Text-to-Give is a quick, simple way for donors to give online via text message.
This feature is free to all Giving customers and can be enabled by your Giving Administrators in your Giving settings. Once this is enabled by your church and the donor has completed the initial setup, all they have to do is text a dollar amount to 84321 to donate!
Text-to-Give initiates an online donation that is processed by Stripe, our payment processor. There is no cost for your church to use this feature, but processing fees and standard message/data rates will apply to each text donation.
In this video, you can see how easy it is to use Text-to-Give.
Download the video from the export button on the video toolbar, or share a link with your donors!
Text-to-Give for Donors
Text-to-Give donors can initiate a donation by texting the amount of their donation to 84321.
To ensure that Text-to-Give can remain free, the 84321 short code is used for all Giving customers. We do not offer custom phone numbers/short codes for Text-to-Give.
When a donor initiates their first Text-to-Give donation, our system will respond with a message that includes a setup link. Tapping this link will take them to their mobile browser, and walk them through these steps:
- Find your church: Giving will use the donor's geographical location and phone number to suggest churches nearby (within 20 miles). If your church is not listed, or the donor isn't within the geolocation radius, they can search by your church's address, city, or ZIP code, and filter results by church name.
- Log in to your profile: After choosing a church, donors will be asked to enter their name and email address to either create a new donor profile (first time donors), or log in to access their existing donor profile (returning donors).
- Add or select a payment method: First-time donors can add a payment method to be used for this initial donation and future donations. Existing donors can log in to their profile to select a previously saved payment method.
- Submit the donation: Once a donor submits their donation, this will initiate that first donation and enable Text-to-Give for future use.
After setup, donors can simply text their donation amount to 84321 to initiate an online donation.
Donors can only have Text-to-Give enabled with one organization at a time. If a donor has given via Text-to-Give to another church that uses Giving in the past, they must disconnect from that other organization before they can set up Text-to-Give with your church.
Giving to Different Funds
By default, Text-to-Give donations will go to your account's Default Fund unless another fund is specified. A donor can indicate a specific fund by appending the fund name after the donation amount. (For example: "$5 building")
Donors can also split donations between funds in a single text by listing the amounts and fund names for each fund. (For example: "$5 missions $6 building")
To make fund selection easier for Text-to-Give donors, you can set up Fund Shortcuts for each of your funds.
Donors can update their Text-to-Give payment method or disable Text-to-Give from their donor profile.
- Access your profile from Church Center web.
- On your profile, click My Giving.
- In the Text-to-Give section, you can update your payment method or disable Text-to-Give.
You can give donors a direct link to the Text-to-Give settings on Church Center web, for example: https://centerville.churchcenter.com/giving/profile/text-to-give
You can also text 'STOP' to 84321 to disable Text-to-Give.
If you need to re-enable Text-to-Give and run into issues receiving Text-to-Give messages, text 'START' to ensure those messages are not being blocked by your carrier.
You can enable or disable Text-to-Give, set up fund shortcuts, and track text donations from the Admin side of Giving.
Enabling or Disabling Text-to-Give
Enable or disable Text-to-Give 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 location, add that location as a campus in your account settings.
Setting Up Fund Shortcuts
By default, incoming text message donations will go to your default fund, but donors can give to other funds by including the name of their desired fund to their text donation (i.e. "$5 building").
If some of your fund names are long, you can set up shortcuts for your funds to help donors choose a fund more easily. For example, a fund called Domestic Missions could be changed to the shorter keyword missions.
To enable a shortcut for your fund, check this box in your Fund settings.
Fund shortcuts must be at least two characters to work correctly. Our system doesn't recognize single-character shortcuts.
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.
Relevant keyword triggers are communicated to donors when they give or take particular actions.
The following keywords are available:
REFUND - Donors donating using a card can issue this command within two hours of donating to initiate an automatic refund. This isn't a cancellation, but is a refund, so this donation will show as refunded on the donor's profile.
MISTAKE - Donors donating using ACH can issue this command within two hours of donating to cancel their donation. This will cancel the donation before it's processed, so there will be no record of a cancelled donation on the donor's profile. (ACH donations cannot be refunded via Text-to-Give. Refunds for ACH would have to be done by an Administrator.)
STOP/START - The STOP command immediately disables Text-to-Give for the donor. The START command will lift any carrier blocks and allow the donor to use Text-to-Give in the future.
The STOP command immediately disconnects the sender's phone number from the Text-to-Give system and the system may no longer be able to communicate with that phone until a START command is received. This opt-out functionality is required by many carriers.
HELP - This will prompt a response message back to the sender. If the sender is an active Text-to-Give donor, they'll receive a link to a help page with tips on how to use Text-to-Give.
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.
Limitations and Troubleshooting
Text-to-Give works well in most situations, but there are some limitations and possible issues that can arise with certain situations and carriers.
Limitations for Text-to-Give
- Recurring donations can't be established or managed by Text-to-Give. This can be done from your donation form but can't be accomplished over SMS.
- 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 home church. It probably shouldn't be used for things like campaigns or fundraisers aimed at one-time givers.
- The amount of a text donation cannot be above $9,999. This helps avoid accidents, like adding an extra zero to the donation amount or adding the Text-to-Give short code (84321) as the donation amount.
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).
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 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, that donor can't use Text-to-Give.
If the donor tries to set up Text-to-Give and the return message is chopped short, then the donor's mobile carrier is truncating the message. This will cause issues for using Text-to-Give because most of the messages (and the URLs in the messages) will be more than 140 characters.
There is no way to workaround this technical limitation and the donor shouldn't use Text-to-Give.