How Nonprofits can Benefit from Advanced Communications

Posted on August 4, 2016

According to a Pew Research Center report from April 2015, sixty-four percent of American adults own a smartphone and the average American sends about 41.5 text messages a day.

If you take it a step further, you’ll find that text messages have a 98% open rate, with 90% read within just three minutes! Yes, you read that correctly! Three minutes versus 90 minutes via email, making SMS a tremendous opportunity for nonprofit organizations to interact with donors in their preferred manner of communication.

The impact SMS has on nonprofits goes well beyond donations, however. They can also utilize messaging for setting up automated surveys or initiate more complex fundraising campaigns. The best part, especially for organizations with limited financial and technology resources, is that it’s easy, far-reaching and fairly inexpensive.

Shortcodes versus long codes

A lot of nonprofit campaigns contact mobile users with a short code number, a five to six digit phone number used to reach large groups of people. Unfortunately, shortcodes can cost up to $10,000 just to get it set up. While that number might be feasible for organizations like the American Red Cross and Feeding America, it’s a figure that’s out of reach for most non-profits.

Luckily, organizations are no longer limited to just shortcodes for their campaigns because companies like Flowroute offer text-enabled 10-digit local and toll-free phone numbers, or “long codes.” One of the best parts about long codes is that they only cost $1-2 to set up, so they’re an affordable option for any organization – large or small.

Long codes enable nonprofits to broaden their reach in a variety of ways.

2-way text interaction: This is a text interaction that requires a human to respond to each message. This is a very personalized engagement, which can be created by setting up an intelligent workflow. Taking a more personal approach to your text interactions typically yields the highest value to your users. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides a text hotline for people in crisis, is a good example of how nonprofits are providing 2-way interactions.

Create an interactive experience: Think bigger than just donations by creating a more interactive experience. This can be a survey, a game, a poll or some other fun way that someone can interact and give back to your organization through an automated SMS messaging flow.

Reminders and Alerts: Deliver useful reminders or alerts that provide upcoming deadlines. For example, United We Dream created a text reminder tool that reminds immigrants when major immigration deadlines are approaching. Many nonprofits also see success with notifying supporters when they are nearing a major goal, whether it is donations, volunteer spots or supplies this can be an easy way to engage your community with support efforts.

There are some use cases that nonprofits can create by utilizing voice and messaging capabilities to deliver unique user experiences. By simply adding a text-enabled number to your offline and online channels, nonprofits typically see a 5-10x response rate. That’s huge!

Text enabling your nonprofit with Flowroute

Flowroute offers qualified organizations discounted communications solutions and access to helpful resources to nonprofits. Our goal is to find organizations that align with Flowroute’s purpose of delivering innovative communication experiences.

Interested in adding SMS capabilities to your next campaign? Drop us a note to discuss how to revolutionize your user experience.

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