Text to Give Pricing & Costs

When considering which provider to use, it can be difficult to find their pricing information so I’ve aggregated it here. There are more variables beyond cost since different businesses offer different options in reporting and wrap around services. Some of the providers require an application process for nonprofits for charitable or logistic reasons. Below I’ve provided a price chart for each business. Monthly fee packages govern the number of outgoing messages, simultaneous campaigns, and wrap around services you can run.

Business Name Sign-up Fee Monthly Fee Transaction Fee
mGive $500 $400 to $1,500 $0.35 plus 3.5%
Mobile Cause $350 $100 to $250 $0.50
CauseCast Uses Mobile Cause Platform
Give by Cell $0 Waive $49 $0.48
g8wave $350 $350 $0 to $0.35
iLoop Mobile $1,000 $500

g8wave is a leader in the planning and deployment of integrated mobile strategies.  For the past decade we have worked with brands, agencies and non-profits to build successful, long term strategic mobile plans.

Give by Cell – As one of the few Authorized Service Providers for the Mobile Giving Foundation, we help charities expand their fundraising efforts and reach new audiences with mobile technology. Features like real-time reporting and donor messaging help develop robust mobile giving campaigns.

Connect2Give is currently running a special summer pilot program.  During the months of July, August and September you can take a “test drive” for a low cost and without a long term contract.

Other Associated Service Providers who I did not receive any giving information from: Mobile Commons, MPower, Give on the Go


14 Responses to Text to Give Pricing & Costs

  1. Matt says:

    This is very surprising to me, especially when the smartphone is becoming the main computing device for for so many now. Why would you spend so much on this when you could your own branded app that does more for less? I think these rates are high because these groups know they are the backside of this wave.

  2. John Sponauer says:

    Thanks for the great summary! None of these allow the sponsor organization to receive names though, it seems. That’s OK for some organizations (where an immediate burst of money is needed), but probably not OK for others that want to establish a long relationship, or want to match cell donations to existing donors. Has anyone successfully reconciled this issue?

  3. Jason Dick says:

    John from what I understand it is a legal issue. You can receive names and addresses through follow-up text messages that encourage people to fill out information on your website. But you are not legally allowed to give names and these businesses would not have the names if you wanted them. It is a pro & con you are creating a community that wants to engage via texting and will and has the ability to respond immediately to needs. But you can only engage them using that medium unless they self-disclose more information to you. Does that make sense?

  4. Jason Dick says:

    Matt I had a similar initial thought until I started thinking about the costs most organizations have to spend processing credit cards. You typically spend more money in transaction fees that you would with a successful texting campaign. Many of the above businesses do offer customizable applications but the essential service you are paying for above is texting to make a gift and that is not something a nonprofit can do on their own.

  5. John Sponauer says:


    It does make sense to a degree. My understanding (could be wrong!) is that the donors essentially make the gift to the Mobile Giving Foundation, which then passes it on to the sponsoring organization. I don’t know if they get names, but I presume they do.

  6. Matt says:

    The organization is not able to capture names and contact info from these givers. Also, in a survey conducted by Convio and Sea Change Strategies, 36% of the participants said that they would be willing to donate via text message if an emergency took place, while only 28% percent would be willing for charity fundraising. It is unlikely for donators to choose text messaging as their primary means of donating regularly.

    The upfront set-up costs are substantially higher for texting campaigns than building a custom organizational application. When you package an app with a merchant account you create an affordable, powerful solution that can grow with the organization as their needs and the market changes. Check out http://www.goodclic.com, $500 set-up fee and 1.5% on donations.

  7. The topic is more complicated that it appears on the surface. Thanks for evoking thought around this topic. Charlaine

  8. John Sponauer says:

    Matt, yeah, I’ve seen similar types of percentages regarding willingness to donate. As I mentioned up top, I can easily see mobile giving working for crisis fundraising. I see less reason to go that route for ongoing fundraising, BUT if you can get a text campaign advertised during collegiate athletic events, etc., it could be a good tool for colleges and universities to generate alumni pride and giving, etc.

  9. Michelle says:

    Good morning! If I might weigh in:

    Matt said: I think these rates are high because these groups know they are the backside of this wave.
    My thoughts: Nope and wrong. Some of these rates are high because the market allows them to be so. (Some vendors are getting what they can, because they can, because they add different value to their offering and the customer has agreed to it.) Others, as you can see have lower price points. (Mobile Cause, for example.)

    To say that any of these are on the backside of this wave is also a bit short-sighted or uninformed as this modality of giving (mobile giving in which the carriers have given the ability and permission to these ASPs/companies to facilitate a donation) is barely 10 years old. Compare that age to any other form for giving.

    Garnering more info than the donor’s number, when they donated or attempted to donate and of course the amount of the donation is pretty much all that the NPO can get from from the donor. Indeed, this is a legal issue: it’s all that the telcos allow. It’s for our protection and privacy.

    Jason said: You typically spend more money in transaction fees that you would with a successful texting campaign.
    Ah…not quite. Actually not at all, my friend. The transaction fees are clearly shown in the article to be portions of the donation. Thirty-five cents of a $10 donation? Aggregated, there are thousands of NPOs using these companies to garner donations from millions of donors. Which brings me to my next two points: mobile donation is just another TOOL/VEHICLE/WAY to donate. It’s not meant to replace any other means. Forward-thinking NPOs are adding mobile to their arsenal, not replacing it with any method. Secondly, texting is the single feature available on every phone in this country. Meaning, not all phones are smart or have features, but nearly EVERY phone is able to text. (Only about 17% of phones sold last quarter, I believe, were “smart”–although that number is rising, undoubtedly.)

    Using an app is good, but not as easy for the donor…must go into the app (click)…enter info (whew…waaay many clicks)…whip out a credit card…(more clicks–at least credit card number, exp date, security code, address, etc.) and whatever else the app queries for.

    With mobile on the otherhand, use a keyword and the shortcode (AKA shortened telephone number of 5 or 6 digits), agree to donate and the donor is done. Ahhh…30 to 60 seonds later the donor is feeling really good. That’s about as close to instant gratification as one can get….

    Smart NPOSs and others are using mobile phones for donation AND engagement. It’s not only about “the ask”, but it truly is about the long-term strategy of engagement. (And that’s where John’s point about alumni pride and giving was headed….)

    This is a great article with provocative comments!

  10. Roger Carr says:

    As always, you have provided critical information needed by many organizations. One question I have is whether these rates are usualyy negotiable.

  11. Matt says:


    I agree with your characterization of instant gratification of text message giving, although I do believe they are on the backside of this wave, (the bigger wave being mobile computing) that being said I think orgs need to focus on a holistic approach utilizing text msging, web, and mobile engagement.

    Great insight!


  12. Michelle says:

    Ahh, yes, Matt, the larger wave is mobile computing. May I say, this: the mobile lifestyle is coming, but at this time most are still standing on the shore…looking at the wave roll in! But, I agree with you wholeheartedly: it’s about engagement AND nothing less!


  13. As I head out to an early morning panel on using social media for fundraising….this is timely and helpful information!

  14. Event 360 says:

    Jason thanks for breaking down these prices for us. We were just writing on our blog (http://bit.ly/GoingMobile) about how surprisingly cost effective mobile contribution platforms can be. thanks!

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