Text-to-Give (for Admins)

Created on:
Updated on:

Text-to-Give lets your donors give using a simple text message. There's no app to download and setup is easy. Donations given via Text-to-Give are just like any other donation in the system. It's just a faster way to give.

A Text-to-Give account is established by having three verified and active elements tied together:

Overview

In this video, Justin will show you how easy it is to give using a text message. Feel free to download this video if you'd like or embed this on your website for your donors to learn how to use Text-to-Give.

Cost

There is no extra cost to the organization or your donor when someone gives using Text-to-Give. However, standard processing fees for each donation still apply.

For example, if a donor uses their Visa card for Text-to-Give, the processing fee for that donation would be the same as if they donated using their Visa on the standard, web-based donation form. Read more about Stripe's fees.

Donor Setup and Management

You can add the simple instructions for donating using text to your church bulletin or website. This is all you need to say:

Text any amount to 84321 to give. Standard message and data rates may apply.

All churches using Text-to-Give share the 84321 short code.

Setup

When a donor initiates their first Text-to-Give donation, they'll be taken through a setup process. First, the system will use the donor's geographical location and the donor's phone number to suggest churches nearby (within 20 miles). Second, they'll be asked to set up a payment method for Text-to-Give. (Existing donors can log in to select a previously used payment method.)

After setup, all they have to do is send and amount to 84321 to give.

Account Management

Payment methods and the donor's phone number can be managed by the donor themselves, using the online donor portal. Here, a donor can also fully disconnect their phone if they're moving churches or they get a new phone number.

Administrative Setup

Enabling or Disabling Text-to-Give

Text-to-Give can be an enabled or disabled in Giving from the Settings tab on the Manage page.

At least one campus is required to enable Text-to-Give. Even if your church has a single geographical location, add that location as a campus in Accounts.

Funds and Keywords

Directing Donations to Different Funds

By default, incoming text message donations will go to your default fund. However you can also enable Text-to-Give for other funds.

If some of your fund names are a bit lengthy for text messages, consider adding a shorter keyword for your Text-to-Give donors. For example, a fund called Domestic Missions might benefit from using the shorter keyword missions. You'll see this option when editing your funds.

When a fund is enabled for Text-to-Give, a donor can indicate a more specific fund by appending the fund name like this: "$5 building".

Split-fund donations also work with Text-to-Give. Example: "$5 missions $6 building" or "$5 to missions and $6 to building."

Special Keywords

Relevant keyword triggers are communicated to donors when they give or take other actions. For example, when someone donates, the system will tell them how to

The following keywords are available:

REFUND - Donors can issue this command within 30 minutes of donating to initiate an automatic refund. This isn't a cancellation, it's an actual refund (it's treated as an actual refund).

MISTAKE - Because ACH donations take so long (and can't be refunded until they settle in the bank system) the normal REFUND keyword doesn't work when donors use a bank account as their text-to-give payment method. Instead, they can use the MISTAKE keyword. This keyword will cancel the donation before it enters the banking system. When a donation is cancelled this way, it's like it never happened.

STOP/START - The STOP command immediately deactivates text-to-give for the sender. The START command will re-enable text-to-give for the sender.

The "stop" command immediately disconnects the sender's phone number from the text-to-give system and the system will no longer be able to communicate with that phone until a "start" command is received. This opt-out functionality is required by the telecom companies.

HELP - This will prompt a response message back to the sender. If the sender is a Text-to-Give donor (meaning that their number is active in the system) then they'll get a link to a help page specific to your organization.

Help Page Example

When a donor sends the "Help" keyword, they'll be sent back a link. Tapping the link will bring them to a help page that's specific to your church. It will show them examples and which funds are available.

Tracking Text-to-Give donations

Donations initiated by text message will get an SMS stamp so that you can filter and report on these types of donations.

Limitations and Troubleshooting

Limitations for Text-to-Give

  1. Recurring donations can't be established or managed by Text-to-Give. This can be done in the donor interface, but can't be accomplished over SMS. 
  2. A phone number can only be attached to one church at a time. Text-to-Give is meant to be a way for regular donors to give spontaneously to their regular/home church. It probably shouldn't be used for things like campaigns or fundraisers aimed at one-time givers.
  3. Payment methods can't be added or managed via text messages alone. Obviously, you don't want to send bank account numbers or card numbers over unencrypted SMS messages.

Troubleshooting

Larger carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon etc.) typically work fine with Text-to-Give. However, we've seen some issues on smaller carriers (PCS Metro, U.S Cellular, C Spire, Freedom Pop, etc).

Carrier Preventing SMS Messages from Short Codes

Giving uses the 84321 short code. If the donor tries to set up Text-to-Give and gets a "Service access denied" message back, there's a good chance their carrier is just outright blocking the message.

Sometimes, the donor can ask their phone carrier to allow short-code messaging. Without the ability to receive messages from 84321 though, this donor can't use Text-to-Give.

Carrier Preventing SMS Messages Over 140 Characters

If the donor tries to set up Text-to-Give and the message back is chopped short, then the donor's mobile carrier is truncating the message. This is a real deal-breaker for using Text-to-Give because most of the messages (and the URLs in the messages) will always be more than 140 characters.

There is no way to workaround this technical limitation and the donor shouldn't use Text-to-Give.

Since both issues stem from the mobile provider's lack of support for basic SMS functionality, there's nothing we can do on our end. If prepaid mobile providers are popular among your congregation, consider disabling Text-to-Give and encourage mobile, web-based giving instead.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful