In UK, Thousands of Charities Sign Up for Mobile Phone Donation Scheme

    A smartphone. Photo by: joeshoe / CC BY-NC-SA

    As many as 10,000 charities and non-governmental organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières, have joined the United Kingdom’s first free donation-by-text-message service, which reveals strong support for the program that gives people the opportunity to give money to charities on the spot.

    The initiative was launched in May by mobile phone service provider Vodafone and online donation service JustGiving. It allows the U.K.’s 50 million cellphone users to donate money to charity free of charge. The donation will be debited from their credit balance or added to their phone bill.

    The scheme is a welcome relief to charities that are reeling from funding cuts and shortage in donations due to slashes in people’s disposable incomes, according to the Guardian.

    In his remarks at a conference organized by the Institute of Fundraising in Birmingham, Vodafone chief executive Guy Lawrence said: “Our vision was simple – allow all charities, however big or small, to raise money by text donations from all mobile users in the UK, including a simple mechanism to collect gift aid. The scheme has a number of advantages over cash collection. It appeals to the younger generation of donors, half of which do not donate to charity at all, 100% of the donation goes to the charity’s bank account and it allows for the collection of gift aid.”

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    About the author

    • Louie-An Pilapil

      Louie-An is a former senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.