SMS Marketing for Charities and Not for Profit Organisations
In an ever more competitive world, the importance of raising awareness of their causes has never been higher for charities and not-for-profit organisations. However, the challenge lies in gaining the maximum amount of attention while using as little resources as possible, for the very fundamental point of a charity is to rely on goodwill donations of money, time and gifts to help their cause. Every charity wants these resources to directly go to solutions for the problems they are trying to address and not get swallowed up in paying for expensive marketing campaigns.
SMS text messaging represents one of the most cost-effective methods of communicating with supporters, both existing and potential, yet is still under-utilised or relatively unknown by many within the sector. Some of the bigger or more well-known charities are already successfully using SMS text messaging to their advantage, but there are many others that could potentially benefit from employing text messaging as a communication strategy.
Benefits of SMS marketing:
- Convenient: texting provides such a simple, quick way for supporters to donate while they are on the move. It is a method that makes giving to charity more accessible to certain groups of supporters, such as younger people, who traditionally don’t tend to engage through other contact methods. It also provides a means of contact that uses far less of your own resources to manage.
- Cost effective: SMS text messaging can work out much cheaper compared to other marketing channels such as emailing, telephone or advertising campaigns, yet still successfully reaches a wide audience.
- Better response rate: 93% of UK adults possess a mobile phone. Most of those people have their mobile phone close 24/7. Around 98% of text messages are opened with about 90% being read within 3 seconds. Email and telephone campaign response rates can’t even come close to this figure.
- Reach the right audience: spread the word about your charity, focus on core groups or connect with new groups who might not necessarily consider supporting through traditional communication channels, such as young people.
- Build better relationships: keep supporters informed, interested and inspired through regular updates and thank you messages. Regular contact that feels personal will help to keep longer-term supporters donating to your cause.
How to Use SMS Text Messaging to Benefit Your Cause:
Of course, you may think that reading about the benefits of SMS text messaging is all very well, but for a charity that is short on resources, money and time, how could it actually work to benefit your cause? The answer is probably in far more ways than you were aware of. Read on to see how SMS text messaging can be realistically applied to everyday operations:
- Encourage donations: already successfully adopted by some of the really well-known charities and causes, sending shortened links to your donations page by SMS provides a really simple and convenient way to receive donations. Younger people, in particular, are more responsive to SMS communications than other channels and also tend to browse via their mobiles, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to drive new donors to the relevant website using the device they are most familiar with?
- Personalised messages: some texting software offers the ability to personalise messages, for example, enabling the message to be addressed to the recipient by name. This appeals to those supporters who like to feel recognised for their support.
- Promote awareness: whether your organisation is seeking to promote ongoing awareness or you want to raise a fast response to a current disaster, SMS text messaging offers a quick way to get the message across to as many people as you have access to.
- Send updates of charity activities and news: Let your supporters know what you are achieving and keep them inspired.
- Broadcast and publicise events and fundraisers: Get the word out through a mode that is both time and cost-effective compared to other channels of advertising.
- Explain how donations have been used: Let your supporters know that their donations are making a difference and how.
- Provide fundraiser ideas: inspire and motivate your supporters to plan ways to have fun within their communities and raise money on your behalf. Coffee mornings, motorcycle rallies, pub quizzes or it’s a knockout style sports days are just some of the ideas which have been tried and tested as successful fundraisers for good causes.
- Event applications and registration: texting provides a fast, simple means of signing people up to events and can save a lot of time and money compared to traditional methods like form filling and postal entries.
- Coordinate staff and volunteers: texting is an easy, straightforward means to communicate. SMS software can manage contacts for both individuals and groups, saving time and money.
- Conduct surveys or polls: find out what your supporters think. Knowing what is important or interesting to them can help to direct your activities, marketing and events more effectively.
- Send thank you messages: easily overlooked when planning marketing and awareness campaigns, but a simple thank you for their support can mean a lot to the recipient.
- CRM integration – if you use a CRM, we offer easy integration through our SMS API.
Challenges of SMS Marketing
Of course, anybody involved in charity work is used to seeing the less than perfect side of life. There are potential challenges with using SMS text messaging; you are restricted on the number of characters you can use within a single message and you have to ensure that you have the consent to contact individuals by text.
However, the restriction on characters and the length of the message can prompt careful thought, serving to focus and define your point to really grab attention.
With regards to consent, it is a legal requirement for all businesses and organisations with the point being to stop harassment of people through unsolicited contact. So long as you have requested and recorded clear consent from your subscribers within the legal requirements, you will be able to message them. Most people who donate to your cause will be happy to continue being contacted and informed of the differences they are helping you to make.
Here at Fastsms, our mission is to make SMS Marketing as simple and cost-effective as possible. Whatever the nature and scale of your charity or not-for-profit organisation, our solutions offer a real opportunity to increase donations. To learn more about how we can help you get started in SMS Marketing, give our friendly team a call now on 0800 954 5305.
As old as SMS messaging is (going on 25), is it surprising to know that for non-profits and political campaigns it’s just now catching on? It might be, but if you think about it maybe it isn’t surprising. Until the last few years, people have been very reticent to hand out their personal mobile number. Now though, they’re more willing – if they care about the source of the messages.
Most youth and community groups are volunteer-led, and either charitably funded or run on donations, so communications need not only to be effective, but they also have to be easy, and quick for volunteers to use, and low cost. That's where SMS comes in...
Is your charity taking advantage of mobile fundraising? A report from ThirdSector indicates 55% of charities aren't doing so, which creates a huge opportunity for those that do. In the UK, almost three quarters of the population, 72%, use smartphones.
Twitter is a great place to quickly scan and see what is going on in the world, or in a particular niche topic. I was looking around at SMS related topics the other day and found many good (and some not so good) articles. But I also found many more pleas for votes from musicians, bands, and even illustrators.
For decades, all kinds of emergency personnel relied on pagers to communicate with each other and their organisations. The system was created long before the days of mobile phones or even text messaging. But now things are changing, as we explain in this blog post.
The focus for advertising campaigns today is often mobile, web, or digital. It’s certainly true that more and more people are using technology for just about everything. But with all that technology, it’s easy to overlook another, more traditional form: Print!
There are just shy of 200,000 registered charities in the United Kingdom. Between them, they spend around £80 billion per annum. SMS marketing for charities is coming of age as an important tool for reaching supporters and benefactors alike, and there are a few important things that charities should be bearing in mind if they are to make the most out of this fact.
So many of us are used to having our mobiles around nearly 24 hours a day that it’s easy to forget it’s still a growing industry. And though SMS has been around for over two decades, the ways we use it and people’s willingness to use it continues to grow. So for this blog I picked out five facts about mobile and SMS that really make the case that SMS for business has come of age. Let’s see if you agree.