A new method of fundraising by mobile phone has been launched by the Sick Children’s Trust.
The method allows donors to use their mobile phone to take pictures of symbols that are similar to barcodes.
The symbols, called Jagtags, are like QR codes, which are often used on billboard posters and in advertising literature by businesses in Japan and Europe and have already been used by many charities.
Anyone with the correct software on their mobile phone can photograph a QR code and they will be taken to the advertiser’s website if they have a mobile internet connection.
The difference with Jagtags is that the user does not need to have an internet connection on their mobile phone to use the code.
To donate with a Jagtag, the user takes a picture of it on their phone - from the relevant organisation's advertising material - and sends it to a short number.
The user will then be charged for a donation of £3, plus the cost of sending the image. They will also be sent a thank-you message by the charity.
A spokeswoman for the Sick Children’s Trust said no set-up costs were involved but the network providers and Jagtags took 15 per cent of each donation, which meant that £2.55 of each donation went to the charity.
She said the network providers’ charges varied and that Jagtags changed its fee accordingly. Gift Aid could not be claimed on the donations, she said.
Martin Copus, business development partner at Jagtags, said the company had not decided on the pricing level for other charities that were interested in using the technology.
He said the Sick Children’s Trust was the first charity in the world to fundraise using this technology.
Claudette Watson, chief executive of the Sick Children’s Trust, said the organisation was excited about this new method of fundraising.
Lee Grant, tax-effective giving project manager at the Institute of Fundraising, said it was important for charities to embrace new technologies.
"It will heighten their potential to fundraise efficiently and effectively," he said.