An Introduction to
SMS Giving
Carrie McBride COM495 November 29, 2010
1 2 3
User makes a
donation by
sending a text
message from
their cell phone
Non-taxable
donation added
to user’s cell
phone bill...
Red Cross Raises More Than $32 Million via Mobile Giving Program.
(2010, Feb 11). American Red Cross. Retrieved from
http:...
Text 2 Donate
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  • Image: http://www.coneinc.com/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1224/view_type/950060/tagid/94
    Hi everyone, my name is Carrie and today I’m going to talk about donations via text message or Text 2 Donate. I work in the non-profit sector, and many people are saying that this is the future of fundraising, so I wanted to find out more about it.
  • So, first I just want to give you a few statistics about text messaging…
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  • <Read slide> This was a 50% increase over the previous year.
  • <Read slide> This is true of cell phone users in the age 13-44 demographic.
  • How many of you have done this before? So, a little about how Text 2 Donate works…
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  • <Read slide> This message usually also contains an “opt-in” option if you want to get more messages from the NPO in the future. Estimates are that approximately 5% of text donors opt-in.
  • Image: http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedImages/Content_Images/text%20to%20donate%20graphic.jpg
    Here’s an example of the instructions found on Susan G Komen’s website on how to Text 2 Donate <Read slide>
  • Now, cell phone carriers also have a say in how Text 2 donate works….
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  • <Read slide> The rules limit the liability for cell phone companies – people can and do ask for refunds and sometimes don’t pay their bills. This happens less than 1% of the time though, so…

  • According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, two charities will be testing a $25 text donation coming up this holiday season – if this works out, cell phone carriers may allow a new level of giving.

    Source: http://philanthropy.com/blogs/prospecting/two-charities-test-25-cellphone-contributions/27837
  • Now, here’s how it works for non-profits…
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  • <Read slide> Between these two steps, it can take anywhere from 2 – 8 weeks to set up an account, so in the meantime…
  • You should <Read slide> The most successful Text 2 donate campaigns are fairly aggressive in their marketing.
  • Here’s a diagram of how it works from mGive…<Read slide>
  • Success Stories – the most successful is obviously the Text 2 Donate campaign or Haiti.
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  • Here’s just a few of the other non-profits that are currently using Text 2 Donate…Pretty much, whatever your pet cause is, it’s likely that they now accept donations via text message.
  • Since Text 2 Donate has been so successful for these non-profits, I wanted to find out how much it costs – what are non-profits paying in order to offer this service to their donors…
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  • The non-profit I work for is Transitional Resources – we’re a small mental health agency in West Seattle. I wanted to find out how much it would cost us to implement Text 2 Donate as part of our fundraising plan, so I did a few calculations…
  • Our donor list is around 1400 people, which puts us in the Silver cost category at mGive
  • That means our monthly fee would be $649
  • For every text we send to our donors, it would cost us $49
  • For every $10 donation to our agency, mGive and the Mobile Giving Foundation would keep 67 cents – so we would end up with $9.33.
  • If we sent 2 text messages to our donors each month (to keep in touch and solicit more donations), the cost for the 1st year would be 9,464
  • That’s about 15% off our current fundraising budget
  • Of course, that doesn’t include the cost of marketing the availability of Text 2 Donate – Again, in order to be successful, we’d have to market it fairly aggressively, so there would definitely be additional costs involved.
  • Even without the cost of marketing, our agency would have to receive 1,014 text donations of $10 each – JUST TO BREAK EVEN!
  • At the end of the day, the costs of Text 2 Donate are too high or a small agency like ours. It’s clear that it works for larger non-profits, especially those that provide emergency assistance or have a nationwide donor base. But for now, grassroots agencies like ours are out of luck until this technology becomes more affordable…
  • At the end of the day, the costs of Text 2 Donate are too high or a small agency like ours. It’s clear that it works for larger non-profits, especially those that provide emergency assistance or have a nationwide donor base. But for now, grassroots agencies like ours are out of luck until this technology becomes more affordable…
  • Text 2 Donate

    1. 1. An Introduction to SMS Giving Carrie McBride COM495 November 29, 2010
    2. 2. 1 2 3
    3. 3. User makes a donation by sending a text message from their cell phone Non-taxable donation added to user’s cell phone bill The Mobile Giving Foundation collects donations from each carrier Proceeds wired directly to NPO in 90 days
    4. 4. Red Cross Raises More Than $32 Million via Mobile Giving Program. (2010, Feb 11). American Red Cross. Retrieved from http://redcross.org http://philanthropy.com

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