Text Giving Q&A

Q. What is Text Giving?

Text Giving allows your donors to give to your organization by simply sending a text message to your organization’s specially reserved phone number. The first time they give, the donor will be prompted to fill out a short sign-up form. But every time after that, giving is as easy as sending a text message.

Q. Can I try it out?

  • Text a gift of any dollar amount to 440-760-0010.
  • If it is your first time giving you will be asked to complete a one-time setup form. It’s short and pops up right in your mobile browser.
  • Fill in your personal (test) information. Use our demo credit card 5454 5454 5454 5454 with any 3 digits for the security code and any expiry date after today, then click Submit.
  • You’ll get a text back right away thanking you for your gift and a receipt will be sent to your email.
  • Now you never need to enter your information again. Just text an amount at any time and your gift is processed automatically!
  • Try giving to a specific fund. Text an amount to Katrina or Child and see the results… “$40 to Katrina”

Q. How do I enable Text Giving and find a phone number?

You can find all the Text Giving settings on the Add-Ons page, under the Organization drop-down. On that page you’ll see a checkbox to enable Text Giving as well as a few other options.

In order to enable Text Giving you need to select a phone number to use. When you click the Search for Number button you’ll get a search dialog. You can fill in any number of digits (or letters) when searching. As an example, if you wanted to find a number that had the word BLUE in it, you’d simply search for “BLUE”. You can also use the asterisk (“*”) as a wildcard when searching. For instance, if you want to find a number in the 626 area code that ends with four one’s, you’d search for: “(626) ***-1111”.

Q. Will I be able to switch my reserved phone number?

Yes, you can switch your phone number at any time. But proceed with caution: You can’t switch back. Your old phone number will be released and will not be available again. Donors will no longer be able to use your old number.

Q. How do donors use Text Giving?

You would instruct your donors to “Text any dollar amount to (555) 555-5555.” Once they text an amount (like “$20” or “120.50”) they would either be sent an acknowledgment for the gift (meaning it processed) or given a short link to click in order to provide their payment information. The donor is prompted by text message with instructions. The whole process is designed to be very simple and self explanatory.

Donors can use both Credit/Debit and E-Check when they set up Text Giving if both are available on your BlueFire account. Unless required, donors are given the option to provide their email address and receive email receipts. If the donor just gave and would like to receive an email receipt, they can text their email address and BlueFire automatically sends out a copy of their receipt for their last gift.

There are a series of text message commands that are made available to the donor throughout the giving process. The donor can text the word SUPPORT at any time to receive some help for basic commands. They are directed your organization’s phone number for additional help, if needed. If they text the word UPDATE they’ll receive a custom link they can use to update their payment information online. They can text the word DELETE if they would like to delete their payment profile from BlueFire and unsubscribe. If the donor unsubscribes from text messages but later changes their mind, they can re-subscribe by texting the word START. If a donor makes a mistake with their gift, REFUND is available to reverse the authorization (up to 4 hours after a donation is made).

You can also see text giving in action by watching this short demo video:

Q. How long until the text gifts are deposited into our bank account?

Text message gifts are processed the same as any other one-time gifts on your account and are deposited in the same amount of time. Please contact your processor if you have specific questions about deposit timelines.

Q. What information do you collect from donors?

We require a donor’s first and last name, billing zip/postal code (and country, if international donations are enabled on your account) along with their payment method. We also store the donor’s mobile phone number and give them the option of entering their email address. You can require the email address of all donors by changing the settings on the Add-Ons page, but we do recommend leaving it as optional for your donors.

Q. Are there any limitations?

We are only able to accept text donations that are at least $10 and no more than $2,000 in an effort to reduce the potential for fraudulent activity and texting mistakes (e.g., accidentally typing an extra zero). While we’ve found that the vast majority of gifts fall within this range, we do inform donors of our limits if they attempt to give outside of them and we send them your organization’s contact info if they inquire about other ways to give. We also prevent a donor from giving the same amount (to the same fund) within 5 minutes, just to be sure we aren’t accidentally processing a duplicate. At this time, we are only able to provide this service to donors with US and Canadian phone numbers.

Q. What about recurring gifts?

Donors will not be able to set up recurring gifts via Text Giving. Text Giving was designed to be incredibly simple, easy and enjoyable to use. As such, we made the decision to leave the complications of recurring giving out of our initial version of Text Giving. Thus far we have found that the experience of Text Giving to be so smooth and barrier-free that automated recurring gifts are not needed. A donor simply pulls out their phone and texts their gift: that’s it!

Q. Can donors login to their existing accounts for Text Giving?

While we do hope to be able to add this feature in the near future, we do not currently offer it. Donors who use Text Giving must enter their payment information manually the first time they attempt to give- whether or not they have already created a separate donor account.

Q. What are Text Giving keywords?

Keywords are words that donors can include in their text message in order to designate their gifts towards a certain fund. You can set up an unlimited number of Text Giving keywords by clicking the Edit Keywords button on the Add-Ons page. As an example, if you wanted to give donors the option of giving towards the youth fund, you could setup the keyword YOUTH and then tell donors to include this keyword after their dollar amount. If they then texted “$50 YOUTH” their $50 donation would be appropriately assigned to the youth fund.

Q. Are there any fees for Text Giving?

There is a monthly fee of $10 for using Text Giving. Your first month is pro-rated and billed after you sign-up. Each monthly after that is billed on the 1st. We bill directly to your organization’s bank information on file with BlueFire. Note that you will receive invoices via email and you will be able to see past invoices on the Account Billing page.

Q. If I disable Text Giving, can I keep my phone number?

Unfortunately not. Once you disable Text Giving or switch to a new phone number, your old number is immediately released and is made unavailable by our telephony service provider.