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Charities raise record £65.8m via text during pandemic

Melanie May | 10 September 2021 | News

a man in a t-shirt by a red brick wall texting

New research commissioned by the Phone-paid Services Authority has found that donating via text raised more than £65 million for charitable causes in the last financial year.

During a challenging year, charities saw a £25.7m increase in donations via text in the 2020/21 financial year – a rise of 64% on the previous year. Growth was driven by both telethons and regular/recurring donations.

Conducted by Analysys Mason, the Annual Market Review found that telethons like the Big Night In, the raising of the cap on one-off donations to £40 and organic growth in recurring giving all contributed to this increase.


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The outlook for charity text donations is also good. Donations are expected to grow by 25% (£10 million) on FY19/20. According to the PSA, charity text donations tend to peak on a biannual basis due to the number of telethon events in any particular year. Charities raised £40.1 million in FY19/20 and are expected to raise £50.1 million in FY21/22.

Jo Prowse, CEO of the PSA said:

“It’s really encouraging that it has been a record year for charity text donations. During the pandemic, consumers continued to trust text as an easy, safe and secure way to donate to their chosen causes.”

In 2019, PSA reported that text donations to charities had grown by 32% in the 2018/19 financial year, from £37.5 million to £49.6 million. This growth was helped by two major telethons: Children in Need and Red Nose Day. Elsewhere, last year, Donr reported that at the height of the pandemic (between March and July) just over 2,000 charities using its text donation platform had raised £2 million during this time. This was 653% year-on-year increase in funds raised.