SMS Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations: Increase Your Reach

For-profit organizations have used SMS marketing to increase their reach and expand their operations for years. With a few tweaks, SMS marketing can also be used by nonprofit organizations to achieve the same benefits.

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Here’s what you need to know: 

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is a form of marketing that utilizes SMS to communicate with customers. SMS stands for “short message service” but is better known as text messaging

SMS marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years and boasts high open and conversion rates. For example, SMS messages have a 98% open rate, an average click-through rate of 80%, and an average conversion rate of 29%.

These SMS marketing statistics are substantially higher than those seen in other forms of marketing, including email marketing and even social media advertising. 

Why should nonprofits use SMS marketing?

SMS marketing isn’t only used by for-profit organizations; nonprofit organizations can also use it. Here are some reasons why nonprofit organizations should use SMS marketing

Increase reach

SMS marketing can help nonprofit organizations increase their reach. 81% of Americans text regularly — which adds up to nearly 300 million people. Americans also text twice as much as they call these days, making SMS the ideal way to reach people in 2022

Increase donations

You can possibly receive more donations when you reach more people with SMS marketing. It’s even possible to collect donations directly through SMS with the help of tools like TextSanity

Just imagine how much money you could raise and everything you could accomplish thanks to SMS marketing

Improve relationships

The ultimate goal of a nonprofit is to establish a network of dedicated and involved donors. However, it can be difficult to establish such a network without the right type of communication. 

SMS marketing makes it easy for you to build relationships with your network of donors using two-way texting. 

Save money

Another goal of a nonprofit is to save as much money as possible on operations and marketing so that more money can go to the cause itself. 

The good news is that SMS marketing is more cost-effective than other marketing avenues, with affordable plans.

Stand out

Over one million nonprofit organizations compete for attention and donations in the United States. SMS marketing can help you stand out from such a crowded field so that you can make a name for yourself and raise awareness for your cause. 

Text message keyword campaign

A text message keyword campaign is a great way to get your name out there if you’re trying to build your nonprofit organization from the bottom up. 

What is a text message keyword campaign?

A text message keyword campaign allows customers to text a set keyword to a specific number to opt-in to receive text messages from your organization. 

You can promote your keyword and phone number online on your website or social media pages and even in-person on flyers or at events. 

How to create a text message keyword campaign?

Here’s how to create a text message keyword campaign with TextSanity: 

  1. Log in to your account or create an account.
  2. Navigate to the Keywords tab.
  3. Click on the “+ New Campaign” button located in the top-right-hand corner of the page.
  4. Enter the name of your campaign, choose a keyword, and choose your messaging format (multiple messages).
  5. Make sure that you choose a keyword that’s relevant to your organization. For example, if your organization’s mission is to provide potable drinking water to remote villages in Africa, a good keyword would be “WATER.” 
  6. Draft your opt-in message, making sure to include all relevant information about your organization that will encourage people to opt-in.
  7. Click “Save” to save your campaign.
  8. Confirm that your campaign is active by using the toggle switch at the top left-hand corner of the page.

Text-to-donate campaign

One specific kind of text message keyword campaign that’s perfect for nonprofit organizations is a text-to-donate campaign

What is a text-to-donate campaign?

A text-to-donate campaign is an SMS marketing campaign where customers can text a keyword to a phone number and are prompted to donate via text. With a text-to-donate campaign, there’s no need to navigate to external links and add extra steps to the process that could result in lost donations

How to create a text-to-donate campaign?

To create a text-to-donate campaign with TextSanity, you first need to set up the payments feature in your existing account. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Click on “More Tools” and scroll down to “Payments” to access the Payments feature.
  3. Click on “Create Account,” where you will enter your phone number and email.
  4. Verify your phone number/email.
  5. Enter your business information and personal information.
  6. Connect a bank account or credit card for payments.
  7. Review the details and click “Submit.”

Now that your payments feature has been set up with your payout account, you’re ready to launch your first text-to-donate campaign. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to the “Payments” page within your TextSanity account.
  2. Click on “New Payment Item” at the top right-hand side of the page.
  3. Select a “Donation” payment.
  4. Provide the item name, URL, texting keyword, and initial message.
  5. Click “Save,” where you can further customize your payment item with an image, title, description, and a “thank you” message.
  6. You’re also able to view transactions, change the status of the payment item, and set up notifications for payments on this page as well. 

Online opt-in webform

If you already have a popular website or social media page but are trying to grow your SMS marketing list, you should use an online opt-in webform

What is an online opt-in webform?

An online opt-in webform is a webpage that customers can visit, enter their contact information, and opt-in to receive text messages from your organization. 

These webforms make it easy for customers to opt-in online either from their computer or their mobile device without having to pull out their phone or switch applications. 

How to create an online opt-in webform?

Here’s a quick guide on how to create an online opt-in webform with TextSanity:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Click on “More Tools” and scroll down to “Webforms.” 
  3. Click on the “+ New Webform” button located at the top right-hand corner of the page.
  4. Enter the information, including the name, the end URL, and the header message.
  5. Choose whether to collect a customer’s name, phone number, email address, and birthday.
  6. Upload an image to your webform to make it more engaging.
  7. Click “Save” to save your webform.
  8. Your webform should immediately be live, so copy and paste the URL into your browser to review it and make sure everything looks good.

Mass text messaging

Once you’ve built up your SMS marketing contact list, your nonprofit organization can truly start to take advantage of everything SMS marketing has to offer by launching a mass text messaging campaign. 

What is mass text messaging?

In a mass text messaging campaign, an organization sends a single message to many recipients. For example, a nonprofit organization might want to send a mass text message to their contact list to promote an upcoming fundraiser event. 

A nonprofit organization could also send a mass text message to their contact list to update their progress and goals. 

How to create a mass text messaging campaign?

Here’s what you need to do to create a mass text messaging campaign with TextSanity: 

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Navigate to the “Broadcasts” tab.
  3. Click on the “+ New Message” button located in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  4. Enter the name of your message, select recipients from your contact list, and draft the message.
  5. Schedule the message to send in advance at a later date/time or choose to send it right away.

Text message inbox

TextSanity also provides you with a text message inbox where customers can contact you directly, and you can respond to them. This is a great option for nonprofits where engagement and relationship building is key. 

For example, say that one of your donors has a question about where their donation is going. They could send a text to your dedicated TextSanity number, you would then see it in your inbox and be able to respond appropriately and efficiently. This donor would likely be very impressed by your responsiveness and openness. 


To learn more about how SMS marketing can work for your nonprofit organization, check out a free demo of TextSanity by texting the keyword DEMO to 50505. And as always, feel free to reach out to the team with any questions.