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Charities making use of mobile see donations rise

Charity website Justgiving.com is ramping up its mobile service after a surge in mobile fundraising helped to fuel a 26 per cent rise in donations so far this year. 

UK network operators have agreed that any registered five-digit text message short code beginning ‘70’ is now automatically considered a charity code and becomes eligible for 100% payout (no carrier charges ; VAT waived by the government). This has made mobile a perfect medium for charity micropayments and opened the door for the digitalisation of sponsorship. 

The measure was first introduced by O2 in 2010 and has been key to popularising text donation. The company recently posted that this year’s 25th anniversary of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day proved to be another record-breaker for funds raised. Once again text donations played a huge part, estimated at 12m, in contributing to the total. O2 customers, alone, sent an impressive 620,000 texts contributing nearly £4m to Comic Relief. £75m was raised for charity in total. 

 

Hot topic

Mobile is currently a hot topic in fundraising. In a tough and competitive environment, charities need to innovate and most have come to the conclusion that mobile may be one of the solutions to this challenge.

In an interview with the Indepenent, Anne-Marie Huby, Justgiving's co-founder and managing director, commented: "All players in our space are seeing more people move to online, exactly as they did in earlier times with banking and shopping. It is a much more efficient way of collecting money."

However, the use of mobile by charities is still in its infancy. New ideas and techniques are being conceived and tested all the time. A charity leading the way in this area is Cancer Research UK. They are testing the impact of thanking and welcoming donors recruited as a result of the recent Stand Up To Cancer telethon. This is being done by sending SMS updates on the show's success, showing the impact of donations and using SMS to offer their supporters advice on how to reduce cancer risks.

 

Some statistics on mobile text are available here: http://nfpsynergy.net/sending-out-sms-20-potential-mobile-phones-charities-and-non-profits-july-2011

Related content: Political donations: just text GIVE

 
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