Fundraising News: Smstextgiving wins tariff cut from Orange

Joe Gill

Text message donation service Smstextgiving has convinced Orange, one of the UK's four big mobile phone networks, to reduce the amount they take from donations made by text, which is currently up to 50 per cent of each gift.

It hopes that by securing this first victory, it can persuade the other three networks to follow suit, and convince more charities that text-message giving can become a mainstream method.

The not-for-profit company, launched last year, has 20 member charities including Scope, Survival, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the Mines Advisory Group. It had hoped to have signed up 50 by last December.

From a £1.50 donation made by SMS, the mobile phone networks are taking 60p, and up to £2.50 on donations of £5.

Smstextgiving chairman Graham Burrough said: "We now have an agreement with Orange to reduce that fee, and we are in negotiations with a second of the big networks for a significant reduction."

None of the networks offer non-commercial rates for charitable donations by text.

"The problem is that the networks only offer commercial products. They are taking too much money from the service," Burrough said.

Several large charities promoted text message donations during last month's London Marathon.

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