Difference Between Text-to-Give and Text-to-Donate [ A Nonprofit’s Guide]

July 17, 2021


One of the most used items on earth is the mobile phone. Nearly 5.3 billion people use mobile phones. The sheer power that mobile phones can have is astonishing. It is safe to assume that almost everyone is connected in this world and tapping into that can yield impressive results.

One of the ways nonprofits can tap into the network of mobile phones in the world is through text-to-give and text-to-donate. In the last few years, mobile donations have increased exponentially. This indicates nonprofits are already leveraging the utility of mobile phones and it is time for you to do so too.

The options

There are two options that directly use the mobile phone’s utility of being connected to a network; text-to-give and text-to-donate. Through both these options, the user chooses to donate to a nonprofit via text message.

These options are extremely well-received by users. Texts are easy, convenient, and have better engagement as compared to emails. There is also the distinct advantage of a text message being not extremely invasive like that of a phone call, yet at the same time making it feel personal. Texts also allow your organization to engage in a conversation with the donor directly.

It is these qualities that make both options very advantageous. In the following sections, we shall take a look at each of these options, differentiating them and helping you make an informed choice.


A classic way to raise funds, text-to-give enables donors to contribute to a campaign by simply texting a keyword or a key phrase to a shortcode. The latter is a number used by businesses and organizations.

In text-to-give campaigns, the amount is pre-determined by the donor and the carrier. These amounts are limited to denominations of 5 and go up to 25. Once this is set up, you simply have to promote the shortcode and the keyword or key phrase throughout all channels. However, nonprofits have to meet certain requirements before they are eligible for text-to-give. Ensure that your organization has met these requirements before enlisting.


For nonprofits looking for a wide variety of amounts and ones that require more whole amounts, text-to-donate is the way to go. In this model, you also get the same keyword/ phrase and shortcode system. The only difference is that when the shortcode is sent, instead of a donation amount you get a link to the checkout page. Donors can click on the link and enter the amount they wish to donate.

When you use a text-to-donate platform, it securely stores the information and makes the process even easier for the nonprofit.

Which one should you choose?

Ideally, you should opt for a text-to-donate system. The system makes it easy for donors to donate a suitable amount to your cause. The system is easy and the user feels like they have more control over it. Nonprofits can also add the option to make it a recurring donation by including a check box. To discontinue the donation, donors have to simply text back STOP.

It directly takes the user to your site so that they can learn about the cause and the organization, instead of just a donation. It comes with all the advantages of a text-to-give system without any of the drawbacks.


It seems fairly obvious that both of these systems of raising funds through text messages are quite beneficial. These methods open up the doors for virtually anyone to give donations to your organizations, all they need to do is own a mobile phone.


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