Text-To-Give v/s Text-to-Donate: Any Difference?

Fundraisers often come across different terms and techniques. It is even possible for them to get confused if care is not taken. This realization comes as they search the internet for the most suitable fundraising method to adopt.

Hence, one cannot conclude about a particular method by viewing it from the periphery – you have to dig a little deeper. Against this backdrop, we shall dissect two common fundraising methods – text-to-give and text-to-donate.

A Brief On Text-To-Give

Text-to-give enables you to receive donations through a shortcode provided by your mobile carrier. This is, however, after you must have met specific criteria regarding your fundraising campaign. 

Once you have this shortcode, donors can send in donations using a keyword specific to the campaign. This donation collection method is also called “mobile giving” or “text giving”. After giving, the donors will get an alert and have the amount donated billed to their phone. Your mobile carrier will remit the donation to your fundraising account at a set time. 

Text-to-give is relatively easy to use, and many organizations – non-profit, relief/charity organizations, etc. – are currently finding it handy. Plus, donors also view it as a convenient means of sending donations.

One thing about text-to-give is that prospective donors cannot give anything other than the predetermined amount. In most cases, donations can only be made in multiples of $5 – $5, $10, $15…and so on. And, a donor may not be able to give more than $50 at once. This could be seen as a disadvantage, but it doesn’t hamper the effectiveness of the method.

So, a typical text-to-give message can read: Feed a child in distress today. Donate $5 to Soul-Saver. Text FEED to 40893. 

The probability of impulse giving is higher with text-to-give since the set amount is small. Just imagine someone giving a tip to an individual who has impressed in some ways. That aside, one can also not rule out the likelihood of recurring donations. However, this largely depends on how much awareness you create around the campaign.

While the benefits of text-to-give are undeniable, the fact that it is not designed with a good follow-up feature leaves a gap. You may not be able to appreciate and further engage your donors after their giving.


– It is easy to use and set up.

– It guarantees convenience.

– The impact is instantaneous.


– A donor cannot alter a predetermined amount to give what he or she desires.

– Text-to-give may not be suitable for large fundraising projects.

– It doesn’t encourage long-term or sustainable fundraiser-donor relationships.

A Brief On Text-To-Donate

Text-to-donate is another form of text-giving that fundraisers have come to embrace with aplomb. It also entails using keywords and shortcodes – you can have these sorted out by a text-to-donate platform. The prospective donors will be directed to your checkout or mobile-giving page to donate.

Optionally, it’s possible to have the donation link embedded in the SMS you will be sending to your supporters. They will be taken to the page where the donation form can be filled out by clicking on the link. Through this means, you can get to gather more information about your donors for follow-up purposes.

The text-to-donate method has some flexibility as donors can give what they desire. By this, you won’t have prospective donors being turned off by a fixed amount they may deem too high. On the other hand, you will be able to rake in as many donations as possible at the time. Over and above all, your fundraising goal can be quickly actualized with the text-to-donate method.


– Easy and convenient.

– Recurring – and even automated – giving is possible.

– Funds can be immediately transferred to your account – with the link embedded text-to-donate option.

– Boosts engagement to some extent.

– Allows donors to give whatever they wish.


– It is lacking on the part of branding as messages cannot be personalized.

– Hidden charges may apply.

Compare And Contrast: Text-To-Give And Text-To-Donate

Let’s now pit the two fundraising methods against each other. First, you will see that text-to-give and text-to-donate share some similarities in that both involve using keywords and shortcodes. Plus, they can be completed using a mobile phone; hence, convenience is assured. This explains why people sometimes find it difficult to differentiate – or pick one of them.

And what about the differences? As you would have noted, the text-to-give method is limited – while text-to-donate is not – when it comes to the amount that can be given at once. Again, text-to-donate tends to be more costly than text-to-give. The former (text-to-donate) could prove highly cost-effective in the long run, nonetheless.

Another difference has to do with post-giving communications. This is more feasible with text-to-donate as text-to-give leaves no room for such. This is one of the reasons text-to-donate can drive long-term fundraising campaigns.

Selecting One Of The Two Methods

The fundraising methods mentioned above are pretty useful and practical. So, it would be up to you to consider the one that will serve your campaign better before making a choice. Having said that, if you want to raise funds as fast as possible, you may go with text-to-give. As earlier emphasized, text-to-give will also be perfect for large fundraising projects.

This sounds like we’ve got a bias for text-to-donate, isn’t it? – Maybe, but it’s all down to the advantages it offers. Again, any fundraiser doing a broad campaign with donors across all ages should consider text-to-donate. Notwithstanding, non-profit organizations like churches can safely use text-to-give for their regular offering and tithe collection.

Final Words

This exercise should begin by clarifying what your fundraising needs are. And you should also factor in the timeline and target audience – that is, the prospective donors. One more thing, you should never forget to create a buzz around the giving method you choose.

Whether it’s the text-to-donate or text-to-give option you’re rooting for, you shouldn’t fail to do your due diligence. And, while you are at it, you should regularly do reviews.

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