The following is a guest post from the mGive Foundation. 

Donors want to give more money by text, want to learn more about you and your programs, and are really happy giving by text.  Those are some of the top findings of mGive’s 2013 Text Donation Study, an annual survey of text donors nationwide.

The implications of the survey are clear: mobile isn’t just for text giving anymore. Nonprofits should use text messages to engage their supporters in more robust ways than fundraising.   In short, say more with text and make it social.

Here are some of the key takeaway points from our 2013 Text Donation Study:

Key Findings

  • More donors are hearing about text donation campaigns via social media. 
    Social media is second only to TV or radio as the method by which respondents reported hearing about text campaigns.  In fact, social media as a source for text campaign information rose six points to nearly 28 percent from 2012 to 2013.  Email as a source of information about text campaigns continues to drop, falling from more than 60 percent in 2011 to 11.5 percent in 2013.
  • Donor appetite for additional information from nonprofits via text is increasing.  
    After donation information, respondents were more receptive to receiving other information by mobile, with 17.6 saying they would like to receive information about surveys (a six point increase over 2012); 32.8 percent said information about volunteering (a nine point jump over 2012); and, 18.7 percent said program information (a four point increase over 2012).
  • Donors consistently want to give more money through text. 
    Nearly 85 percent of donors would like to give $25 to $50 through text donations, a slight increase from 82 percent in 2012.
  • Mobile is one of the top three preferred methods of giving. 
    Donors reported they like to contribute online, with live events and mobile donations nearly tied as the second pick. 
  • Donors have positive experiences with text campaigns 
    Eighty-five percent of respondents rated their experience with text giving as excellent or good.

Implications for Nonprofit Fundraising

  • When it Comes to Text Donations, Be Social
    Social media is clearly playing a larger role in how donors find out about your text donation campaigns.  Promote text giving through Facebook and Twitter.   People love to share videos via social media, so use YouTube videos to promote text donations as well.  Don’t forget to encourage donors to tell their friends about your campaign using their own social media networks.  Survey says:  Social Media and Texting Work Together!
  • Use Mobile Communication for Info-sharing, not just solicitation
    Text donations are popular and increasingly important not just for donations, but for multiple types of information sharing.   The increase in desire to receive information about volunteering, surveys and program information presents an opportunity for nonprofits to increase donor engagement through mobile communication.  Survey says: Say it By Text!
  • Text Donations will Not Undermine Traditional Giving
    The survey also found that an overwhelming 85 percent are inclined to continue donating at larger amounts to a nonprofit via traditional methods after donating by text, clearing up a misconception that text donations can undermine other methods of giving.  Donors also strongly favored, by 65 percent, the option to donate $25 via text.  Currently, text donors are limited to gifts of $5 and $10.  Survey Says:  Text Donors Will Give More!

The annual survey was conducted online with 993,672 people who completed a text donation through mGive.  A total of 20,445 responses were received, a 2 percent response rate.  A complete summary of the 2013 Text Giving Study is available here.

About The mGive Foundation

The mGive Foundation is a 501(c)(3) established to make it easy for nonprofits to quickly execute effective text donation campaigns – and for mobile operators to support them. The mGive Foundation has partnered with more than 60 of the nation’s leading mobile carriers (covering 99% of U.S. mobile customers) to enable qualified nonprofits to increase overall donations and reach new audiences using affordable, reliable and regulation-compliant mobile donation campaigns. The mGive Foundation has supported more than 10,000 text donation campaigns for more than 500 nonprofit partners and processes around 85 percent of all text donations made today. We have worked with our charity partners to raise almost $70 million through text message donations.

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