5 Ways to Raise More Funds Before, During & After Your Next Event With Text Messaging

Mike Mulqueen

Nonprofits need the best and that’s why we turn to NeonOne’s ecosystem of partners for expert advice. Today we’re hearing from GivBee, who specializes in SMS communications with nonprofits.

One of the most underutilized yet most powerful ways you can connect with donors is through text messaging. With nearly a 100% open rate, text messages are a guaranteed way to make donors pay attention to you. Yet with that near guaranteed opportunity, how can you make the most of it?

Before The Event

1. Have your attendees opt-in ahead of time

If you’re worried that some attendees will struggle to understand your text-to-donate instructions during the event, have them opt-in ahead of time. Ask guests to join the text system during online registration or when they at check-in. Then at the event, when the time’s right, blast out a text message that tells donors what they need to do. Like this…

Make sure your donors opt-in to text messaging ahead of time, so you can engage them and send appeals during the event.

Here are a few pointers to help you maximize engagement during the event:

  • Encourage your guests to opt-in during registration or at check-in.
  • Sync your text message send with the most inspirational speaker/moment.
  • Personalize each text by auto-merging each user’s name into the message.
  • Consider having a speaker/celebrity or a prominent board member draft the text and add their name to it.
  • Tell people how to donate by text even if they did not opt-in at registration.

Do NOT send texts to anyone unless they have opted-in.

2. Use text messaging in your marketing efforts

No doubt you have a lot more email and postal addresses than text opt-ins. But text message read-rates consistently hover around 95% (way higher than email).

Text messaging can serve as an amazing marketing tool for your nonprofit — a great way to promote fundraisers and sell more tickets. To build your text opt-in list, incorporate texting into your regular communication strategy. Then, when it’s time to promote a gala or other event, send everyone a simple text message like this:

Text messaging is a great way to engage supporters with marketing content, as open rates are higher than email and other traditional methods.

During The Event

3. Drive more text donations with a live meter

An energetic emcee working in front of a giving meter on a big screen can be a fundraising game-changer. A meter is a fun and effective way to inspire everyone in the audience to join the action.

With text-connected meters, donors who submit a pledge or donation by phone see their name and gift appear on the big board in just seconds. Meter display options let you to control what donor details are shown and let you match the look and feel to your branding.

BONUS TIP: During the party, make sure you broadcast a fundraising update to your Facebook and Twitter followers and remind them how to show their support from afar.

4. For a party scene, start with text-to-pledge instead of text-to-donate

If the setup or energy at your event makes it difficult for guests to key-in credit card details on their phone, ask them to make a pledge to start. Follow up with a thank you message and link to your donation page.

If you're not sure people will be willing to donate via text at your event, consider a text-to-pledge campaign instead.

Before, During and After the Event

5. Promote text giving on your social accounts

In the weeks and days leading up to your fundraising event, promote your text donation call-to-action through your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Let your followers know that even if they can’t come to your gala, they can still make an impact by texting a donation. Make your call-to-action jump off the screen by adding it to graphics and photos related to your event.

Use social media to promote your text-to-give campaign before the event, so you'll be able to engage more supporters and make a greater impact.


If you’ve been on the fence about adding a texting solution to your fundraising and communication toolset, now just may be the time. GivBee is offering special deals on their two most popular Neon-integrated texting solutions. Check ’em out!


Get your first six months for ½ off the regular price for these two plans:

GivBee Standard Plan Special Offer for NEONCRM users.
Get your first six months for ½ off – a savings of $54.50 per month.
Includes 2,000 monthly SMS monthly credits, two custom opt-in keywords, training and support.

GivBee Enterprise Plan Special Offer for NEONCRM users.
Get your first six months for ½ off – a savings of $84.50 per month.
Includes 5,000 monthly SMS monthly credits, three custom opt-in keywords, training and support.

Start engaging your supporters with text messaging. Sign up with GivBee today!

Both of these offers remain available until August 31, 2018 and require a 6-month commitment. To sign up:

  1. Click here to sign up.
  2. Select the Standard or Enterprise plan
  3. Enter code “NEON812” at sign up.

Leave a Comment