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Elevate your Giving Day with P2P texting

A how-to guide for texting experts and newcomers alike.

Rachel Cleary

Director of Education Sales

Giving days: whether you love them or hate them, they’re well-established as an important piece of overall annual giving strategy. And when you meet the challenge & knock it out of the park, your giving day can get you a long way towards meeting your overall yearly goal.

If you’re a veteran of P2P texting for university, nonprofit, or K-12 fundraising, you know that texting amplifies your efforts and lifts up existing channels without dragging you down with a ton of extra work. And if you’ve never utilized a P2P texting app before or it hasn’t been a big part of your campaign strategy, you might not know where to start—but we’re here to help. Let’s get to it!

Why ThruText?

GetThru’s P2P texting tool, ThruText, empowers you to have real, two-way conversations with your donors where they are: on their phones. ThruText is a powerful philanthropy tool for many reasons. We’ll highlight just a few:

  • ThruText offers a time-saving Quick-Send tool, which allows senders to click once to send out their messages while remaining 10DLC compliant.
  • Our Education partners can leverage MMS, also known as the ability to add an image or .GIF to an initial message, at no additional charge.
  • ThruText’s custom fields allow you to personalize your text messages with variable text. We highly recommend including fields like last gift amount, ask amount, and designation so that folks know that you’ve done your homework before making a solicitation.
  • ThruText’s data upload tool scrubs your phone numbers for you, removing anything that isn’t a textable cell phone. You can pull that data back and update internal records, but just as importantly, you’ll never have to worry about paying to text phone numbers that you can’t actually reach.
  • ThruText’s recommended replies allow you to pre-write your script but customize responses along the way as needed, ensuring authentic conversations. Additionally, it’s exportable data collection tool lets you track conversation data such as who plans to give, opt out reason, or refusal reason—the sky’s the limit.
  • Our team are experts in the world of 10DLC compliance, and we’ll be ready to step in to help during any stage of the registration process.
  • Most importantly: with an open rate of 95%+, ThruText facilitates real conversations between real humans.

Planning, strategy, and messaging

As a fundraiser, you know how important it is to create a solid plan and stick to it when launching a Giving Day campaign. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when defining your peer-to-peer strategy:

  • Who do you want to reach?
  • How will you segment fundraising data for texting?
  • What’s your fundraising messaging for each segment?
  • Who will send the texts?
  • When will you send texts? How will texting fit into existing strategy?

Let’s workshop that and create a sample plan!

  • Who do you want to reach on Giving Day?
    We want to make sure to reach as many supporters as possible, and Giving Day will enable us to cast that wide net while being strategic with messaging.
  • How will you segment that data for texting?
    - LYBUNTs
    - SYBUNTs/Acquisition
    - Parent donors
    - Senior class gift
    - Graduates of the last 5 years
    - Faculty & staff
  • What’s your messaging for each segment?
    - LYBUNTs → Renew your donation today—emphasize gratitude for loyal giving
    - SYBUNTs/Acquisition → Make an impact on this important day & join something special
    - Senior class gift → Make your Challenge Gift contribution today and help your class get even closer to their goal
    - Graduates of the last 5 years → Make a gift today - emphasizing friendly competition between classes
  • Who will send the texts?
    Our University Development Associate will manage the day-of send, with an assist from our phonathon callers/student workers
  • When will you send texts? How will texting fit into our existing Giving Day calendar?
    We will send one save the date text to the full list prior to giving day. Our day-of texts will complement our email and social media strategy, with a first text being sent at 10AM local time and a reminder (with a report on what's been raised so far) being sent at 5PM local time.

Getting your message out

Having a solid plan is half the battle. Now, let’s talk about crafting engaging messaging that will get your alumni and donors excited and ready to support their alma mater's annual fund on Giving Day. Here are our four top tips:

  • Be professional, but make it fun. Texting isn’t like a direct mail piece: you don’t need to address people with prefixes or use formal language (unless your donors have indicated this preference.) At the same time, it’s still best practice to fully spell out words and avoid acronyms.
  • Brevity helps. In order to grab and keep people’s attention, the name of the game here is keeping it short and sweet. While ThruText does not have a character limit, we recommend aiming to stay at 160 characters or below.
  • Use an authentic voice. This relates to our first tip—when texting your community, think about the types of messaging that you might respond to via text. Pro tip: spend some time thinking about what will inspire your audience!
  • Tell your donors what they need to know to help them get excited and engaged for this special event. Along with being a key part of your annual strategy, Giving Days are also super fun. Make sure you’re sharing information with your community that will help them feel part of the excitement—whether matching gift opportunities, progress to dollar goal, or the impact of gifts made on giving day.

Start off strong

But what types of messaging works best? We’ve found that the best performing initial follow a simple structure:

  • Introduce yourself and why you’re reaching out before asking for a donation
  • Personalize your messaging with variable text
  • Ask a question to prompt engagement

Here’s an example!
"Hi [FIRST NAME], this is [SENDER NAME] from [SCHOOL NAME]. Today is giving day and everyone on campus is excited! Your last donation of [AMOUNT] helped us to fund [EXAMPLE HERE]. Can we count on you to participate & renew your support on this important day?”

Keep the conversation going

When setting up your texting drive, lean on ThruText’s recommended reply tool to ensure you have a strong script built out in advance. Here are a few examples of what types of replies to include:

  • Yes, will give: “Thanks so much, FIRST NAME! Here’s a link to donate and to check out our leaderboard: {link}.”
  • No, won’t give: “I understand, FIRST NAME! Thanks for your previous generosity. Feel free to reach out with any questions."
  • Already gave: “Thank you so much, FIRST NAME! We appreciate you making the choice to donate, and your generous support makes a difference. Here's a link in case you'd like to see our progress on the leaderboard: {link}.”
  • Why should I give today? What does my gift support?: “Great question, FIRST NAME! Your donation helps us fund {examples from your institution here!}”

Picture this: your Giving Day event is over. You crushed your goal, and texting was a huge success. What next?

First, make sure to celebrate! And then set aside some time for reporting. Here are a few ideas for ensuring that you can collect meaningful data.

  • Track alumni who pledged to give via text in case later follow-up is needed.
  • By segment, examine data & trends on response rates, pledges, fulfillment, number of returning versus new donors, and so on. This data will help guide your texting strategy in the future.
  • Don’t forget to do your contact reports! (Hint: use ThruText reports to pull a list of everyone you texted. Your Advancement Services friends will thank you!)
  • Share your success, such as stats on number of donors and dollars raised, with your colleagues and higher-ups so that they can congratulate you on a job well done.

Ready to try it for yourself?

Write to to reach our Sales team, and visit our website for more tips, best practices, and case studies from current clients.

Happy texting!


Rachel Cleary

Before GetThru, Rachel spent years in higher education and non-profit fundraising. She now brings that experience to our education clients, where she provides strategic support and sales expertise. Outside of work, you can find her listening to Broadway musicals, making pasta from scratch, or hanging out with her dog, Sadie (sometimes all at the same time!).

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