6 Ways a Nonprofit Can Use SMS Marketing

05/25/2021 3 min read Written by Kelly Groover

All nonprofits can agree that engaging with their base is key to their success.  SMS marketing is one way to communicate with your contacts in a way that feels more personal than an email blast or robocall.

The stats back it up, too. With a nearly 100% open rate, messages sent in milliseconds, and higher conversion rates than other digital marketing strategies, it only makes sense to give it a try. You may end up boosting your donations or uplifting your volunteers!

If you’re interested in SMS marketing for your nonprofit, here are a few ways to use it.

Allow Your Donors to Opt-In

First, you should consider using SMS in an omnichannel approach. You can do this by including your SMS marketing number in your email newsletter, in direct mail, on your website, or essentially any other area where you reach out to your contacts. Include an encouraging yet straightforward message to get them to sign up. Once they’ve opted-in, your subsequent campaigns should be more successful.

Promote Your Brand

Make your services known with SMS. After your users have opted-in, you can send a slew of campaigns like upcoming events, ways to interact with your organization, your mission, volunteer highlights, and more. If you think it’s useful for your contacts to know, consider creating an SMS campaign for it.


SMS marketing is great for collecting donations from new and repeat donors. Just be sure to segment your lists of donors and have a good relationship with them before sending a message like, “Are you ready to save the pandas? Text DONATE to 72632.” If you send a campaign like this to someone who recently started interacting with you, you may get lackluster results. If you’re texting a regular, you may be surprised at how willing they are to give via SMS.

Fundraising through SMS marketing is particularly useful in emergencies, as you can get a message to someone quicker than an email or direct mail. For example, imagine a natural disaster strikes your area, and your nonprofit is perfectly aligned to help. An SMS campaign could garner excellent results, which in turn, would assist people in need.

Thank Donors

After you’ve received a donation, use SMS to say thank you in a more personal way. If you receive donations regularly and think you can’t keep up, multiple SMS platforms can easily automate this communication. All you’d need to do is build a workflow that triggers a heartfelt message after someone has donated, signed up for an event, or registered to volunteer. Whatever you want to show gratitude for, you can send a quick and easy follow-up text.

Register Volunteers

Where would a nonprofit be without its volunteers? With SMS marketing, there’s no need to worry. Your team can send out campaigns asking for volunteers for different events or regular work through simple texts. Include a branded link to sign up for the event to personalize your message, and don’t forget to send confirmation and reminder texts as the volunteer date approaches. You can even personalize their name by using an SMS platform.

Internal Communications

There are many moving parts to any nonprofit. Streamline your communication through SMS by sending announcements and other texts to employees and volunteers. Whether they’re in the field, in the office, or at home, they’ll surely get the message and be on top of things like events, employee surveys, benefits, company holidays, and more. 

Getting Started

What’s next? We’d recommend choosing your SMS solution so you can start creating your campaigns and workflows. Choosing a platform that seamlessly integrates with your CRM/CMS will make for an even better experience.

At Lynton, our choice is the Twilio HubSpot extension from our product brand, SyncSmart. It's an excellent tool for nonprofits looking to improve their SMS marketing strategy. With the 1:1 messaging workflow, you can engage with supporters on a more personal level, which can lead to increased donations and engagement. Additionally, the ability to send behavior-based texts allows your team to tailor their messages to the individual recipient, creating a more personalized experience for your contact. This can help nonprofits better connect with their audience, and ultimately drive more meaningful outcomes.

Whether you're looking to increase donations, promote an event, or simply keep supporters informed, the Twilio HubSpot extension from SyncSmart is a valuable resource for nonprofits looking to improve their SMS marketing efforts. Download it today! 

By: Kelly Groover

Kelly serves as the Specialist of People and Talent for Lynton. She lives in Savannah, GA with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. When she's not managing conversion rates and lead generation for the company, she's typically playing soccer or watching football.

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