-in formatting and reporting, there are various elements you can use for tracking and matching records on your end such as adding supporters’ full names and giving each code a custom reference.

Find out for yourself

To see a live demo of our software and how easy it is to use, contact us at any time. A team member will be more than happy to schedule this in at a time that suits you.

Instagiv