Text Giving: A Tool, Not a Miracle
There's no way to find a factual answer to that question. But it should haunt the dreams of the Red Cross and every other organization that makes big use of text-to-give.
And here's the other thing: While it might look like millions of dollars magically appeared in the books of the Red Cross, that's not quite how it happened. The Red Cross has a unique brand that places it top of mind when disasters strike. That's a position few other fundraisers have. Can you get Michelle Obama to tell everyone in America to text a gift to your organization? Would you be one of the three or four organizations being mentioned by millions of Facebookers and Twitterers? Each organization that raked in text gifts in January had an over-the-top brand presence, mega-celebrities pushing it or disciplined marketing strategies to get its text number out there. Usually all three.
Ways to use text giving
● Retail. If you have a commercial or retail partner that reaches a large and general audience, it can promote your offer with text-to-give as the call to action. That could generate revenue that's not otherwise coming your way.
● Events. At an event, where you have an involved audience and a clear avenue for collecting more sizeable gifts, you could use text-to-give to motivate extra giving for something specific on top of the main ask.
● Celebrities. If you have a celebrity spokesperson who doesn't appeal to folks older than 60, having him or her promote text-to-give probably makes a lot of sense.
Remember, the power drill may be a failure at medicating the cat, but it's still super at making small round holes in things. So, keep your eye on text giving. It's a changing medium, and the limitations are likely to change or even go away over time. But for now, keep your wits about you and use it carefully. FS