SMS giving for smartphones

The problem with a lot of text message donation systems is that they only support one-off, micro donations, like £1, £2, £5, £10 etc (or in your own local currency). With ChurchSuite Donate via SMS we've gone back to the drawing board and completely reimagined giving for the smartphone age. Not only can givers make one-off donations of any size, now they can even make weekly and monthly recurring donations - all from their smartphone!

How does this work?

First you'll need to ensure that the Textlocal or Twilio Integration is correctly set-up on your account. Now, for a giver to make a recurring or one-off donation from their smartphone, all they need to do is to send a simple text message, as explained below. In return, they'll receive an SMS with an embedded link to ChurchSuite Donate with their donation details pre-populated into the Donate page. All they then need to do is review the details of their donation, enter an email address and basic contact details, select whether to Gift Aid their donation (UK only) and supply card details or direct debit bank account details (depending on the giving methods you've enabled for Donate and the supported giving methods for your country/region).

Textlocal

For Textlocal, the giver sends an SMS to 60777 containing your organisation's Textlocal keyword, followed by the word give, followed by the amount they wish to give one off and adding an m or w at the end if they want their donation to recur monthly or weekly. Here's some examples of supported SMS donation messages (where 'KHC' is an example Textlocal keyword)...

  • KHC give £500 will pre-fill the Donate form for a one-off £500 donation.
  • KHC give £100m will pre-fill the Donate form for a £100/month recurring donation. Other supported recurring monthly formats are KHC give £100/m, KHC give £100mo, KHC give £100/mo, KHC give £100month, KHC give £100/month, KHC give £100monthly.
  • KHC give £10w will pre-fill the Donate form for a £10/week donation. Other supported recurring weekly formats are KHC give £10/w, KHC give £10week, KHC give £10/week, KHC give £10weekly, KHC give £10/weekly.
  • KHC give £250 £125m will pre-fill the Donate form for a one-off £250 donation and a £125/month recurring donation.
  • The currency symbol is always optional. Upper, lower and mixed case characters are recognised.
  • KHC give will also work, opening the Donate form with no donation amounts pre-populated.

In order to use the SMS Giving feature with Textlocal, in addition to completing the Textlocal integration, you'll also need to complete a further Textlocal account configuration step. Login to your Textlocal account. From the dashboard select the Settings option for your Textlocal 'keyword inbox' (accessed via 1. Receive > 2. View Inboxes > 3. Settings)...

Enter secure.churchsuite.co.uk/textlocal.php?account=accountID into the Forward incoming messages to a URL box as shown below and tick to Use SSL (https). Your accountID is your ChurchSuite account subdomain ID - for example, if your ChurchSuite account login is kingshope.churchsuite.co.uk then your accountID is kingshope - so your URL entry would be secure.churchsuite.co.uk/textlocal.php?account=kingshope.

Before leaving your Textlocal account, you'll need to make a note of your Textlocal keyword and short code (typically 60777) - the keyword is what your givers will use, along with the amount, when then send an donation SMS message to your short code number...

Save your Textlocal settings before logging out of your Textlocal account - you're ready to go!

Twilio

For Twilio, the giver sends an SMS to your organisation's designated Twilio telephone number with the word give, followed by the amount they wish to give one off and adding an m or w at the end if they want their donation to recur monthly or weekly. Here's some examples of supported SMS donation messages...

  • Give $500 will pre-fill the Donate form for a one-off $500 donation.
  • Give $100m will pre-fill the Donate form for a $100/month donation. Other supported recurring monthly formats are give $100/m, give $100mo, give $100/mo, give $100month, give $100/month, give $100monthly and give $100/monthly.
  • Give $10w will pre-fill the Donate form for a $10/week donation. Other supported recurring weekly formats are give $10/w, give $10week, give $10/week, give $10weekly, give $10/weekly.
  • Give $250 $125w will pre-fill the Donate form for a one-off $250 and also a $125/week donation.
  • The currency symbol is optional. Upper, lower and mixed case characters are recognised.
  • Simply Give will also work, opening the Donate form with no details pre-populated.

Note: Only weekly and monthly recurring donations are possible by SMS but texting simply KHC give (Textlocal) or give (Twilio) will open the Donate form so that the giver can select other recurring donation frequencies.

The user experience...

The giver sends an SMS containing one of the above supported giving messages.

...In this example the message means give £50/month to Kings Hope Church. The giver then receives a text containing a link to your ChurchSuite Donate page, which they can follow with the simple tap of a finger.

The link opens your Donate page in their device's browser with all the donation information pre-filled into the form (one-off amount, recurring monthly amount and even their email address if their record is found in the Address Book) and awaiting their final confirmation. If there are several funds on your Donate page, the giver can select which fund they would like to donate to.

Credit where credit is due!

You must maintain sufficient credits on your Textlocal account. SMS giving will use one Textlocal credit each time an SMS donation is made - the credit is used for sending the unique Donate link back to the giver.

Still need help? Contact ChurchSuite Contact ChurchSuite