Text-to-Give gives you a convenient, lightning fast way to donate to your church. It takes donors about 2 minutes to set up, and can utilize any payment method saved to your donor's profile, including cards or ACH bank transfers.
This video will show you how easy it is to give using a text message. You can also find step-by-step instructions below.
Setting Up Text-to-Give
It's easy for donors to set up text-to-give by following these steps:
- Send an amount (example: $5 or $1.00) to the short code 84321. This is a shared short code used by other churches in your area.
- If the number isn't set up for text-to-give, a setup link will be sent back. Tap the setup link be guided to the next step.
- Select your church. A list of churches in the area will be suggested. If your phone number is already a part of your church's database, the appropriate church will be listed as a suggested organization.
- Enter your email address and, if prompted, your name.
- Enter the payment method you'd like to use for text-to-give. If you're already a donor and you've added a payment method before (say, a bank account for ACH or a credit card) then you can optionally log in to access your saved payment methods.
- Complete your initial setup donation. The initial donation, in most cases, will go to the default fund (usually the "General" fund). However, donations can be directed to more specific funds using keywords (more on that below).
There is no extra cost to the donor (though carrier message and data rates may apply) and there is no extra cost to the church when someone initiates a donation via SMS. There is still a processing fee for the donation which is based on the payment method the donor selected for Text-to-Give.
All churches using Text-to-Give share the 84321 short code. During set up, the system will use your geographical location and phone number to suggest churches nearby (within 20 miles) who use PCO Giving and have Text-to-Give enabled. If you ever move to a new church that happens to use PCO Giving, it's easy to disconnect your phone from their current donor profile by logging into the donor interface online.
Directing Donations to Different Funds
By default, incoming text message donations will go to your default fund. However, you can also indicate a more specific, restricted fund by appending the name of a fund that has been set up by your church.
After the initial setup donation (which always goes to the default fund unless designated to another fund using fund names/keywords), you can give to multiple funds in a single text message. Example: "$5 missions $6 newbuilding" or "$5 to missions and $6 to newbuilding".
You can see which fund are available by typing they keyword HELP to 84321.
Special Keywords Used by the System
Keywords triggers are communicated to donors in the course of text message giving.
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 (as shown above). 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.
This help page will show the donor helpful information about Text-to-Give and show the list of active funds. Here's an example:
Deactivating Text-to-Give or Changing a Payment Method
You can deactivate from your donor profile. You can also change your Text-to-Give payment method from your donor profile.
Limitations and Potential Issues
Text-to-give is intended as an easy way for you to give donations to your home church: however, it does have some limitations. If you want options to set up recurring donations, give to more than one church, or add payment methods, do these through your Giving donor profile.
If you have issues with your mobile carrier that you are not able to resolve, the online donor interface still works great on web-capable mobile devices; even if the mobile carrier is blocking text message functionality.