Some of the most powerful fundraising tools are so simple, they get overlooked. Offering a text-giving option to your listeners during on-air fundraisers is one of those sorely overlooked tools!

Let’s face it. More and more people prefer not to call their friends to chat anymore. Even if a voice call is warranted, it is often preceded by a text… “Hey, call me when you get a minute.”

But we are asking these same people to call to talk to a volunteer at a radio station to give their money. Thankfully, plenty still do make the call.

But what if you could give your potential new givers a simple option to fulfill their gift in the same way that they communicate with their friends and family every day?

At Life 90.5 in Wilmington, NC… Over the past five fundraisers at our station, text giving has grown to 12+% of the donation volume for the entire on-air fundraiser.

3 Keys for Successful Text Giving During Fundraisers

1. The Same phone number.

There are vendors that will take any phone number and enable you to receive both texts and voice calls. You would not want to have to give an additional phone number during your fundraiser. We use ZipWhip, and we only use the most basic features (ZipWhip is not paying me). I am sure others are offering similar services. On the air, we have used the language “call or text” with our one studio line for at least eight years during regular broadcasting for topic feedback and song requests. It doesn’t hurt that our listeners already hear that before the fundraiser.

2. Just say “NO” to automated keyword response!

You want a real person(s) dedicated to a quick, personal response. Nothing beats a real human response… “Wow! Thank you for your $30 per month pledge! My name is Matt, and I am volunteering at the Life 90.5 fundraiser today. When would be a good time to connect with you to arrange your pledge?” I can demonstrate a 99% fulfillment rate on these interactions during our fundraisers! Listeners don’t keep an appointment with an automated link. They keep appointments with real people. There are even times when the donor will respond… “Go ahead and give me a call now.” Isn’t that interesting? Why didn’t they just call in the first place? I wouldn’t take that class. You gave them the opportunity to interact with you in the same way they initiate most of their phone interactions…TEXT! Some will ask for the link to donate online when they get to work or home. Others will ask that someone call them at a given time. Here’s the key: we are serving them and holding their hand on the path to fulfilling their gift. AND it’s personal! And, by the way, the pledge counts when the text comes in…the last pledge needed to meet that $1000 match.

3. Thorough appointment fulfillment.  

Keep a separate spreadsheet recording the name, date, time, pledge details, challenge details, and volunteer who handled the text. This will enable you to ensure that everyone’s appointment requests have been followed up with appropriately. The nature of these interactions is they can get lost in the pile. There have been occasions when we lost track of one of these appointments and realized days later that someone had not been properly followed up with. Even these people fulfilled their text pledges because they knew a real person had dropped the ball and called to apologize. Keeping these details will help make sure everyone is served well.

Fundraising is serving. Developing this process over the past few years has allowed us to serve our donors more extravagantly and to connect with them in a way they increasingly prefer to connect. I would be happy to answer any questions. You can reach me here: Matt@CarolinaChristianRadio.com

Matt Wall is originally from Raleigh, NC and worked in Christian radio as a DJ part time for 6 years before joining Carolina Christian Radio full time 21 years ago. Matt spent just over 3 years away from radio on the mission field, taking the Gospel on short term outreaches organized by YWAM and New Life Ministries. These mission trips took him all over the United States and Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia just months after the breach of the Soviet Iron Curtain. Matt has seen God work in his life to prepare him for the work he does today serving Life 90.5 listener supporters. He loves connecting with and getting to know these special friends who donate so generously because Life 90.5 has strengthened their walk with Christ, and they believe in the mission of sharing the hope of the gospel and strengthening believers here on the Carolina coast.