FUNDRAISING NEWS: Charity texting plan will let donors give money via mobiles

A new not-for-profit mobile phone text message giving service that allows charities to recruit one-off and regular text-message donors for nothing aims to sign up 50 clients by Christmas 2003.

The service, which is operated by private company Smstextgiving, involves charities picking a special keyword and short-code phone number that can then be publicised on campaign materials.

When supporters text in to make a donation, a reverse billing 'thank you' message is triggered, which deducts the specified amount from the donor's phone bill.

If the donor has opted in to regular giving, reverse billing messages, which can also be used to give project updates and other information, are automatically sent each week or month.

Donors are charged a nominal fee of a few pence for the service, but there are no costs involved for the charity. Smstextgiving is negotiating with several potential sponsors to cover all admin costs and eliminate charges to donors.

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