We explore some of the ways in which mass texting for non-profit organizations can engage communities, complement fundraising efforts, and potentially save lives; and highlight the fact it is not always necessary to have a large audience in order to derive some benefit from mass texting.
Most people are familiar with mass texting in one form or another. Mass texting is most frequently used by retailers as part of their marketing strategies, relied upon by state and local governments to raise awareness of an emergency, and employed by political parties as a means of encouraging voters to visit the polls on Election Day.
These uses of mass texting have two things in common. They both rely on the public “opting-in” to a mass texting service, and they are both successful – the reason being it is a lot easier to remember a catchy keyword and a short code number than it is to memorize a website address if you are passing an advert in the street or watching a commercial on TV. For example:
- Text “PIZZA” to 74992 to receive 10% off your next order (the number 74992 spells “PIZZA” on a standard keypad).
- Text “ALERT” to 25378 to receive notifications of adverse weather conditions, major traffic disruptions, and other emergency incidents.
- Text “VOTER” to 48683 (“IVOTE”) to receive voting reminders and details of your closest polling station from the Get to Polls organization.
Mass Texting for Non-Profit Organizations
There are dozens of non-profit organizations using mass texting to raise their profiles in order to engage communities, enhance fundraising efforts, and potentially save lives. Among some of the better known national organizations using mass texting for non-profit organizations are the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Mass texting for non-profit organizations does not have to be national in order to be effective. LA County has its own mass texting service providing community help for residents, the Texas Office of the Attorney General has a mass texting child support service, and the annual ArtPrize Festival in Grand Rapids runs a mass texting service to keep visitors informed of events.
How to Start a Mass Texting Service
To start a mass texting service, you need access to a mass texting platformand a plan for how you will get members of the public to opt into the service in order to receive your texts. Tip: Depending on the nature of your service, some media publications will offer free column inches for you to market the service. It is also a good idea to spread the word via social media if you have a younger target audience.
You also need to be aware of mass texting rules and follow them closely. These stipulate how you can market your service, the maximum number of times you will be able to send text messages, and how to give people the option to withdraw from your service. You can be fined for breaching the Telephone Consumers Protection Act and the likelihood is your carrier will withdraw the mass texting service.
The Simplicity of Mass Texting
Once you have your service up and running, and people have started opting into your service, sending mass notifications is simple. You simply compose your message via a web-based portal and click send. Once the message has been sent, the web-based portal records how many messages have been received, how many have been opened and read, and how many have been acted upon.
One question we are often asked is “is it necessary to finish one campaign before starting another?” The answer is no. You can run as many campaigns as you wish, using a unique keyword for each – or a selection of “sub-keywords” -extensions of keywords that can be used to sort a database of contacts into groups according to whichever attribute is convenient for you.
Let´s say for example your nationwide non-profit organization helps parents of children with learning difficulties. The mass texting service has been set up with the short code number 53276 and the keyword “LEARN”, but you need to divide your database into geographical regions in order to best serve local communities. You could do this by state (as in the following example), or by ZIP code.
- Text “LEARN.AL” to 53276 if you live in Alabama.
- Text “LEARN.AK” to 53276 if you live in Alaska.
- Text “LEARN.AZ” to 53276 if you live in Arizona, and so on.
Find Out More about Mass Texting for Non-Profit Organizations
You don´t need an enormous response to a marketing campaign in order to run a successful mass texting service. If you engage several volunteers within your community, raise some money via SMS donations, or have one person opt into your service whose live you ultimately save by providing support and counselling services, the effort will have been worthwhile.
To find out more how your organization can join the dozens of non-profit organizations already using mass texting for the benefit of individuals and communities, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of communications experts will be happy to answer any of your questions or organize a free demo of our mass texting platform in action tailored to your specific requirements.