The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a text donation service which it says will make it easy and affordable for all charities to fundraise and communicate with supporters through their mobile phones. The new service, part of CAF’s Fundraising Support Service, gives charities a new channel for fundraising, opening up access to the 96 per cent of adults in the UK who own a mobile phone, according to nfpSynergy.
Charities will be able to set up text donation campaigns quickly, allowing them to respond to emergency situations, and use the service as part of their regular fundraising efforts, and to maintain ongoing communication with donors.
Working with Vir2, which provides mobile fundraising solutions to the not-for-profit sector, CAF has set up two charity shortcodes to collect £3 and £5 donations. CAF will run the service on behalf of charities – setting up campaign keywords, collecting payments from the mobile phone networks and claiming Gift Aid, thereby freeing up charities to focus on running their fundraising campaigns.
“Donating by text is easy, quick and simple, for both donors and charities,” say CAF chief executive, John Low. “We have seen substantial growth in donating by text, with Comic Relief raising £7.8m this way in 2009. Since VAT-free charity shortcodes were introduced and mobile phone networks significantly improved their payout rates, it has become much cheaper and more effective for all charities to benefit from text donations.”
Vir2 managing director Roger Craven believes it’s important that more charities can utilise mobile technology, as the delivery of social networking, entertainment and payment are converging on the mobile phone. He says: “I know at first hand the growth in demand from charities for text services and how successful text campaigns are proving. It is key to the future of fundraising, and helps charities reach new audiences.”
Charities will be charged £20 per month for each keyword used and a small fee, representing 2.5 per cent of every donation. To support the new service, CAF has produced a guide explaining how the text donation works and the benefit to charities. You can access the guide here.
Vir2 managing director Roger Craven has contacted Mobile Marketing to explain that the company does not charge a 5 per cent handling fee, as claimed by Txtlocal CEO Alastair Shortland in an earlier version of this story. In fact, the company charges no handling fee. We are happy to make this clarification and apologise to Vir2 for the error.