Mobile messaging has evolved significantly over the past decade, especially within the nonprofit sector. While organizations have mainly used basic SMS for communications and fundraising, the explosion of smartphone technology and the proliferation of messaging apps have enabled nonprofits to diversify their approach to supporter engagement.
Today, text messaging platforms enable instant, direct interaction with wider audiences, facilitating greater fundraising, awareness campaigns, volunteer coordination, and real-time updates during crises. The open rate for text message marketing is a staggering 98%—which means almost every message you send out will be seen.
The integration of multimedia capabilities, such as video and photo sharing, has further enriched these interactions. Additionally, AI and chatbots have been increasingly employed for automated responses and personalized communication, helping nonprofits engage with supporters more efficiently.
We’ve also seen a shift towards data-driven strategies. More nonprofit organizations are investing in data analytics to tailor their strategies, campaigns, and messages for better engagement and increased impact. This evolution reflects a broader digital transformation in the nonprofit world, underlining the importance of adaptability and innovation in communication.
Advances in text messaging platforms continue to emerge, presenting continued engagement opportunities. Yet the cascade of innovations, updates and upgrades can be overwhelming for even the most savvy nonprofit strategist. Here are four key trends to follow and adopt in 2024.
1. The AI advantage
After decades of development, Artificial intelligence went mainstream in 2023—presenting clear marketing opportunities across all business sectors. Nonprofits can gain greater advantages thanks to AI’s efficiencies and scalability. Areas where AI can strengthen nonprofit mobile messaging include:
Advanced personalization through machine learning: AI-driven algorithms can analyze vast amounts of supporter behavior and preference data, enabling organizations to send hyper-personalized messages. By analyzing past interactions and patterns, AI can help tailor messages that resonate personally with each supporter, increasing the likelihood of engagement and donations.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) and chatbots: NLP allows AI to understand, interpret, and respond to human language naturally and engagingly—to create a more responsive and interactive experience. Nonprofits can use AI-powered chatbots in mobile messaging platforms to interact with supporters, answer questions, provide information, and even facilitate donations.
Predictive analytics for targeted campaigns: AI can predict future supporter behaviors by analyzing past actions. This predictive capability can help organizations identify supporters most likely to engage with content, respond to specific calls to action, or make donations. By tailoring campaigns to these supporters, nonprofits can deliver more effective mobile messaging.
Sentiment analysis for enhanced communication: Advanced AI tools can also evaluate the tone and mood of messages and responses—providing valuable insights into audience emotions and how they perceive content. Nonprofits can then adjust their messaging tone and strategy to align with their supporters’ sentiments, communicate more effectively, and build stronger relationships.
2. Easier, more efficient donations
Advancements in fintech are transforming commerce and accelerating fundraising. Between 2022 and 2023, donations made via mobile giving surged by a staggering 205%. As more people become comfortable with digital transactions, nonprofits can tap into this convenient method.
Organizations can strengthen their mobile messaging and outreach strategies in 2024 by understanding emerging trends and adopting the right technology. By making the donation process more accessible, engaging, and secure for donors, they create greater donor engagement and higher fundraising levels.
Contactless and mobile payments: The rise of contactless payments, including NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, has made it easier for donors to give through mobile devices. This includes mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, which can be integrated into mobile donation platforms. By incorporating these platforms into mobile messaging campaigns, organizations can make the donation process as easy as a tap on the phone.
Social media integration: Social media is on every screen, and donation platforms are continuing to integrate more seamlessly with these channels. Features like donation stickers on Instagram or Facebook’s donation tool allow donors to give directly through social media apps. Mentioning or linking these options in mobile messages can capitalize on the impulse to donate while supporters engage with social media content.
Enhanced security with biometric verification: As mobile payments become more popular and seamless, ensuring security is paramount. Biometric verification methods like fingerprint and facial recognition are now integrated into mobile donation platforms to ensure secure transactions. This protects donors’ information and builds trust in the donation process—thus growing trust in the organization’s brand.
3. Effective, sustainable community-building
Nonprofit strategists know effective community-building is crucial for sustaining long-term support and engagement. New trends in community-building can significantly strengthen mobile messaging practices and help build stronger, more engaged communities.
Leveraging social media for engagement: There’s no question social media is a dominant force in community-building. Beyond broadcasting their messages, organizations are using these platforms to foster interactive communities—and integrating mobile messaging with social channels can enhance this. For example, sharing exclusive content, behind-the-scenes stories, or live updates via text messages can drive followers to a nonprofit’s social media pages, creating a more engaged online community.
Interactive and collaborative experiences: Creating interactive experiences through mobile messaging is another growing trend. This can include real-time Q&A sessions, polls, quizzes, and user-generated content initiatives. Such interactive elements not only engage supporters but also give them a voice, making them active participants in the community rather than passive receivers of information.
Storytelling and emotional connection: Effective storytelling remains a powerful tool for community-building. Nonprofits increasingly use mobile messaging to share impactful stories that connect supporters emotionally to the cause. These stories can be about the people they help, the progress they’ve made, or the challenges they face. Such narratives create a sense of shared purpose and deepen the emotional bonds within the community.
4. Using your CRM as an election prep tool
Integrating your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform with your mobile messaging strategy is crucial for effective communication and engagement —especially in preparation for the 2024 election season. This synergy between CRM and text messaging streamlines outreach efforts and enhances the ability to engage and mobilize supporters efficiently.
Segmentation for targeted messaging: CRM systems enable sophisticated segmentation of supporter databases. Organizations can leverage this to send targeted messages to specific groups. For example, messages can be customized for first-time voters, long-time supporters, volunteers, or those in key geographic locations. This targeted approach ensures the content is relevant, increasing its effectiveness.
Automation and trigger-based messaging: Integrating your CRM with your mobile platform can allow for automation based on specific triggers or supporter actions. For instance, if a supporter signs up for an event and that data is stored within your CRM, mobile subscribers could automatically receive a text message with event details or a thank you message post-event. This automation saves time and resources while ensuring timely and relevant communication.
Real-time engagement and feedback loop: Modern CRM systems can track and record interactions from text messages, allowing for real-time engagement tracking. This feature is particularly important during election campaigns, where understanding supporter sentiment and reactions quickly can be crucial. Organizations can use this immediate feedback to adjust their strategies, respond to questions or concerns, and keep the conversation going.
The platform is everything
Taking advantage of messaging trends and technology requires the right resources. Without the appropriate tools, the opportunities we’ve outlined for 2024 become more difficult to realize. A strong mobile platform empowers organizations to reach their supporters where they are and engage these audiences in the moment.
Read more: Buyer’s Guide to Text Messaging Software
Many top nonprofits rely on Mobile Commons to help boost engagement, increase response rates, and drive supporter action through intuitive features that make mobile messaging more human and efficient.
With Mobile Commons, organizations can reach and talk to thousands of supporters and donors on a one-to-one level. They can send hyper-personalized messages that drive immediate action and collect valuable zero-party data. Mobile Commons also enables busy teams to implement automated, multi-step campaigns—engaging supporters from their first interaction.
For organizations that want to mobilize thousands of supporters at a moment’s notice and transform supporters into action-takers, Mobile Commons is the best option. To learn more, chat with a member of the Mobile Commons team today.