What if I told you there was a better, more efficient way to communicate with donors, raise awareness for your nonprofit events, and expand your emergency and crisis relief efforts?
You may be a bit skeptical, right?
Now what if you learned you could accomplish all of those tasks using one tool, an online SMS service?
In today’s guide, I’ll be sharing eight ways you can use this helpful form of communication to improve your nonprofit’s operations the smart way.
To start, let’s talk about why an online SMS service works so well for quick, time-sensitive messages.
#1: Communicate Important Updates Fast
Picture this: You spend months raising awareness for your upcoming event and making sure everything’s going according to plan.
Except for one thing: On the day of your annual fundraiser, there’s a huge storm heading your way and it’s expected to rain all over your event.
Now that you’re left scrambling to find a new indoor venue, you’ll need to update all parties involved — and you have even less time to do so.
Your first instinct may be to email everyone, but there’s a better, faster way to communicate important updates like these: via text message.
See, when you use email for time-sensitive updates like this, your message has a much higher chance of getting buried under a mound of junk emails. After all, think about how crowded your own inbox is.
Another issue here is that your event attendees may be so busy rushing around that they won’t bother checking their emails beforehand, which means they could miss the message entirely.
To avoid these issues, you’re better off using an online SMS service so you can send texts the day of, and leading up to the event, to keep everyone in the loop about any unforeseen issues.
You can also use text messages ahead of time to drive attendance and donations as you’ll see next.
#2: Raise Awareness
Let your members know about upcoming events via text and you’ll start to improve your attendance rates in no time.
Simply send a text a few weeks out letting everyone know what’s to come and keep them updated throughout the weeks leading up to the big day.
You can also include a link to your website at the bottom of your initial awareness texts for those who can’t make it and still want to donate to your cause.
This will help you raise those much-needed funds to keep your nonprofit active.
Helpful reminder texts can also help keep your event on everyone’s radar.
#3: Send Reminders for Upcoming Events
Sending a text to your donors and event attendees each week leading up to your annual drive will ensure that busy schedules and hectic lifestyles don’t interfere with making it to your good cause.
As the day approaches, send a reminder text 48 hours, 24 hours, and the day of (for a total of 3 texts spaced out) letting everyone know that the event is still on and if there are any issues people should be aware of (i.e., traffic, construction, or weather related problems), they’ll be the first to know.
By keeping everyone informed, you’ll increase your chances of having a packed house and a successful event.
Not only that, you’ll also score this next benefit.
#4: Improved Communication with Donors
Text messages are a personal form of communication — it’s usually a quiet, one-on-one scenario.
Even with group texts, the feeling is still intimate and exclusive.
Because of this, texts are one of the best forms of communication to use both with donors and internally with your team (more on this later).
Communicate via text and you’ll start to build a deeper relationship with everyone involved in your cause. Then they’ll be more inclined to give more and more often.
Our next suggestion will also help you do just that.
#5: Send Educational Messages
Sending non-event related, regular communication via text also helps to keep your members engaged.
A great place to start is by sharing one informational message per week.
Not only will your audience learn more about your organization with this strategy, they may also learn a thing or two they didn’t know before.
And if they’re really moved by your message, they’ll be motivated to share it with their closest friends and family members to help spread your reach even further.
Speaking of reach, texts are also one of the best ways to communicate in disaster situations.
#6: Emergency/Relief Aid Updates
When the power goes out and WiFi is down, you won’t be able to reach people via email. But in most cases, you can still get in contact with them via text as long as their batteries are charged.
This is why texts are an ideal way to stay in touch during emergency situations.
Whether you’re dispatching disaster relief supplies or communicating about down power lines, you’ll be able to reach people faster and you’ll also have a better chance of your message getting through.
The same benefit works well in this next situation too.
#7: Use Texts Alongside Your Crisis Hotline
Crisis hotlines share a similar time-sensitive nature as disaster relief and emergency situations, which means you need to communicate quickly and your message needs to actually get through to someone.
But that’s not the only way text messages can help.
See, texts are also the perfect, non-invasive way to offer support.
For example, if someone is unable to call, or is too afraid to reach out, they can use a discreet text instead.
They’ll be able to get the help they need without having to go public with whatever’s going on in their lives if they’re not ready to talk over the phone.
As I mentioned earlier with texts being so personal, this can become a safe, private space where people can feel comfortable enough to speak up. This then helps you build a much deeper relationship and a special bond with someone in need.
As if all these perks aren’t enough, there’s still one more reason to use an online SMS service on our list.
#8: Boost Internal Communications
Texts can also help you eliminate or reduce communication errors within your team.
Instead of your messages getting lost in a giant email chain, you can send direct texts to your teammates or to a small group of people to keep everyone on the same page.
If anyone has questions, they can simply reply back in the group text for everyone to see or privately on the side. This saves you from repeating the same information to different associates 100 times.
Plus, by using texts, you have the same paper trail that email gives you so everyone can refer back to important details in a moment’s notice.
Use Text Messages to Improve Your Nonprofit Today
As you can see, text messages and using an online SMS service can be beneficial for a number of reasons, especially for nonprofits.
Whether you’re trying to raise funds, expand your reach, or improve your internal communication, you’ll find that text messages can help you accomplish all of those tasks and more.
Now that you know how an online SMS service can help your nonprofit, are you ready to get started? If so, sign up for a free 14-day trial today!