Getting started with text messaging

Important notes

  • WildApricot's Text messaging service can only send text/SMS messages to contacts listed in your WildApricot database.
  • Billing for the Text Messaging service is separate and different from the billing for your WildApricot subscription plan. You must apply for a Text Messaging account and provide credit card billing information for that account. Text Messaging is not bundled with any WildApricot subscription plan.

Requirements to use the service

According to US and Canadian laws, before an organization can send text messages, it must obtain informed consent from the recipients. To approve your subscription to our text messaging service, WildApricot must verify that you have provided the following:

  • A document that clearly states your organization's intended use for text messaging and that is accessible to the general public for review. 
  • A checkbox on a form where a recipient can indicate consent to participate in text messaging. This checkbox must be located on a form that is publicly accessible. 
  • A verified Tax ID number (such as EIN or BN) for your organization issued by the tax authority in your country.
Important Note: Because careful review and verification of your application is required prior to authorizing a WildApricot Text messaging account, it may take up to several weeks before your Text messaging account is approved and activated.
For more information, view After you complete the registration process, below.

Before you begin

  • Locate the URL for your organization's membership application form
    • After you create a contact field where your members can indicate consent for messaging (see Step 2 below), it will automatically show up on your membership application form. If you wish to put the consent checkbox on a form other than the membership application, make sure you have the web link (URL) for that form ready. You'll need to provide this URL when you're signing up.
  • Locate and verify your organization's Tax ID number
    • The Tax ID number, also known in the US as the Employer Identification Number (EIN), and in Canada as the Business Number (BN), is a unique nine-digit number assigned by your government for the purposes of identification and verification of business entities. You will provide your Tax ID number during the registration process.

Step 1: Create a document for informed consent 

Create and save a document that clearly states your organization's intended use of text messaging. This document will be linked to the checkbox used to indicate consent. 

You will provide the URL for this document during Step 2, below.

You can view our sample Informed Consent document and customize the sample content as needed.

Step 2: Create a contact field for consent

WildApricot will verify recipient consent to receive text messages from your organization by using a special contact field that you create and designate for that purpose in your database.

This contact field should only be used for tracking consent for text (SMS) messaging. 

To create a contact field for text messaging consent, follow these instructions:

  1. In the Admin view, navigate to Contacts > Contact fields and select Add new field.
  2. For the field Type, select Rules and terms

  3. The Field label is the name by which the new field will be identified in your database and on forms. Enter a label name that clearly identifies its purpose as indicating text/SMS messaging consent.

  4. Under Options, ensure the box indicating For administrator access only is not checked. 

  5. Enter a brief statement of consent in the Text field. The example below uses the following text:

    I consent to receive text/SMS messages from [your organization's name].

  6. In the Link field, provide the URL for the Informed Consent document you created in Step 1.
  7. Under Others access, select anybody
  8. Providing Field instructions is optional. You can provide a brief explanation of the purpose of the consent field. Any text you provide in Field instructions will appear as greyed text beneath the consent checkbox.

    The example here uses the following text in the Field instructions:

    Checking this box indicates your consent to receive text/SMS communication from [your organization's name].

  9. Click Save all changes in the top left corner of the screen when you are finished.

After you create a contact field for consent, it will automatically appear as part of your Membership application form

Note: If you wish to include the consent checkbox on any other forms, such as donation forms or event registrations, you can select the consent field within the gadget settings for the form in Admin > Website > Site pages.

Step 3: Register for the service

Your organization must apply and receive notification of approval before text messaging for your WildApricot account can be activated.

Follow these steps to apply:

  1. In the admin view, navigate to Communication >Text messaging and click Explore text messaging
  2. On the Text campaigns dashboard, click Register.
  3. In Integration settings,
    1. Select the contact field used for mobile phone numbers
    2. Select the consent field you created in Step 2
    3. Provide the URL for form with the consent field (We recommend providing the URL for your Membership application form
  4. In Contact information,
    1. Enter your organization's official Tax ID number (EIN or BN) and click Search. The Contact information form will be autopopulated with your organization's information according to the Tax ID number you provided. Verify that all information is correct.
    2. If the Tax ID number you provided is not found when you click Search, verify the accuracy of the number before continuing.
  5. In Subscription settings, provide the information for the credit card that will be billed for the text messaging service. 
Important note: Fees for WildApricot's text messaging service are charged directly to the credit card you provide when you register. Text/SMS messaging is not included in your WildApricot website subscription plan and is billed separately. For more information, see our article on pricing.

After you complete the registration process

Your application must be carefully reviewed prior to approval. Due to high demand, this process can take up to several weeks. Your text messaging account will display a status of Pending until your application has been reviewed and approved.

If your application is rejected, the account status will reflect this, and you will receive an email informing you of the rejection. WildApricot's support department will also be notified and will reach out to you once they've determined the reason for the rejection. Typically, when applications are rejected it is because incorrect business Tax ID information (EIN/BN) was entered on the registration form. 


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