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Text donations to charity increase to £122m in 2015/16

Text donations to charity increase to £122m in 2015/16

Giving to charity by text has grown by 6% to £122m in the year to 2015/16, according to , the UK phone-paid services regulator.

The figures are published in its Annual Market Review of premium rate services. It expects the total to raise to £129m in 2016/17.

The regulator described the increase in donations as “impressive” given that there was no exceptional large public fundraising campaign such as #NoMakeUpSelfie or the Ice Bucket Challenge during the period. It suggests that this “shows underlying organic growth as opposed to social media driven activity”.

Top sectors in premium rate services

Charity donations are now the largest market sector of the premium rate services industry.

1. Charity text donations – £122 million

2. Directory enquiries – £82.7 million

3. Games on social networks – £60.5 million

Charities remain successful users of premium rate services, despite a decline in some of sectors’ success rates. Indeed, revenues for charity text giving accounted for 18% of the PRS market in 2015/16.

Text Santa

Regular giving has contributed to this, with donors adopting a subscription model as a means to donate regularly via phone bills. Donation values are increasing too, with larger charities moving from £3 to £5 as their default donation amount.

PhonepayPlus reported that “charities are the most trusted service operating in the premium rate services market”.

Jo Prowse, Chief Executive of PhonepayPlus said:

“The growth of charity text giving over the last few years shows the positive work that can be achieved when charities, providers, networks and the regulator work together.

“Regulatory flexibility, such as the ‘Skip’ command, which allow you to miss a payment without stopping future donations, provide increased choice for donors and ongoing support for charitable causes”.

PhonepayPlus will change its name in Autumn 2016 to the Phone-paid Services Authority.

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.

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