Inbound Text to Short Codes for Fundraising & Prospecting at Events

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Stratcom has two short codes that can help charities attract support both at their events and beyond. A short code is a five-digit phone number than can accommodate a high volume of inbound text messages. When paired with a call-to-action and promoted to a target group – such as event attendees – short codes can effectively obtain direct responses from that audience. This could be in the form of donations, donor contact information, or supporter engagement levels. Since most charity events generate a great deal of public attention, the short codes can help charities attract additional public support beyond the event itself.


Our Text-to-Give short code (from the Mobile Giving Foundation of Canada) can take small donations from a cell phone user’s account when they send a keyword to it. The funds are later remitted to the charity by the Mobile Giving Foundation of Canada. It’s quick to use and very convenient. It should be noted that this short code only captures limited information about the donors such as cell phone number, gift amount, and donation date and time. Nevertheless, Stratcom has had success converting these donors to monthly giving through subsequent calling programs.

Common Short Code

Meanwhile, our common short code is much more flexible in terms of direct response. We can program many different auto-reply responses to the keyword. We can return any kind of content through a link in an auto-reply. This could be a link to your donation page for instance. While filling out a donation page may take longer for the donor to complete compared to Text-to-Give, more donor information is captured such as name, email, address, and credit card number.

Not all audiences will be ready to make a donation right away. The short code is also a great tool for prospecting and list building. The keyword can return a to a sign-up form for petitions, pledges or other calls to action. We can return a simple landing page to capture name and email for instance. Cell phone numbers are captured automatically when a keyword is received.

The short code can also be used to recruit volunteers. We can program the auto-reply to be a volunteer registration form, for example.

By promoting either short code to the public, you can build up a new group of supporters. Promoting the short code is very easy. The keyword and short code can be added to print display advertisement such as billboards, bus advertisement, or banners. It can be printed on event T-shirts or lanyards, which volunteers can encourage people to use. On posters, the short code would work well in “linger spaces” such as waiting rooms, subway ads, or bus shelters. The short code can also be announced on the radio or at a rally.

If you’re interested in learning more about using inbound text to short codes at events and find out how it can help your fundraising and prospecting goals, contact Jerome Cheung at

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