Vodafone this week became the first mobile operator in the UK to pass on 100% of all charity donations made via SMS. UK charities will now receive the full amount donated by Vodafone customers when they give £1 or more via a five digit ‘short code’ number which starts with 70.
Libby Pritchard, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation at Vodafone UK, said: “Customers find donating via SMS an easy and simple way of supporting charitable causes. Now they can do so knowing that every penny they donate will go to the charity of their choice”.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, welcomed the development, saying: “This is terrific news. It is very generous of Vodafone to commit to processing donations for free. Donating by text is popular because it is instant and easy for donors but in the past high charges have put donors and charities off. Charities will celebrate this announcement.”
Michael Carlin, Managing Director of instaGiv, a mobile donation solutions provider which exhibited at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention this week, agreed that this was “wonderful news”. He said: “All operators are now passing 90% + of text donations on to the charities and we hope that Vodafone have set the new benchmark. With the exponential growth and ease of text messaging and direct access to 66m UK mobile phones, donating by text is now a viable fundraising mechanism for charities of all sizes”.
There is no change to Vodafone’s SMS rates: customers will continue to pay their standard rate for the SMS to make the donation.
The news prompted a call from Irish fundraising consultant and blogger Conor Byrne for Vodafone Ireland and indeed all Irish mobile networks to match the 100% figure (100% donations from 100% of networks).
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