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Ideas on Scripting a Stellar Live Donation Appeal with Text2Give®

donation appeal script

Any auctioneer or emcee for a nonprofit charity event serves as the entertainment as well as the voice of fundraising.

When using BidPal Text2Give® for the live donation appeal (Fund-A-Need or Make-A-Donation), an auctioneer’s standard fundraising script must incorporate this revenue stream.

Luckily, Text2Give® is very easy to use. In fact, it’s the ideal complement to any type of fundraising event, allowing guests to donate using their credit/debit cards via a smartphone.

BidPal event experts have compiled the following auctioneers’ and emcees’ guide for directing a live donation appeal using Text2Give®. Follow these Best Practices to educate your audience and help the client achieve their Fund-A-Need goal.


The nonprofit organization has selected a unique keyword to use for Text2Give® – find and memorize that keyword and its associated 6-digit number.

Try it out yourself. Because you will help educate event attendees and encourage them to participate, it’s critical that you understand the platform too.

Leadership Gift. Before the event, identify one of your top contributors (or a Board Member), that would be willing to step up on stage and be the first to donate via Text2Give®. He or she can show everyone how easy Text2Give® truly is and therefore he or she is critical to building fund-a-need momentum.

You may want to consider using your leadership gift as a matching gift to further engage your participants – “If we raise $XX right now, our board member will match it or donate a certain amount.


quote bubble - biggest night of the year v2-01Once you’ve got the microphone in hand, your first priorities are likely to welcome your guests and introduce key individuals.

Educate your audience. Engage donors in your cause by educating them. Connect guests to your mission by sharing your goals and explaining why raising funds is important. Take time to tell your story and explain what your organization does to make the world a better place.

Consider bringing on stage a beneficiary to tell his/her heart-warming success story. Make the story very powerful but succinct. This is a great way to rally the room around the cause.

The Ask. Once guests are feeling the love, ask everyone to take out their phones and credit/debit card. Then pause. THEN introduce the live appeal.

Get out your own phone and hold it up in the air. “If you are ready to support this amazing organization, let’s do this together right now!” Give your audience very simple yet precise instructions – one keyword and one 6-digit number.

Invite everyone. Start by inviting to the stage the individual identified for donating the leadership gift. Introduce the leadership donor and recognize his/her importance up on stage. Then engage him/her with easy prompts – “So how easy is using Text2Give®? Can you walk us all through the steps? How much can you donate?” Through his/her responses, the supporter will likely cover the following very literal steps.  If not, help by filling in the blanks.

  • quote bubble - we welcome your support v2-01Create a new text message
  • Type the number 243725 (or the word BidPal) in the TO: field
  • Type the KEYWORD in the message field
  • Hit Send
  • Open responding text message and click the unique link included
  • Fill in your info (Name, Donation Amount, Credit Card)
  • Hit Give Now

Announce that all guests are invited to contribute. Every guest can give something.

In fact, small gifts, from those that otherwise wouldn’t make a donation, are now a possibility with Text2Give®. “Every dollar counts! If you can text a message, you can text a donation.”

Pay attention to the tables where attendees have their phones or credit cards out. “We have a full table right here of donors giving with Text2Give®! Which table is next?”

Leverage the Scoreboard. Before going on stage, ask your team if and how they will be using the Text2Give® live Scoreboard to display donation results in real-time. Clarify what exactly will appear on the Scoreboard.

The organization may elect to reveal only the donation thermometer. In this case, the Scoreboard will reveal how much has been raised in a continuous tally of the total amount donated. It is there to create a sense of community working together towards a goal; which you can verbalize over and over. Wow the audience by acknowledging each significant increase in progress towards donation goal. Really push that remaining amount to reach your goal.

The organization may also elect to reveal the names of those who donated (not their donation amount) on the screen. In this case, announce the names as they appear on the Scoreboard. Recognize and applaud those donors to further build the momentum and excitement in the room. Also use these cues to nudge others at their table to participate.

Maintain momentum. It’s going to take a few moments for the first wave of Text2Give® donations to come in. Have a few committed donors on stand-by, ready to donate once the leadership gift has been made.

Don’t fear silence! To avoid long moments without speaking to the crowd, compliment the organization on the incredible work they do. Remind the audience that every dollar is important. For example, provide statistics on where the money is going towards. “$XX will support this program” or “$XX will help purchase this new item for the kids.”

Don’t give up! Giving is contagious. Use humor, the audience and the mission to lead the way.

Of course, it’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan. For example, prepare an incentive that you can use if your guests simply aren’t inspired (with the approval of the nonprofit organization). “How could I forget?! Everyone that donates, regardless of the amount, is entered into a grand prize drawing!”


quote bubble - this is the one night of the year v3-01Transition. Do not formally “end” the live appeal. Simply transition to the next portion of the program and hand over the microphone if necessary.

Otherwise, conclude by reminding the audience of your fundraising goal. Thank everyone for attending then make a final call—a challenge—to raise x dollars and help the organization hit their goal.

Also encourage supporters to continue making gifts even after the donation appeal is over. Ask that guests share the Text2Give® keyword with their friends and family. Challenge them to go home and post the Text2Give® campaign to their social media networks.

Voila, you’re a Text2Give® pro!

We’ve gathered a few additional resources to help inspire your year-round use of BidPal Text2Give®:

  1. Guide: 12+ Insanely Useful Tips for Running a Charity Auction
  2. Blog: Enhance Your Donation Appeal
  3. Blog: BidPal Partner Program: Better Than an Online Review
  4. Blog: BidPal Ushers in Concert and Festival Season with Text2Give®
  5. Webinar: Driving Revenue & Engagement with Text2Give®
  6. Text2Give® Client Success Story: LAF Chicago: Cheers Bring Change

Interested in partnering with BidPal? Check out our Fundraising Partners page or refer a friend today!

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