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DEC raises record £1.5m by text for East Africa Appeal

DEC raises record £1.5m by text for East Africa Appeal

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has raised more than £1.5 million through SMS donations for its current East Africa Crisis Appeal. The figure includes Gift Aid from more than 70% of donors. This is the highest amount donated by text for any DEC appeal, a substantial increase from the previous highest total of £230,000 for the 2010 Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

Donations via text have jumped significantly from 0.3% for Haiti and 0.2% for Pakistan to 3.3% for East Africa. These cover the element of the income handled by DEC rather than its member agencies. In the East Africa appeal case text donations represented 3.3% (without Gift Aid) of the £33 million it has handled, and 3.8% with Gift Aid included.

Text to give donation details were included for the first time in one of the charity’s TV appeals for the East Africa appeal, the one featuring actor Jason Isaacs that was screened in prime time slots on ITV, C4, Channel 5 and Sky.

Disasters Emergency Committee Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said: “We are particularly pleased by the very strong response to the wider promotion of text to give. SMS donations have surged with no sign that giving by other channels has declined. We believe text to give is helping us reach a new generation of donors and the feedback we have received from those donors via social media has been excellent.”

The record response by text giving mirrors the appeal’s overall success. The £72 million raised so far is the third highest appeal total in the organisation’s 45 year history.

The DEC text to donate platform is provided by OpenMarket. Donors text 70000 and a key word such as ‘AFRICA’ to donate £5 to the DEC. The DEC receives the full £5 and sending the text is completely free for all users on all networks. Gift Aid details can be forwarded by text and gift aid is claimed automatically for eligible repeat donors. The campaign has been shortlisted for three mobile industry awards.

Online donations continue to be the largest single channel for direct donations to DEC at 34.5%, with post the second highest at 26%. Over the counter donations at post offices and banks generated 15.4% and phone donations 12.4%.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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