How to set up Text-to-Donate

Givebutter's 5-digit shortcode allows you to start capturing mobile payments instantly using a completely free SMS solution.

Max Friedman avatar
Written by Max Friedman
Updated over a week ago

Givebutter utilizes a dedicated shortcode – ONLY inbound messages are supported. We do not allow responses to inbound messages to be modified or customized in any way.

With more supporters than ever choosing mobile payment methods, optimizing your campaign pages for mobile devices is essential. Text-to-Donate is a perfect way to engage donors and create a seamless giving experience that can be done from their favorite device.

a cell phone

How does it work? 👀

  • Your supporters text a keyword to 53-555.

  • In response, supporters will automatically receive a link to your secure, mobile-friendly campaign.

  • The unique link is tracked upon click and you'll be able to view stats on how much you've raised with Text-to-Donate.

callout box to text demo to 53-555

Add a Text-to-Donate keyword ⚙️

  • In your dashboard's sidebar menu, click Account, then click Settings.

    an arrow points to settings
  • Select Text-to-Donate in the sub-menu, and click New Keyword.

    new keyword button

  • Choose the campaign you want your new keyword to point to, enter your desired keyword, and click Add. (Keywords should be all-caps, one word, and can contain letters and numbers.)

add button

Your keyword must not be used by any other Givebutter campaign – it must be unique across all of Givebutter. Givebutter reserves the right to review and revoke keywords at any time.

failed keyword

Keyword best practices ⭐

  • Keep your keyword short, clear, and simple.

  • Do not use keywords that are long or hard to spell. The more time a donor spends typing a keyword, the more likely it is for spelling mistakes to occur.

  • Keep auto-correct in mind. If you use abbreviations or a keyword unique to your organization or event, ensure smartphones do not auto-correct the keyword by default.

  • It helps to have a keyword related to your organization or event.

Edit and test your keywords 🛠️

Keywords are managed at the account level, meaning they can be reused to point to any campaign at any time. Simply select the [...] three dots icon next to any Keyword, then click Edit to manage the campaign it points to.

manage keywords

If you want to try it, just text your keyword to 53-555. You will receive a response with a link that brings you to your campaign page.

Each account may have 5 keywords at a time. If you've reached this limit, you can delete a previous keyword using the steps above. You'll then be able to add a new keyword.

Conversion tracking and analytics 📊

Know the effectiveness of campaigns and communications by tracking the number of people who text a given Keyword, the subsequent conversation rates, and the total donations collected.

Text-to-Donate does not currently track which donations correspond to specific keywords. Please see the feature request for additional tracking options, and add a vote if this is an option you would like to see in the future!


Leveraging Text-to-Donate at live events 📢

  • Have a dedicated call to action at your in-person or virtual event. Dedicate some time to verbally captivate your audience’s attention. Encourage them to take out their phones and donate.

  • Make sure your Keyword is easy to say. If you announce it to the group, it must be clear and simple enough for the audience to understand.

  • Make your Keyword visible. If your event is in a large venue, put signage on the walls, televisions/screens, posters, or business cards on tables that include your Keyword and the phone number for donors to text.

  • Update the audience on the progress to your goal. Are you only $5,000 away from hitting your goal? Tell your audience how close you are and discuss the importance of hitting your goal. Everyone wants to be the donor that fills up the goal bar. Let them know about your progress so they have a chance to do so!

  • Don’t be shy. Your audience is attending your event because they want to support your cause. Even if they paid for a ticket, it is quite common for organizations to ask for additional donations at the event itself. People want to help!

Text-to-Donate FAQ 🤔

What is a Text-to-Donate shortcode?

A "shortcode" is a 5-digit number used to send and receive text messages. It functions just like a regular phone number but is easier to remember. Givebutter only uses the shortcode 53-555.

What does it cost to use the shortcode?

Like the rest of Givebutter, Text-to-Donate and using our shortcode is free!

Can I edit the response message?

No, we do not allow responses to inbound messages to be modified or customized.

I heard that shortcodes may disappear. Is that true?

Most major wireless carrier networks in the U.S. no longer accept new shared shortcodes, however, we use a dedicated shortcode that will be valid for the foreseeable future.

What are the charges for Text-to-Donate transactions?

The service itself, like the rest of our platform, is free! If your Text-To-Donate keyword results in a donation, it'll be charged exactly the same way as any other transaction on your account, following the same fee rules you've set for the campaign.

What about international supporters?

Our shortcode can only be used with U.S. phone numbers on U.S. carrier networks that have approved that shortcode. 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, text messages may be delivered, but it’s not guaranteed.

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