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STOP Struggling To Fundraise For Your NonProfit…

If you’re running a nonprofit or charity, you’ve got a BIG problem.

Whether you want to admit it or not, raising money is always a struggle.  Look, I get it.  You want to spend your time on things that really matter, like helping children in need, saving the planet from toxic waste, protecting endangered animals, or feeding the poor.

There are so many things we should be spending our time on… but fundraising isn’t at the top of the list.

Don’t get me wrong… Money is important.  In fact it’s vital.

Without cold hard cash, every nonprofit and charity I know would collapse.  It’s a sad thought… but true.

I’ve spent the last few months speaking with dozens of non-profit organizations… and I keep hearing the same message over and over again.  Fundraising is a struggle.

Nobody I know likes to go out and raise money for their nonprofit…

Most people HATE asking friends and families for gifts…

And staff members despise the needed fundraising drives…

Yet, Fundraising is one of the most critical parts of any non-profit organization.  Fundraising brings in the money so the good works can go on.  Fundraising pays the staff salaries.  Fundraising keeps the lights on and the doors open.

But, fundraising is a struggle… you know I’m right.

So What Can You Do?

If you’re like most non-profits, you go back to the same well, over and over again.  You’ve got a core group of donors who are constantly asked to give.

The message is always the same, “we have a need, please give!”

When I look out at the world of nonprofits, the message is really delivered in only one of three ways:

  • In person (rarely),
  • Over the phone (sometimes if you can get people to pick up), and
  • Via email (if they open and read the message)

Some of the more cutting edge nonprofits have started connecting online using social media.  So now they Facebook and Tweet and Instagram with donors (those who are social media savvy anyway)!

But every one of these methods of communication has a problem.  For example…

Individual outreach is very personal, and can be emotional.  Just screwing up the gumption to go ask someone for money can be nerve racking.  And a personal, in-your-face, “NO” can be devastating.  The best fundraisers bring in the big money one-on-one… but not everyone is cut out for that kind of “ask”!

Phone outreach used to be very effective… years ago.  The problem is callerID has provided our generous donors the easy way to screen our calls, and end up in the proverbial “voice-mail hell.”  Once again, it’s not a bad way to raise money for your nonprofit, but it takes a polished script, and a call room of dedicated phone dialers.

Email was supposed to be the holy grail.  Even today, many fundraising guru’s are clamoring “the money is in the list.”  They tell you to build a giant email list and hit it up every chance you get.  Does it work… sure.  But what they don’t tell you is email open rates are plummeting… and overzealous ISPs (internet service providers) are regularly blocking messages without rhyme or reason.  You used to be able to send an email and get a great response… but not any more.

The cold truth is… if you get a 10% open rate on an email today… that’s great.

It also means 90% of the people on your email list never see your message!

But don’t think that Social Media is any better.  I’m shocked at some of the recent stats I’ve read.  For example, did you know, According to an article I found at marketingland, between 1.3% and 2.6% of your followers actually see a tweet. One resource recommended tweeting several times a day… every day of the week… and you might – might – reach 30% of your followers!

Think Facebook’s any better? Think again.  According to Hubspot, Facebook posts get natural organic engagement of between 2% to 6.5%… let’s do the math. If you have 10,000 followers on Facebook and make a post, between 200 and 650 of your followers will see your post.

Why so few?

Because, Facebook is becoming overwhelmed with content and they’re filtering what people see.

So, face to face meetings are effective but take a lot of time and effort.  Phone calls don’t get a strong response any more.  Email still works, but not very well… and for social media… with a 1% to 6% engagement rate, you’d be better off spending your time on a street corner collecting change.

What you have, what we all have, is a communication problem.

There’s got to be a better solution to communicate with donors… with staff, with volunteers, with your VIPs!

That’s why I love mobile marketing… specifically text message marketing. To me, texting is a critical tool every nonprofit and charity needs to be using.

Let me share some critical stats.

  • We all have cell phones. There are 232 million cell phones in US today.
  • We don’t just carry these smart phones, we use them every day.
  • According to one study, the average person looks at their phone 150 times a day.
  • Think about that for a moment… if you sleep 8 hours a day, and still look at your phone 150 times a day, that means you pick the thing up every 7 minutes!
  • Because we look at our phones so much, 94% of text messages are read within 10 minutes of being received.

Do you see the power of mobile marketing?

If you’re not using Text message marketing for your non-profit, you’re behind the times.

How Text Messaging Can Help You Fundraise For Your NonProfit…

So, we’ve talked about the engagement rates with text messages…. any time you can communicate with 94% of your group you’re a step ahead of the competition.

But there’s another reason to use Text Marketing for your nonprofit… “TIME!”

Look, text messages are short and sweet.  They are limited to 160 characters on an SMS message.   That means you have to keep your messages short and sweet.  If you spend more than 10 or 20 minutes a week working on your group communications, you’re doing something wrong.

Even better, you can schedule 3 months of marketing messages to your donors, supporters, and staff… in just 12 minutes!

Check out that article here: A 12 Week Marketing Plan In Just 11 Minutes

Text marketing is fast, and easy, and can help you raise money for your nonprofit… but there are many other uses too.

What Are Other Organizations Using Texting For?

Maybe some of these ideas will spark a file in your imagination for how you might use it.

  1. Spreading information – blog posts, news, updates.
  2. You already have an email newsletter… use content for your texting campaigns.
  3. Collecting Contact Information at events… See U-Church case study.
  4. Engage People at an events (Millennial engagement)  For example Text your number and tell us your 3 favorite songs… vote for a favorite band member… or a favorite band.
  5. Announcing events (Christmas fundraisers, Golf tournaments, Casino nights)
  6. Sending Event reminders…
  7. Sending Countdowns / specials / coupons
  8. Organizing Volunteers / Employees
  9. Announcing schedule changes, event updates
  10. Segmenting people in the organization:
  11. And of course… Collecting donations Real Time – You can include a link to your donate now page… works on all smartphones. People can make donations on the spot!

Start Using Text Message Marketing Today – with GivingText.org

Don’t delay using this powerful communication technology.  Early movers will see the biggest success.