Text to Give vs. Mobile Giving Apps: Which One is Better?

The type of fundraising mechanism you decide to go with will have a massive impact on the outcome you get from your fundraising exercise. While many strategies are available to raise funds, organizations – and individuals alike – have never grown weary of utilizing mobile give apps and the text-to-give option. 

These two fundraising strategies are among the most popular, and it may sometimes be hard to decipher which of them will give the best or most satisfying result. To help you make an informed decision, we will elect to beam some light on these two fundraising strategies.

Text to Give vs. Mobile Giving Apps: Which One is Better?


The text-to-give strategy entails giving by sending a specific sum of money through an SMS. This method is typically done in collaboration with your mobile phone carrier, and you can only activate it after meeting some laid-down standards. 

Many non-profit organizations like churches and charity organizations are now adopting the text-to-give strategy for their fundraising campaigns. The popularity of the text-to-give approach is a function of its easy set-up and accessibility. 

Plus, the fact that one can achieve this with any mobile phone – whether internet-enabled or not – has increased its use. Notwithstanding, you must strive to choose the best text to give a platform for optimal (fundraising) outcome.

Text-to-give Fundraising

Getting down to the nitty-gritty of it, the fundraiser will first create keywords specific to the fundraising campaign and obtain a unique shortcode from the mobile phone carrier. Donors can then use the keyword to send a certain amount of money to the shortcode. The money is deducted from the donor’s phone bill and remitted to the fundraiser. That said, the sum of money billed or sent per time is usually limited with the text-to-give model, although giving can be set up in a recurring manner.

Best practices

Any organization aiming to adopt the text-to-give option must consider certain best practices, which are highlighted below:

  • Use of simple and precise keywords. You should thoughtfully select your keyword as it provides an avenue to customize the message – albeit minutely.
  • Use text-to-give along with other [methods of giving].
  • Create awareness about your text-to-give strategy through advertisement.


  • Easy to set up and use
  • Fast means of giving
  • Appreciable accessibility 
  • Highly convenient
  • Encouraged long-term giving


  • Limited giving per time
  • The options of money that an individual can select are fixed
  • It doesn’t allow for much customization
  • Delay in remittance of funds to the fundraiser
  • It doesn’t leave room for a sustainable relationship with donors

Mobile giving apps

Mobile giving apps are simply a set of software designed explicitly for fundraising purposes. These apps are the best choice when fundraisers wish to make their fundraising campaigns more customized. You provide potential donors with the descriptions and details of the needs at hand, thus increasing the chances of getting more funds.

These apps work seamlessly on iOS and Android devices, and people can download them from the relevant app store. The main advantage of these apps is that they are user-friendly and have features that enable donors to give without limitations. 

In essence, mobile giving apps are a good choice when you intend to raise funds for a big project. Donors can enter any amount of money they want to offer and also have access to giving history – just in case they wish to do recurring giving. 

Mobile giving apps

The best mobile giving apps can serve as an efficient financial reporting tool. This functionality is down to how the app forms an integrated architecture with other apps like QuickBooks, and they can generate tax receipts and periodic giving reports. 

Mobile giving apps will provide the avenue to follow up on donors and send them a “thank you” message. You can yet strike a good connection with the donors; this opens the door to providing regular updates on how the funds are being used for the intended project(s). 

There are mobile giving apps that present you with insightful analytics on the giving habits of donors. Such analytics can be valuable as they enable you to develop a more centered/targeted approach to fundraising.    

Best practices

  • Choose a user-friendly mobile giving app.
  • Avoid asking for too many details via the donation form.
  • Remember to request that potential donors activate the recurring giving option.


  • Highly customizable
  • Easy to use
  • Convenience is guaranteed
  • Unrestrictive giving
  • Better trackability
  • Promotes follow-up
  • Considerably flexible and versatile


  • It may have limited features
  • It may be somewhat pricey


The two giving methods have several benefits, but you should not settle for one just because it has fewer limitations than the other. It would be best if you put a couple of factors into perspective, and this is majorly incumbent on the extent of your needs. 

A church looking to have another means of collecting offerings, apart from the traditional method, can quickly adapt the text-to-give option. The good news is that some of those cons have been effectively addressed by a few text-to-give platforms. 

Donorbox, for instance, has introduced a way of following up on your donors to build a strong connection. Again, Donorbox’s text-to-give platform makes it possible for fundraisers to get their money as quickly as possible – delayed remittance is out of the picture. You can do your research on them.

On the other hand, mobile giving apps have a broader use range – this speaks volumes of their versatility. 

Apart from fundraising, these apps can also be handy for other needs, which is why they are often the top choice for political campaigns. Political office aspirants can use mobile giving apps to request volunteers to sign up and donate to the cause at hand. 

With the discussion in this article, you should be better guided in choosing between the text-to-give and mobile giving app fundraising methods. However, you must be mindful to regularly review the result you’re getting irrespective of the fundraising method(s) you use. 

Nonetheless, it would help if you do not hesitate to contact the customer support of a top provider in case you are struggling to determine the fundraising method that will be more suited to your needs.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

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