How to Use Text to Support Your Upcoming Charity Fundraising Event

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As spring approaches, preparations are under way at many charities that sponsor participatory fundraising events. The success of any charity fundraising event depends heavily on supporter participation. Text (SMS) can not only support the recruitment and registration of event participants, it can also be used to deepen participant engagement and bring them closer to the charity’s mission. 

With increasing levels of competition for attention and spam in email marketing, few other ways have the ability to cut through the clutter and grab your supporters’ attention like text (SMS). Text has a 95 percent read rate, easily surpassing the current open rates of email.  

Text messages can be broadcast and replies can be automated with keywords to share further content through URL links. Since 88% of Canadians now own a smartphone, a host of potential content can be shared with supporters by moving them from the text environment and into their browsers.  

Text also has a peer-to-peer component through which charities can engage supporters in a more personalized and customized fashion. Stratcom’s text platform can additionally personalize every text using variable fields. 

Here are a few ways text can support your fundraising event communications. 

Event Registration Text 

Reach out to your past event participants with a personalized text invitation to participate in  your fundraising event again. By coordinating this text with the email version of the invitation, you can have the two separate channels mutually support each other. A link to your registration page can be sent to past participants by text so they can conveniently fill it out on their smartphones. 

Community Story Sharing Text 

Crowd-source inspiring stories through a text broadcast calling on past participants to share their motivation to join your event in the past. These stories can then be shared back to the community through a slow drip on social media leading up to event day. Sharing stories from other participants helps the community understand why people choose to join the event. Sharing how much money they raised can also serve to inspire their fellow participants to to raise more funds themselves. 

Fundraising Challenge Text 

During the fundraising period leading up to the event date, send out occasional fundraising challenges to encourage participants, to build excitement, and boost fundraising. Imagine sending a link to a video from a celebrity ambassador to the smartphones of all your participants encouraging them to strive for a higher fundraising goal. Or share a particularly inspiring story identified from the Community Story Sharing Text and recruit the story’s participant to issue the fundraising challenge. Additionally, these challenges could also update participants about how much has been raised so far and how much further there is to go. 

Fundraising Clinic Text 

As a way of further involving participants, recruit some top fundraising participants from past years to take part in a peer-to-peer fundraising clinic. This clinic would start with a text broadcast to all registered participants with an offer of fundraising advice.   


Hi [Name of Participant], our top [Name of Event] fundraisers are standing by for the next three hours to offer tips and advice on maximizing your fundraising effort. Text back any fundraising question you have to chat with these successful participants.

The conversations the participants have with these top fundraisers will not only help boost fundraising, it will also build a sense of community among participants. Building this sense of community may promote higher rates of participation in future events. 

Mission Cultivation Text 

One unfortunate element of event participants is the fact that they are often less aware of, or interested in, your core mission than other supporters. Some are simply attracted to the novelty of the event’s physical challenge, for example. As a result, it is often difficult to convince them to support your charity through other revenue streams such as annual or monthly giving. 

A cultivation text is a great way to promote the ultimate purpose of all this fundraising and raise participants’ awareness of your mission. A light-hearted way to do this is to send a quiz to the participants. By answering multiple choice questions about your mission and work participants can learn how their fundraising is helping advance that mission. Stratcom’s quiz format is set-up so that the answer is revealed after each question is completed making it easy for participants to learn. 

Event Reminder Text 

A few days before the event, a text reminder can be sent to all participants with any last minute logistic or scheduling information. You could also add interesting updates or announcements to raise excitement for the event. For instance, announce the number of expected event participants or the confirmed participation of any celebrities. 

We can also add a Google map to the reminder text to help participants plan their visit to the event locations. 

Post-Event Thank You and Survey Text 

Round up the event with a thank you text to all participants. Announce the fundraising goal achieved to share the accomplishment of all involved.  At the same time invite participants to take a survey to gather valuable feedback to further improve future events.  

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