The Future of Text Donation

RSM 2000 Ltd, owners of the Vir2 text donation service, confirm their commitment to spontaneous text donation.

The recent announcement from Vodafone that their free Just Text Giving service will be closing next year, has caused some concerns to be raised about such services.

RSM 2000 is a significant provider to the charity sector of Direct Debit, ecommerce and event fundraising solutions. Text donation is a good fit with our other services. We are also committed to investing in new innovative payment services like contactless terminal hire for events and QR code readers.

Whilst Vodafone may have lost some of their appetite, the fundamentals of text donation have not actually changed. Text donation is forecast by the Phonepaid Services Authority (the premium SMS regulator) to grow from £37.5m to £50.1m by the end of the 2018/19 financial year. The networks still generously pay 100% of the donation (which RSM 2000 continue to pay on in full).

Text donation remains an easy way for the 94% of the UK population with a mobile phone to make payments. The public like to be able to react immediately to good campaigns with clear, memorable asks. Charities have not changed, they still like to invest in building good donor journeys to build their relationships.

Vodafone’s commitment to Just Text Giving service over the last 8 years has been admirable, but there are still lessons for the charity sector to learn.

Charities should think carefully before relying on the initial enthusiasm of providers, when those providers are motivated purely by social responsibility. People in the key decision roles change. If a business model is unsustainable, then the corporate partner is unlikely to be in it for the long term. Charities risk their marketing investment when they promote giving based on payment services whose pricing seems “too good to be true”.

The remaining suppliers like RSM 2000 will have to work harder to understand our clients’ & their supporters needs. We help our clients to have the most memorable campaigns and to use SMS messaging to build deeper donor relationships. Text donation is about the clarity & strength of the messages communicated and the memorability of the ask. All of the transactions stem from those factors. It is not as simple as “just enabling transactions”.

The charity sector has always had to work hard to justify the faith placed in us by donors and in the end that is always a good thing.

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