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Make the most of Text-to-Donate: our ultimate guide

In this guide, we review Text-to-Donate best practices, and examples of how it can be implemented as a vital part of a fundraising strategy.

Before you get started

Video Overview


Before you get started

Video Overview


Before you get started

Video Overview


Before You Get Started

Video Overview

Video Transcript


Text-to-Donate is our free, mobile-first fundraising product that engages donors on the go. It provides convenient access to a Campaign Page and opens the way for easy and secure contributions made directly from a donor’s smartphone.

Text-to-Donate is not the same as "Text to Give”. The latter is when someone sends a text message with a donation amount, rather than a text code, to a special short code. The donation amount is then automatically charged against a card on file with an involved organization. We power Text-to-Donate, not Text-to-Give.

In this guide, we review Text-to-Donate best practices, and examples of how it can be implemented as a vital part of a fundraising strategy.

To get familiar with the concept and see it in action, text MALALA to 44321 or visit our website.

Create a memorable text code

The text code is unique to the nonprofit that creates it and to the campaign it supports. A memorable text code increases a campaign’s visibility and the likelihood of receiving donations. The text code is best kept short, memorable and easy to type. Give Lively allows for text codes as short as three characters long. 

Here are some strategies for selecting a text code and current examples from Give Lively nonprofit members:

Identify who your organization helps:
Select a short, action-oriented word:
Use all or part of your organization's name:
Craft a unique two-word combination:
Pick a word related to the campaign or theme:

Spread the word 

Once a catchy text code has been linked to a campaign, it’s time to spread the word.

Of course, it must be clearly communicated to ensure that the correct campaign link is provided in reply. Sharing the wrong text code could misdirect donations to a different campaign if that text code exists and is associated with another campaign.

There are many creative and imaginative ways to spread the word. Feel free to experiment with some or all of them.

We recommend using a multichannel approach when it comes to promoting a text code. Some marketing materials have local and short-term appeal, while other approaches are more far reaching and have a life that can touch donors over the long term.

Consider a call to action in every promotion with the text code, whether it is digital or in person and involves print, animation, podcasts, video or anything else.

Let’s explore what some of our members are doing to promote their Text-to-Donate campaigns:

Social media

Add visual appeal to every ask and encourage social media users to “Text ‘your code’ to 44321.”

In this example, The Next IT Girl uses Instagram to showcase its impact through a visually appealing graphic that calls for followers to text “ITGIRL” to 44-321. It also includes a comprehensive caption with details about mission and impact, two potent ways to inspire supporters to donate.


A website is one of an organization’s most important communication channels. Prominent inclusion of a text code adds an easy way for supporters to donate. 

The Manny Pacquiao Foundation website uses a straightforward Text-to-Donate call to action at the top of the image, as well as other donate mechanisms throughout the website to increase conversions. 

Promotional videos

Many organizations use multimedia content to tell their story, mission and purpose. This is a great place to include a text code. As viewers get inspired by the message, they are motivated and able to donate right away. 

All Peoples Community Center developed a video about its impact and mission. At the end of the video, there is a clear call to action to text “GOYOUTH” to 44321.

In addition to being used at live events, this video can be displayed on the organization’s social media channels, website and campaign pages, giving broader visibility to the message and possibility for donations.

Live Display

Give Lively’s Text-to-Donate and Live Display products are meant to work in tandem. Live Display is designed to track and present fundraising progress in nearly real time at live events such as galas, dinners or concerts, and during virtual events such as livestreams or webinars.

Here’s an example of how The New York Women’s Foundation successfully used Text-to-Donate and Live Display at their annual fundraising breakfast.

Print materials

Consider including a text code on brochures, promotional pamphlets and other print materials.

At the same event shared in the example above, The New York Women's Foundation used multiple touch points to remind their guests how to donate. Each inspiring speaker and the host referred to the table pamphlets and the large Live Display screen to urge people to donate.

Out-of-home advertising

A memorable text code can also serve as an easy-to-remember call to action when donors’ attention is fleeting, as might be the case in outdoor -- especially roadside -- advertising. It is critical to quickly deliver a catchy and actionable message about the campaign. In this example, the 100Roofs Project found a clever way to leverage this strategy. 


Livestreamed events and activities are increasingly popular these days. Below is a fine example of a celebrity artist livestreaming his music via YouTube. He used a subtle call to action in the “lower third” (an overlay placed in the lower area of the screen) to draw attention to a worthy cause. 

Blog article

Consider publishing a text code in a blog post or article about a current campaign. This makes the call to action more organic and relevant, as it is nested within an informative framework about the impact of the program.

This example of Vogue’s COVID-19 relief fund includes a simple and engaging animation with a strong call to action. It sits within a comprehensive article about the campaign.


Text-to-Donate is a versatile fundraising product for nonprofits of all sizes keen to capture contributions from donors on the go. Get creative! Pick a memorable text code and promote it in multiple ways.

Remember, a multichannel approach to fundraising makes the most of your efforts. Use other Give Lively products and solutions alongside Text-to-Donate to achieve best results.

Text-to-Donate is just one of eight, powerful and practical Give Lively fundraising products designed to help nonprofits satisfy their missions without sacrificing their means. There’s no fee for using one or all of them.

Our fundraising solutions:


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