Over the past decade or so, more and more nonprofits have been using text messaging, or SMS messaging, as an additional strategy in their omnichannel campaigns.

“I think it started to become popular back when the Haiti earthquake happened back in [2010],” Mike Snusz, director of nonprofit customer experience at Tatango, said. “From a fundraising perspective, I think that really started to shine light on the ability of text messaging to raise money.”

Nowadays, fundraising is not the only way nonprofits are using text messaging; use cases have expanded to include retention, engagement, stewardship and even events. While this is similar to how email is used, text messaging has a higher engagement rate compared to email.

“Our clickthroughs on emails had been declining for a while,” says Rick Ericson, senior director of donor pipeline, engagement, and growth at Holt International Children’s Services. “... And so, text message had been on our radar for a little while, and we know from past experience that anytime we can bring another channel to bear and get more people to see a campaign through more impressions, we see better results. So it was kind of a no-brainer.”

In this episode of The NonProfit Voice Tech Series, Ericson and Snusz join Mark Becker, editorial advisory board member for NonProfit PRO, to discuss how text messaging plays a role across the donor pipeline.

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