Keyword Strategies

The keyword you choose when you set up a new GiveSmart event can have a vital impact on the overall success.  This document will cover keyword best practices, common mistakes, and help you determine the extent to which your keyword selection will impact your event.

For the method to create a keyword, click here.

What makes a good keyword?

Keywords cannot contain spaces or special characters. They can only use numbers and letters. A good keyword is ideally:

  • One word
    • Example:  "IMPACT", "WATER", "ELEPHANT", etc.
  • Easy to Spell
  • Easy to Remember
TIP: Make it specific to your organization or event or so your supporters can associate it with your cause.  Keywords are 3-15 alpha and numeric characters, no special characters.  HELP, GIVE or STOP cannot be used, as they trigger other actions. 
  • Not likely to auto-correct
EXPERT TIP: Text your keyword to yourself. When creating a keyword, pull out your own cell phone and type your envisaged keyword into a message box. Does it auto-correct? If so, it's not a great keyword. Even if it doesn't auto-correct on your phone, try on a friend or colleagues phone! Autocorrect, unfortunately, differs from device to device, so there is no way to universally control the issue, but it's good to test on as many devices as possible.
Note: If your desired one-word keyword is not available, add a number into the mix! Numbers also prevent auto-correct from coming in and changing your keyword.

Examples: "run4change", "gala2022", etc

What is a bad keyword?

We have seen too many organizations' keywords fail because of simple guidelines not followed. To avoid most potential keyword issues avoid the following:

  • When two words are used together, without the use of a number
    • Why? Because your phone will auto-correct to add a space to separate the words. If this happens, the GiveSmart system will only read the first word in the sequence as the keyword.  If the first keyword in the sequence ("give") happens to be owned by another organization, your donor will be directed to their donation page! We know you don’t want this, so please be sure to avoid two word keywords -- unless a number is included -- to prevent auto-correct from separating the sequence into multiple (key)words.
    • Examples:  "runforchange", "funforkids"
  • Acronyms are not ideal keywords.
    • Why? Because they are likely to auto-correct.
    • Example: The keyword "rdn" auto-corrects to "run" or "ran"

Determining the relevance of a keyword for your site

A GiveSmart site or order form can be shared or accessed multiple ways:

  1. It can be embedded on any web page
  2. It can be accessed by sharing its unique link
  3. It can be accessed by texting your chosen keyword to a shortcode

For any event, the extent to which the keyword you select matters depends entirely on how you intend to promote your campaign.


  • If you are intending to simply embed an order form on your website, the keyword will not matter to your end-user, because they will never text the keyword to access the form. They can simply go on your website and access the form there.
  • If you are doing an email campaign and plan to only promote the site through emails, the keyword will not be relevant because your email recipient can simply click on a link in an email to access the site.
  • Facebook or Social Media campaign? Again, the keyword will not be relevant if you are planning to solely share the link within your posts.

When does the keyword matter?

The keyword matters most when you are:

  • Designing a site for an event (online, in-person or virtual)
    • Example: "Please pull out your phones and text GIVE to 76278"
  • Promoting a keyword on printed materials
    • Example: Table tents, banners, posters, direct mail, etc.
  • Doing a video call-to-action with the keyword displayed on screen
  • Any event where you want your supporters to have the ability to register or gain quick access to the site by texting in the keyword

Case Sensitivities

Keywords are not case-sensitive. No matter how you show them in printed materials, presentations, social media, videos, and more, they will work if the person types them differently ("Give" can be typed as "give", "Give", and "GIVE" and work)