Set up Text-to-Donate

Text-to-Donate powers easy mobile giving through text codes. Learn how to set up a custom text code and start receiving donations via SMS (only on U.S phone carriers).

Examples

No items found.

Before You Get Started

Use Text-to-Donate as part of a Digital Fundraising campaign. Be sure to create a Campaign Page first.

Video Overview

Text Walkthrough

Text-to-Donate is our easy, mobile-first method for capturing contributions when your donors are on the go. All they do is text/SMS your special text code to our dedicated (not shared) short code -- 44321 (valid with U.S. phone numbers on U.S. carrier networks) -- and they instantly and automatically receive a link to your secure, mobile-friendly Campaign Page. From here, they're just a few easy steps from giving.

Text-to-Donate is not the same as "Text to Give”. The latter is when someone sends a text message with a donation amount, rather than a text code, to a special short code. The donation amount is then automatically charged against a card on file with an involved organization. We power Text-to-Donate, not Text-to-Give.

What to know about text codes and short codes

Text-to-Donate requires the use of two special codes: a memorable "text code" and particular telephone number, called a “short code.”

Text Codes
The text code is unique to the nonprofit that creates it and to the campaign it supports. For example, the Malala Fund uses the “MALALA” text code to direct donations through its Core Profile. A text code must be clearly communicated to donors to ensure that the correct campaign link is provided in reply. Sharing the wrong text code could misdirect donations to a different campaign if that text code exists and is associated with another campaign.

Telephone Codes (Short and Long)
The telephone number, however, is shared by all Give Lively member nonprofits that use Text-to-Donate through Give Lively. The "short codes" telephone number is 44321 and can only be used with U.S. phone numbers on U.S. carrier networks. There is an equivalent “long code” (10-digit telephone number), which may sometimes be used for donations through non-U.S. phone carriers and from other countries. Read more about short and long codes below.

Text-to-Donate set-up instructions

Give Lively nonprofit members can set up Text-to-Donate functionality in minutes:

1. Sign in to the Nonprofit Admin Portal.

2. Click the "Text Codes" tab in the menu on the top of the page.

3. Create a text code that donors can easily enter on their phone.

  • Text codes can be letters, numbers, or any combination of the two.  
  • They must be three (3) characters or more, and, unlike passwords, they are not case sensitive.
  • Good examples are "HELPKIDS", "5K2017", and "PAJAMAWALK".
  • You can create as many codes as you want and they don't expire.
  • Codes are unique across our platform. We will let you know if your code has already been taken by another organization.

4. Click "Campaigns" in the top navigation bar, select the Campaign Page to which you would like to link to your text code and click "Manage" next to the campaign. Be sure to look within the “Active” tab of current Campaign Pages. If needed, use the search tool to pull up results only within that tab. Search results will include the desired term, whether it is all or part of a word or phrase in the campaign name or slug.

5. Scroll down to the "Text Codes" section, click "Link A Text-to-Donate Code" and then select the text code you'd like to use.

Whenever you create new text codes, they will appear in this menu of text codes. You can change a page's text code (or add a new text code to a page) at any time.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Review our ultimate guide of Text-to-Donate best practices, including multiple examples of how to display your special text code.
  • Text-to-Donate is designed to work in tandem with our Live Display, which tracks and exhibits donations mere seconds (usually between 3 and 5) after being completed. Learn how to set up Live Display.
  • Nonprofits do not pay a fee to send Text-to-Donate messages, as Give Lively covers the costs for you.
  • Donors who receive text messages will be subject to their typical text/SMS rates according to their phone plan.

Additional note about short codes, long codes and international giving

We work with Twilio, a cloud communication platform, to power our Text-to-Donate technology. Twilio allows donors to text our short code (or long code) with a nonprofit-specific text code and, in return, receive a link to that nonprofit’s campaign.

Our U.S. short code can only be used with U.S. phone numbers on U.S. carrier networks that have approved that short code. Note that if a donor on a supported U.S. carrier is out of the country or located in a U.S. territory like Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, Twilio advises that text messages may be delivered, but delivery is not guaranteed.

Text-to-Donate is also possible through non-U.S. phones in many countries, but the short code can’t be used. Instead, donors must proceed using a "long code,” which is a full 10-digit U.S. telephone number: 917-999-0700. (When texting from outside the the U.S., this number must be proceeded by +1.)

Importantly, international texting may not be possible from all countries and across all carrier networks, but neither Twilio nor Give Lively has any control over this. SMS regulations vary widely from country to country and Twilio is working to expand its service.

Therefore, Text-to-Donate for international contributions may be available through the long code, but any nonprofit planning to use it:

  • is advised to confirm that it works by trialing it first through contacts in countries from which donations are expected to be received;
  • should include the web address of the associated Campaign Page in all Text-to-Donate international outreach so that donations can still be captured if the country or carrier doesn’t allow it;
  • should let donors know that elevated charges for international texting may apply, whether or not the texts are delivered.

Downloads

Text-to-Donate and Live Display Checklist

DOWNLOAD PDF

Related Articles

Make the most of Text-to-Donate: our ultimate guide

In this guide, we review Text-to-Donate best practices, and examples of how it can be implemented as a vital part of a fundraising strategy.

Understand what a Text-to-Donate short code is

A 'short code' is a five-digit number used to send and receive text messages (with U.S. phone numbers on U.S. carrier networks only). It is a critical part of how Text-to-Donate works. Learn what Give Lively's dedicated (not shared) short code is and how much it costs you (spoiler: nothing).

Build an Event Ticketing page

Event Ticketing pages let you host in-person and virtual fundraising events. You can use these pages to sell tickets and sponsorships for your events or use them for non-ticketed events. Learn how to set Event Ticketing up, including how to add basic event details, logos and images, information about tickets (categories and price tiers), additional donor information requests and thank you messages.

Set up Live Display

Live Display is a progress meter that tracks incoming donations and exhibits them mere seconds (usually between 3 and 5) after being completed. It's a great centerpiece for any fundraising event. Learn how to access Live Display and display it prominently at your event.