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SMS campaigns key to last-minute donations

A study has found last-minute SMS campaigns motivate donors to give more

A last minute SMS campaign could bring in critical donations, according to a new study that analysed end of financial year (EOFY) giving behaviours.

GiveEasy, an organisation providing digital fundraising techniques to charities, found that text messages that asked for donations during the last two days of the EOFY successfully bought in last-minute donations.

Due to EOFY falling on a Saturday, GiveEasy analysed behaviours by sending out SMSes on both Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th. By doing so, the organisation found that SMSes sent out on the Saturday brought in the best Return on Investment (ROI).

“Saturday is often seen as a family day, with people going about their personal lives,” GiveEasy said. “The key difference is that they have their devices with them. So if you offer an easy to donate solution, people will give. Also, we know that SMS works best with urgency. What better deadline than end of financial year?”

On top of sending SMS campaigns, urgency is a primary motivator in increasing the motivation to donate. Every year, the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation runs their Gold Telethon on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

GiveEasy sends out two messages over this time, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and noted that this is one of their best performing SMS campaigns.

“Why? Because it has urgency. Gold Telethon only happens once a year!”

GiveEasy ran the experiment with a number of charities, including Make a Wish and Destiny Rescue. Both charities chose to send a ‘split test’, which involved sending an identical message on both days. Saturday saw a 20 per cent higher ROI rate.

“When people receive an SMS, it acts as a prompt to give immediately, or donate via other channels. So it’s a win-win. What we have found is that SMS is powerful as a primary giving means, but also fits hand in glove with all other donation asks.”

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