Fundraising is the lifeblood of all types of worthy organizations. Whether you’re the Red Cross, a local Girl Scouts troop, a national Fraternity, or a candidate for president of the United States, asking for donations drives the operating budgets for over a million organizations in the US alone.
Over the years, the ways these types of organizations have driven donations has gone through many evolutions alongside changes in technology and social norms. In the analog world, fundraising started as a 1 to 1 activity of simply asking individuals for money in person and as a 1 to many by making announcements in front of large groups (i.e. a pastor announcing to the sermon).
Fast forward to the digital age and fundraising has taken on many new form factors that allow for speed and scale. Phone banking, mass email, and digital advertising are a few of the tools that dominated the last 20 years of fundraising. In the last 5 years however, consumer sentiment toward those 3 channels has changed the way fundraisers reach donors. Over 80% of people do not pick up phone calls, email open rates are plumetting below 10%, and digital ads have lost its ROI for fundraising.
In the 2016 Democratic Primaries, Bernie Sanders put a spotlight on SMS outreach for donations with his text-to-donate program. His campaign’s embrace of text messaging as a means to communicate with and ask for donations from supporters ushered in a new era for fundraising. Today, text based fundraising is still in the early innings of growth but companies have not waited to help innovate on top of the baseline technology. From text-to-donate, peer-to-peer text outreach, to chat bots, many new technologies have emerged to help supercharge fundraising via text message.
At Tape, we saw the value of the 98% open rates that text messaging delivers as just the starting point. Our roots in working with sales and marketing teams helped us embrace the idea that convincing anyone to do something is all about making meaningful contact and building trust, which plain text messaging falls short at. Our goal was to help organizations upgrade text messaging from being just a notification channel (*ding* please donate) to a digital doorknocking tool where people will answer and give you the opportunity to make a heartfelt, face-to-face request to support a worthy cause. The science (https://hbr.org/2017/04/a-face-to-face-request-is-34-times-more-successful-than-an-email) and our own case studies are eye opening when it comes to showing how effective Tape can be.
The best part? It’s super simple to get started supercharging fundraising using Tape
Steps to start using Tape for fundraising
First choose a tool/platform to send text messages to your potential donors. There is a plethora of great tools to help with mass outreach and peer-to-peer messaging, but using your own phone (and volunteers’ phones) is also a great place to start.
Next, signup for an account with Tape to start creating your first campaign. Our Free tier makes it super easy to get started and will work for smaller fundraising efforts.
Once your account is setup, you can record a selfie video to load into your campaign. We provide a recording app for iOS and Android, but feel free to record videos straight from your phone’s camera. What you say is up to you, but remember this is your opportunity to introduce yourself and the cause. When you humanize the organization, describe why supporting is so important, and explicitly asking them to donate – the results can be incredible. For more tips on video recording, check out
Don’t forget the Call-to-Action button! One of the best parts of Tape’s mobile video player is the built-in Call-to-Action (CTA) button. This allows you to drive towards donations straight from the video. We even recommend physically pointing to the bottom of your screen when you ask people to donate “just tap here to donate!”.
Once your video story is fully loaded with your CTA, grab the video link and our video preview gif (optional) and send it with some personalized text copy. Something like:
“Hey [NAME]! It’s Jason from the Tape Foundation. I’m reaching out b/c I thought you’d be excited to learn more about how we’re supporting the local community. I recorded a quick video message for you here. Just tap this link to watch👉 https://the.tape.app/w/eXaMP13”
Let us know how it goes in the comments! We’re excited to start helping the next generation of worthy causes be more effective in their fundraising abilities.