Text-to-give has a bad reputation.
Many churches (maybe yours?) see it as an unnecessary expense, don’t process donations, and often don’t know how to use it to its full potential.
I’ve had many churches tell me:
“We tried text-to-give, but our church members didn’t use it.”
Other times, church leaders quip that no one likes to text to give. But that’s a digital giving myth we busted like a balloon.
In the end, I ask:
- “Did you launch it?”
- “How did you use it?”
- “Did you get buy-in from your congregation?”
- “Did you create a marketing campaign so that people would know how to use text-to-give to support your church?”
Without exception, those who did not generate significant donations from text-to-give had simply purchased the service, mentioned it one Sunday in church, and nothing more.
This saying is trustworthy and true (especially in the church):
If you don’t hound people about something, they won’t show up.
Even people who would gladly make donations via text message will often need several prompts, a clear guide, guided instruction, and a setup tutorial just to get started.
That’s why I’ve provided you with seven easy-to-use hacks that you can implement into your church life that will boost your text giving and mobile fundraising donations.
1. Use text-to-give as a call to action during your church service
If your church has a giving campaign or upcoming fundraising events, don’t just mention it during church.
Ask people to pull out their phones and make a mobile donation
Here’s a script you can use:
“I’d like you all to pull out your phones right now and text our number: 555-5555. Text $0. And if God moves you to give more than $0, and we are asking in faith that he is, know that it is going to this very special campaign that will advance our church’s mission to the glory of God.”
Many people might simply text $0.
Others will be moved to give more.
Even if everyone texts $0, you haven’t lost anything.
And if ten people cumulatively give $500, that’s $500 more than you would have received if you didn’t ask at all.
2. Use text-to-give in members meetings
In meetings with your church members, text-to-give is a powerful tool that you can use to accomplish success for a particular project in the church.
Meetings often tend to be times of complaint and reflection rather than vision and action.
If you’re $1,000 short on making something happen in the church, ask your members to pull out their phones and give this charge:
“If everyone here gave $5, we’d have enough money. I’m asking each of you to text $5 to 555-5555. We could watch God move right now to meet this need. Let’s act as a church and fund this project right during this meeting and praise God together.”
3. Publicize text-to-give services at public events
When your church makes an appearance at public events like parades, community service projects, and state fairs, print a large sign that everyone walking by can see:
“Text ‘Give’ to 555-5555. Then text your dollar amount. Every penny goes to building wells in the Congo.”
When someone stops by your booth, explain more about the donation you’re running and ask them to give using text-to-give services.
Fundraising can be that simple.
4. Publicize text-to-give on social media
Social media is an excellent way to prompt text-to-give because people passively consume it when they have nothing to do, which means that if they have time to scroll through Twitter, they have a few seconds to text a donation for your church’s cause.
It gets even better:
Because social media is so often bent toward negative posts, positivity is much more clickable and shareable.
It is also very popular to post fundraising events online, so users who can make a mobile donation via text message are more likely to donate.
When you express a clear need and method for people to participate in text-to-give on social media, you are reaching an audience primed to donate.
5. Use text-to-give as a mobile giving opportunity
If your church is on a missions trip, hosting a missions conference, or your church is sponsoring a church event, text-to-give is one of the best fundraising tools to use.
When traveling, you often meet like-minded people who will want to partner with your cause.
Don’t let that opportunity pass you by.
And certainly don’t be shy about asking for a donation.
Churches run on donations.
And the easiest way to ask a person to donate to your church when you’ve just met them is to tell them to text their donation to your church’s number!
6. Put text-to-give instructions on a printed card
Design and print a business card that has the phone number, instructions, and purpose for your church’s text giving campaign.
Print out 10 cards for every member in your church and hand out the cards in packs of 10 to everyone there.
Ask your church to explain to friends and neighbors how your church is serving the community and ask them to text a donation.
7. Send text-to-give requests to your church’s email list
Get started by using your church’s email list to ask people to text a donation to your church.
This works especially well for immediate and diaconal needs.
For example, if a church member is injured in a car accident, this is a great way to raise support so the church can buy the family food for a week while they deal with the crisis of caring for their family member.
Use these diaconal needs as prompts for asking members to give texts.
People want to give money and they have money to give.
If a member is about to buy a Starbucks coffee and gets an email asking for a text-to-give donation for another member who is in crisis, they will most likely gladly forego their coffee and help out the mercy ministry of the church.
Over to you
Use these seven tactics to boost the donations your church is able to generate through text-to-give.
Don’t just get a text-to-give feature and let it collect dust on the shelf.
Use text-to-give as often as you can to generate as many donations as possible.
Additionally, add it to your main donation page so donors can become aware.
You will increase the impact of your church, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ more excellently, and give all who participate a sense of satisfaction and connection as they meet the needs of their community.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated on May 4, 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.