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Comic Relief raised £15.1m in text donations

This year’s Comic Relief campaign raised £15,168,331 in SMS text donations. The 4.3 million text donations, in a combination of £1, £5 and £10 amounts, contributed significantly to the total £74.3 million raised so far.

In line with previous years, every penny donated via SMS is received by Comic Relief thanks to the mobile operators waiving their usual fees and the Treasury confirming that no VAT will be charged.

Mobile giving was faciliated by Mobile Interactive Group (MIG), which has helped Comic Relief with text mobile donations in 2009 for Red Nose Day and in 2010 for Sport Relief.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

This year was the first time that individuals could donate £10 by text. Viewers of the live Night of Comic Relief, which aired on BBC One on Friday 18 March, were invited to text YES to 70010.

Radha Chakraborty, Operations Director at Comic Relief said: “Text donations make up nearly 20% of the total raised so far and we extend our heartfelt thanks once again to the British public for their continuing support and generosity.”

Text donations were a feature of many aspects of the Red Nose Day campaign. For example, listeners to Radio One, inspired by the BT Red Nose Desert Trek by presenter Chris Moyles and other celebrities, were invited to donate £1 by texting the keyword ‘DESERT’ to 70011. A documentary about the desert trek was broadcast on BBC One in the run up to Red Nose Day and viewers were invited to text to donate £5.

The UK’s first 24 hour panel show, hosted by David Walliams on 5 March, also included a call to donate £5 by texting the keyword ‘FIVER’ to 70005.

The documentary ‘Famous, Rich and in the Slums’, which was broadcast on 3 and 10 March on BBC One and featured Lenny Henry and three other celebrities experiencing life in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, had a text to donate element. Viewers were asked to text HELP to 70005 to donate £5 to the charity.

Additionally, Comic Relief created an app, which was free to download, and built a mobile internet site in-house, with MIG providing the text donation mechanic for the £1, £5 and £10 donations.

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