Secrets to Successful Non-Profit Marketing: 9 Reasons to Ditch Mail for Text Messaging

non-profit marketing

Introduction: SMS for Non-Profit Marketing

If your charity / non profit agency is looking for way to…

  • Reduce your advertising costs.
  • Boost your donation campaigns' response rates.
  • Increase your ROI.

… then you need to take your nonprofit marketing to the next level by reaching your audience with SMS, or as it's more commonly known…

Text messaging.

In this article, I'll provide 9 reason why this is so.

Let's get started…

1. Cost Effective

Text messaging campaigns are significantly more cost-effective than traditional mail campaigns.

For example…

  • SMS messages start at around 5 cents each (CAD$) although pricing becomes more competitive with volume.
  • MMS (image and text) start at around 9 cents per message (volume discounts apply to MMS as well).  

Compare that to the cost of postage plus the development and printing costs of whatever is included in your envelope, and it's pretty clear; the savings are substantial.

2. 98% Open Rate

Almost all text messages are opened and read, and the vast majority within 3 minutes.

The statistics say between a 96-99% open rate, depending on which source you consult. However, I'd be surprised if it isn't within a fraction of 100%: the new message notification systems built into newer smart phones make it impossible to miss or ignore messages.

In comparison, the open rate of promotional emails is in the 20% range.

Campaigns that utilize direct mail can boast open rates into the 90% mark, but come with downsides – waste, elevated cost and a reponse rate of about 5%. 

3. Quick Delivery

Depending on the size of your contact database, your text messaging campaign can be delivered in minutes or hours.

On the other hand, campaigns sent by regular mail can take days or even weeks to reach all your contacts.

Reaching your audience quickly means you don't have to wait weeks for the money to start trickling in, and even longer to guage to overall success or failure of a campaign.

In fact, the near-instant response generated from text messaging means you can immediately tweak your SMS non-profit marketing campaigns based on your results and message different segments of your supporters with revised versions of your messaging.

non profit texting

Sending MMS, which combines image plus text, can boost response rates even higher.

4. High Engagement

Not only are text messages almost always open and read, statistics show they are highly engaging too, especially if they contain an image.

For example, Sales Force found a conversation rate of 45% for brands using SMS.

Paddle.com reports that click through rates (CTRs) for text messages are 15%, and others report nearly twice that much.

Compared to the sort of response generated by email or by direct mail (which averages a 5% response rate in the non profit sector), text messaging is the 800 pound gorilla here.

5. Improved Tracking Capabilities

Text messaging campaigns offer better tracking capabilities compared to mail campaigns.

Non-profit organizations can easily track the delivery and response rates of text messaging campaigns, allowing them to tweak their campaigns accordingly for better results.

With mail campaigns, tracking can be more challenging and time-consuming.

6. Easy to Take Action

Picture this…

You get a text message from your favorite charity or non profit, asking for help to fund a worthy cause.

You open it immediately, read the message and click the link to be directed to a payment portal, where you enter your credit card details, press the pay button and…


You're done.

That same message sent by direct mail requires so many more steps on the part of your visitor…

  •  Open and read it (on average, only 42% will do this).
  • Find checkbook or credit card and prepare a donation.
  • Drop envelope in the mail.

There are so many ways for your donation to get sidelined during this process, which is why the average response rate for direct mail in the charity sector is around 5% (according to the Data & Marketing Association).

The bottom line is simple… the easier you make for your supporters to donate, the greater the number of them that will do so.

7. Environmentally Friendly

In the past I have received from charities giant envelopes that included – in addition to a request for a donation – pens that don't work, keychains that break almost immediately and tiny stuffed animals for which I have no practical use.

In other words, garbage.

Straight from the envelope and into the landfill.

While I understand that oversized envelopes stuffed full of swag generate the greatest response, it's costly, wasteful and environmentally unfriendly.

Text messaging on the other hand, has almost no impact on the environment.

Today, any non-profit marketing strategies you consider must be evaluated for their enviroment impact. 

8. Utlized By Everyone

The vast majority of people – regardless of age or demographic – use text messaging regularly. 

Text messaging by the numbers looks like this…

  • Age 18–29: 100%
  • Age 30–49: 98%
  • Age 50 and over: 90%+

Texting is a friendly, unintimidating, convenient technology that works on phones long considered obsolete and doesn't require an Internet data plan or an app install to access.

It's also a communication channel reserved for those in your immediate social circle, so it's checked often. 

Delivering your campaigns by text utilizes a convenient, friendly channel with which your audience is intimately familiar. 

9. Stellar ROI

Sending your donation requests on a highly engaging channel that the vast majority of your audience will see in a just a few minutes has the potential to send your return on investment through the roof.

In fact, some adopters have seeen as much as $5 in donations for every $1 in advertising spend (source: Tatango).

Getting Started: How We Can Help

Ready to take your nonprofit marketing to the next level?

We can help. 

Our BROADCASTsms application is the ideal platform for sending bulk SMS or MMS messages to your audience.

Let's have a conversation about how we can skyrocket the results from your fund raising campaigns, starting from just $59.99!

Click here to book a call or a Zoom demo of the platform.

Click here to learn more about BROADCASTsms.

SMS isn’t only viable. In many cases, it may be the channel best suited to the goals you’re pursuing.”


“Regardless of your size, SMS is a channel that you should carefully consider.”
The Non Profit Times