Given that its earlier iterations were relatively limited, text-to-give technology still has a negative reputation in the fundraising world.
Lingering misconceptions about text-to-give costs have caused many nonprofits to continue missing out on this lucrative fundraising channel. They worry that they can only accept small donation amounts, that it will take weeks (or, in some cases, months) to see their funds, and worst of all…that they’ll have to shell out a fortune for text-to-give software.
That’s why we’re here to clear up some of the myths surrounding text-to-give pricing. This handy article will walk you through everything you need to know about how much text-to-give actually costs, answering questions such as:
- How are text-to-give packages priced?
- What if we exceed the pre-set number of text messages?
- Are there any additional fees associated with text-to-give?
- Will my nonprofit have to spend thousands of dollars on a shortcode?
- Will we have to split funds with our donors’ service carriers?
While our answers will be specific to OneCause’s service, this article should give you a better understanding of text-to-give costs more universally, too. Many vendors handle text-to-give pricing similarly, so this knowledge will be invaluable as you begin your search for software.
Q: How are text-to-give packages priced?
Most vendors sell multiple text-to-give packages to accommodate nonprofits with various needs. Depending on what other services the vendor provides, these packages may only include text-to-give software, or it might encompass other types of fundraising tools, too.
OneCause offers three affordable Text2Give packages. The list price of each of our packages covers the keyword(s), number of supporter text messages, text-to-give scoreboards, and vendor support.
Here are the packages available for your nonprofit to choose from:
- 1 keyword
- 10,000 text messages
- 1 scoreboard
- Access to our online Knowledgebase (product forum) and email support
- 3 keywords
- 30,000 text messages
- 3 scoreboards
- Access to our online Knowledgebase, email support, and phone support
- 5 keywords
- 50,000 text messages
- 5 scoreboards
- Access to our online Knowledgebase, email support, phone support, and a strategy session
For complete pricing information (including convenience fee discounts!), check out our detailed pricing breakdown.
Q: What if we exceed the pre-set number of text messages?
Never fear! If your organization is doing really well during your text-to-give campaign and you happen to surpass the number of text messages that are built into your package, you can usually add on more for a nominal additional cost.
At OneCause, we won’t charge you for each text message that exceeds the maximum of your package. Instead, once you reach your cap, we’ll automatically charge you a flat $2oo fee for an extra 10,000 messages.
This fee is consistent across all packages, meaning it doesn’t increase if your organization opts for our Complete or Advanced package.
Additionally, the fee won’t go up if you happen to exceed those 10,000 messages, too. We’ll just keep charging you $200 for 10,000 text messages as long as you need more!
Q: Are there any additional fees associated with text-to-give?
There are some additional fees commonly associated with text-to-give packages, but don’t worry—they’re pretty minimal.
Text-to-give services are commonly subject to convenience and payment processing fees.
Convenience fees are charged by the text-to-give vendor to help cover support services, software updates, data and transaction management, and other areas meant to help improve both the text-to-give technology itself and your nonprofit’s experience with it.
Payment processing fees go directly to the payment processor, the service that’s integrated with your text-to-give software to take care of the monetary transaction behind text giving.
As you can see, both of these fees are necessary to keep your text-to-give software up and running to its full potential.
Let’s break down how OneCause calculates these fees to help you get an idea of what you’ll actually be paying when it comes to the total text-to-give package.
- Essential: 5% of total transactions
- Complete: 4% of total transactions
- Advanced: 3% of total transactions.
Limited time promotion: If you order OneCause’s Text2Give service soon, we’ll waive your convenience fee for the year. Learn more here!
Payment Processing Fees
- Visa, MasterCard, and Discover: 3.95% + $0.35 per transaction
- American Express: 4.35% + $0.35 per transaction
Note: With OneCause’s service, your organization can give donors the option to cover these fees, and many donors will! While you should of course still factor payment processing fees into your software budget, your organization likely won’t have to worry about paying them for most transactions.
Q: Will my nonprofit have to spend thousands of dollars on a shortcode?
The short answer: no.
The longer answer: you may have to pay additional money for a shortcode depending on which text-to-give vendor you’re using. But with OneCause’s service, this cost never comes into play.
Many text-to-give services differentiate between their clients’ transactions by assigning each nonprofit a unique shortcode. If you’re working with a vendor who uses this model, you’ll likely have to pay for your phone number.
At OneCause, however, we use a universal vendor shortcode (243725 or BIDPAL) to handle every transaction so that your nonprofit never has to shell out extra money for a phone number.
All donors will text their donations to this number, regardless of which nonprofit they’re giving to. Organizations and campaigns are instead differentiated by keywords (a unique word or phrase that donors will initially text in the body of their messages), which are built into the base price of your text-to-give package.
Q: Will we have to split funds with our donors’ service carriers?
We’ve covered all of the upfront costs of text-to-give, but what about those on the backend?
Many nonprofits are hesitant to get started with text-to-give because they worry that a portion of their hard-raised funds will go directly into the pockets of their donors’ cell service carriers. However, we’re happy to report that this is a misguided assumption left over from earlier versions of text-to-give.
Remember those payment processing fees we were talking about earlier? Those fees exist so that your organization doesn’t have to split proceeds with service providers.
In earlier text-to-give models, donations were added onto donors’ phone bills to be paid with the rest of their cell service. That meant that all donations first had to go through the hands of the service provider, who could take whatever percentage of the donation they deemed fair.
Now, most text-to-give platforms are equipped with their own payment processing services, meaning that all donations are processed separately from donors’ cell service fees.
The cell service carrier won’t even see your donations, so they won’t have the chance to take part of what you’ve raised!
Now that we’ve walked you through the actual costs of text-to-give, we hope that your nonprofit feels more confident taking advantage of this lucrative donation channel.
To learn more about text-to-give, check out these additional resources:
- Text-to-Give: How to Pick the Perfect Software and Raise More Money through Mobile – Learn everything you need to know about text-to-give software in this comprehensive guide. We walk through the feautres and benefits of text giving, common questions about text-to-give software, how to find the right provider, and much more!
- Webinar: Text2Give Trends, Best Practices, and Usage Opportunities – Check out this recording of our webinar for incredible insight into text giving technology. You’ll walk away with new knowledge for using your text-to-give technology to the fullest!
- Ideas on Scripting a Stellar Donation Appeal with Text2Give – Text giving is perfect for events, but only if you know how to call your guests to action! Read our guide to scripting a live appeal that will compel your event attendees to donate through text-to-give.
- Video: OneCause Text2Give: Discover All That Text Message Fundraising Can Offer – Learn more about OneCause’s solution to text-to-give and gain some great ideas for how to use Text2Give at your organization.
- Mobile Giving: 5 Tips for Using Text2Give – Ready to implement text giving at your nonprofit? Check out these top tips to make the most of your mobile giving software and maximize your fundraising potential.