SMS provider waives charity text donation fees

Win will no longer charge and challenges mobile operators to follow suit

A company that provides charity text donation services is believed to be the first to waive its commission on donations to third sector organisations.

Win handles ‘short code transactions', or texts to numbers of about five digits, between charities and donors. It usually receives between five and 10 pence per standard £1.50 text donation, but has said this week that it will waive the fee for charities and other not-for-profit organisations using its services.

About 30 per cent of every text donation made to sector organisations in the UK is taken in charges by third-party service providers and mobile networks.

Graham Rivers, the firm's chief executive, said: "Charities need to get the full amount without the middlemen taking a cut. We would like industry players, aggregators and mobile operators to join us and help this become a reality."

People could be put off donating via text if they thought commercial organisations were benefiting from their generosity, he added.

Joe Saxton, founder of not-for-profit research consultancy nfpSynergy, and a leading campaigner against the high cost of giving by text message, welcomed the move. "Win is showing real leadership in deciding not to charge for handling text donations," he said.

"This is really going to put pressure on the phone operators and help change the way text donations are perceived by the public."

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