Shared Short Codes Are Now Short Term

Written By: Ethan Wickham

Shared Short Codes Are Now Short Term

As we all know, a lot can happen in a year, and things can change in a blink of an eye. Last year, we could go out to eat and not have to worry about getting a deadly virus, and this year we are all hoping that a better future is around the corner. But speaking of change, much is also changing in the world of nonprofit fundraising. For example, if you have been using a shared shortcode for mobile fundraising, it is important for you to know that shared shortcodes will be eliminated by mid-summer.

In this article, we will explain what shortcodes are, why they are being eliminated, and what we can do to help you transition into the world of dedicated 10-digit codes.

What are Short Codes?

Shortcodes are 5-6 telephone digits that are used to send and receive texts from users with mobile phones. For nonprofits, these messages have primarily been used for fundraising. Shortcodes have been generally reliable, they are also risky and open to fraud.

Why Short Codes are Short Term

Two of the biggest wireless companies are banning shortcodes as early as March 1. According to our source at Twilio, the leading cloud communications and customer engagement platform, all shared shortcodes will be eliminated by the summer of 2021.

The idea behind switching is that carriers believe that dedicated 10-digit codes are a much safer and stabler alternative. Dedicated 10-digit toll-free text-enabled numbers eliminate any of the issues found with shared shortcodes while also helping to distinguish the nonprofit's brand from the people are donating. No other company or nonprofit will have the same 10-digit code, unlike shortcodes who are all being shared by various companies and nonprofits.

Another thing that has caused confusion is the keywords. If two nonprofits share the same shortcode and have a similar keyword, it can cause confusion and even fraud. This will never happen with a 10 digit code. These codes are the future and ZGIVE would love to help you learn more about how dedicated text-enabled 10-digit codes are better for your nonprofit.

What are Your Options?

Nonprofits who have shared shortcodes have two options for the future. One of them is to purchase a dedicated short code, which is an exclusive 5-digit code to text their donors. This all sounds great, but having these dedicated shortcodes costs a pretty penny. Since they are exclusive to one nonprofit, the prices can be in the thousands per month, and these shortcodes must be individually approved by each carrier.

Therefore, it makes sense to go with the other option which is dedicated toll-free 10-digit codes. These codes are a secure method of messaging, much more affordable and a better alternative to shortcodes because it supports unlimited messaging as opposed to shortcodes that can only carry a small number of text messages at a time. Being able to send unlimited messages without paying more is a win for your nonprofit.

How ZGIVE Can Help Your Nonprofit

At ZGIVE we would love to provide your nonprofit with a full suite of digital fundraising tools with built-in SMS messaging - for only $59 a month. We saw the writing on the wall - for the end of shared shortcodes which is why we have always provided our nonprofits their own dedicated 10-digit toll-free number. In a world where things are constantly changing, we hope to be a constant for you and your nonprofit. And by the way, we also have a fantastic virtual auction platform too :)

To learn more about how you can raise money for your nonprofit, you can email us at questions@zgive.com.