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How to Set Up a Text Message Donation Program for a Small Nonprofit

Our hearts go out to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Thankfully, there are many relief efforts underway. Many are supported by donations (see links to donate below) and some, like the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, are even using mobile technology to get text message donations quickly and easily.

If you’re a non-profit organization or a small business supporting a cause, you can easily create your own text message donation program as well.

Set up a Donors Mobile Pledge Campaign
We call our version a “Donors Mobile Pledge” because it asks for pledges. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for an account or create a new keyword (name of charity or cause) in your existing account.
  2. Ask donors to pledge a donation by sending a text with your new keyword to 65047.
  3. An automatic response can be set to thank donors for their pledges and tell them they’ll be contacted for credit card information.
  4. Have your volunteers or customer service staff call donors to charge the donations.

We realize it’s a little extra work to call donors versus automatically charging the donation on the mobile phone bill. But the auto billing system is costly for small organizations, the organization needs to be a large national charity and requires a year-long contract.

Advantages of our mobile pledge
A mobile pledge campaign offers a few advantages…

  • You can collect donations of more than $10 (the max limit for donations billed through cell phone carriers).
  • You can collect additional information such as name, address and email during the conversation.
  • When speaking to donors, you can encourage them to increase their donations.
  • It’s easy to promote this campaign in ads, TV or radio.
  • It’s easier for donors to pledge while they’re away from home or their computers.
  • You’ll have a mobile list of donors you can contact later—to thank them, announce you’ve reached your goal, etc.

We sincerely hope nonprofits and charities take advantage of mobile technology to support their causes. If you’re a member of such a group, contact us. We’d be happy to work with you to get started. See low cost pricing plans for mobile pledge donations.

To send your own donation to relief efforts in Asia, visit…

Red Cross Disaster Relief for Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami
(Or send a text with REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10)

Mercy Corps: Japan Earthquake Response

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