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A Christmas toast to charity text donation and PRS

29 December 2015, Simon Towler, Director of Policy and External Relations, PhonepayPlus
charity giving

People are giving more money to charity via PRS than ever before. When we published the PRS Annual Market Review last summer, we found charitable donations generated an estimated £115 million for the premium rate service market in in 2014. This figure is expected to increase by 8% by the end of this year.

One of the big reasons for this, and why you’ve maybe seen SMS shortcodes on charities’ Christmas donation posters on your way to work or the Boxing Day sales, is the same reason that PRS appeals to consumers for other purchases. PRS offers a straightforward, quick and easy way for people to donate to good causes.

Charitable text donations typically involve a word being texted to a premium rate five number mobile shortcode, for example, ‘To donate to the appeal, text APPEAL to 70***’. You can give up to £10 per text and donate regularly by text, with a set amount taken from your monthly mobile bill as an alternative to setting up a direct debit.

The ease with which consumers can make text donations assisted the BBC’s recent Children in Need appeal. Over £6 million of the record £37.1 million raised by Children in Need this year came through text donations. ITV’s Text Santa Christmas Jumper day appeal, took place on 18 December and also used text donation to support its charitable fundraising achieving its highest ever amount raised.

The rise in regular text giving is down to a number of innovations, and at PhonepayPlus we have been proud to play our part by collaborating with the PRS industry to support new initiatives. As well as providing seminars and bespoke advice for charities wanting to develop text donations, our work with the industry has successfully piloted new ideas such as the introduction of “SKIP” messages instead of “STOP”, allowing regular donors to miss a payment for a month if they want to do so.

As we enter 2016, PhonepayPlus will continue to work in partnership with the industry and to support good innovation for consumers but while this year remains, let’s raise a toast to the help PRS text donations have given to so many good causes.

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