As one door closes, another opens - following the closure of JustTextGiving we’ve put together this quick guide to a few of the best UK text-to-donate services.
This article has been updated as of 27/04/2020
The outbreak of Covid-19 has impacted the fundraising revenue of many charities, with organisations now having to be more innovative in order to bring in donations. Text donation services are a great way to quickly fundraise and are convenient and easy for both charities and donors to use. Offering the option of text donation works well with the increasingly creative digital appeals charities are using, such as social media videos or virtual events.
In November 2018 charity text donation service JustTextGiving, run by JustGiving and Vodafone, announced that it would be shutting down from the 31st March 2019, having raised £42.5m for more than 25,000 charities over its eight-year life.
JustGiving pulled the rug on SMS giving citing a changing mobile technology landscape. But as we showed in an infographic last year, charity text donations are actually on the rise, as the massive success of telefon events like Comic Relief, Sport Relief and BBC Children in Need continue to demonstrate. The recent televised fundraising collaboration between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief raised a total of 67 million, with the option to donate up to £30 via text donation.
Comic Relief’s 2017 Red Nose Day fundraiser pulled in more than £9.5m in text donations on one night, thanks to introducing the new ability for supporters to give up to £20 by text.
Giving via text message is an extremely quick way to donate and it clearly still works, particularly during live events or face-to-face campaigns where supporters can simply enter a short code to donate there and then without needing internet connection or to go to a website and enter any details.
JustTextGiving may be out of the picture but the options for charities are growing - there are now ways to give regularly via text message, as well as to add Gift Aid. So, what next for charities who still want to take advantage of SMS giving?
We’ve put together this quick guide to a few of the best UK text-to-donate platforms and services. While there are a few mobile marketing agencies offer text payment services that can be used by charities, we’ve picked out the ones that are dedicated, standalone platforms for charities in their own right.
Launched in November 2018, Donr jumped in to offer charities a dedicated text giving platform aimed at giving supporters a quick and convenient way to give both one-off amounts and regular giving through their mobile number.
There is a maximum donation limit of £20 per text donation. However, supporters can give more by sending multiple texts, although there are limits to this. Charities have a choice of any keyword or multiple keywords at no additional charge. Supporters can choose to also give by credit and debit cards, or Apple and Google Pay, as well as by text, through their own branded mobile-optimised page. GiftAid can be added to any donation.
Donr charges a 5% fee (+VAT) per donation, though there is no set up or monthly fee. The organisation also provides training and support for charities around their mobile fundraising- all of Donr’s charity partners have the opportunity to chat to a dedicated ‘digital strategist’ to find out how to get the most out of text giving for their organisation, brush up on digital skills or learn a brand new skill altogether at no extra charge.
What makes it stand out? With a focus on regular giving and mobile fundraising strategy, Donr opens up a new option for charities wishing to engage new long-term supporters outside of just a fundraising event context. Once your keywords are set up you can monitor all their progress and see donations come in in real-time. Supporters can enter a specific keyword to give monthly by text, which the organisation says offers a convenient option particularly for younger donors who are comfortable with mobile giving and ready to explore more ways to give.
Mobile donation platform instagiv was established in 2010 and offers a range of mobile-related products and services for charities aimed at fundraising, recruitment and donor engagement.
Its integrated software enables charities to receive single and regular text donations, as well as create, customise and track their campaigns through multiple channels, receive responses and registrations through SMS, and manage responses in real-time. Charities can create customised web pages for mobile with a drag-and-drop page builder, which allows them to track campaigns in real-time and download data and responses.
Charities can also run mobile raffles and lotteries through SMS. Supporters enter the competition with a voluntary donation, entries can be viewed and downloaded in real time, and 100% of donation is paid out. The platform already has 300 charity customers including Macmillan, Mind, BritishRedCross and Amnesty International and has raised over £7.5 million for them.
Instagiv charges a 5% fee on text message donations, along with a £25 per month service charge for any text keywords use. Outbound SMS are charged at £0.05p per message.
What makes it stand out? Alongside text donation, Instagiv offers charities a full set of features around engagement, such as the ability to create mobile-optimised campaign pages attached to an SMS, and the ability to view and track campaign success in real-time. Charities can also send multi-media messages, set up text-based competitions and games, and record voicemail messages.
DONATE is an integrated platform across text, web and contactless for one-off events and everyday fundraising. Event guests purchase, text, give or bid using their mobile phone. A charity themselves, the focus is on being quick and simple to set up text campaigns for events and text raffles, though once a donor has made donation, their reply text can include a link to set-up a monthly donation for that amount. All charity customers also have access to DONATE’s self-serve reporting portal where administrators can access donation reports, download web, text, QR donation codes, user data and more.
Charities can add GiftAid and set up campaign-specific codes without any monthly charges and are again charged 4.5% fee per text. There is a maximum donation limit of up to £30 per £24 hours, or £20 for a single donation. The £30 donation is available by request. There is normally a one-off dormancy fee if registered charities do not reach the required fundraising levels in the six months of being registered to the service, however, for charities who’ve joined as of 1st March 2020, this fee has been removed.
DONATE also offers a Platinum membership through which charities can get access to a bespoke suite of services including additional support and guidance from their fundraising team. The paid-for package includes a dedicated account manager, help with planning your event, cash handling, support at the event itself and post-event consultancy to discuss what worked and what didn’t.
What makes it stand out? As well as text fundraising, DONATE offers a contactless donation service for shops, gala events and silent auctions. Supporters tap, text, give or bid from their mobile phone, computer or tablet. They integrate text and web giving along with on-the-night fundraising through contactless technology. Because of this, it’s ideal for charities who want to offer multiple avenues of donation and really capitalise on an event during, before and after the day itself with multiple options for giving.