Likecharity enables 100pc of text donations to reach charities in Ireland

23 Jan 2013

Image courtesy of Jason Clarke Photography

We in Ireland are a generous lot, donating more than €500m annually to some 8,000 charities across the country. Making donations has never been easier in the mobile age with text-to-donate campaigns proving increasingly popular. And now, Likecharity has made it so every cent of an SMS donation goes to the nominated charity.

Likecharity has partnered with all of Ireland’s mobile operators – Vodafone, O2, Meteor, Three, Tesco Mobile and eMobile – to ensure that 100pc of the money raised through text donations, including VAT, goes directly to the charity.

A number of prominent Irish charities have already signed up to the service, including UNICEF, Focus Ireland, DEBRA Ireland and Headstrong.

“Before Likecharity, most text donation campaigns were prohibitive, with costs consuming much of the donation,” said UNICEF’s director of public fundraising Ambrose Duffy. “The fact that we are now going to receive 100pc of donations made via SMS is a huge boost to our organisation.”

Paid in full

Likecharity’s service simply asks that donors send a specific keyword to the free-text number 50300. The set donation amount will then be deducted from the sender at source if they’re pay-as-you-go or will appear on their bill if they have a bill-pay contract. Likecharity then collects the funds and then sends this donation – in full – on to the nominated charity.

Focus Ireland has already made use of the service for its annual ‘Key to a Home’ appeal. “To date, the response has been great and we are delighted to be able to offer our supporters a very simple way to give no matter where they are, with confidence that it will all be put to great use in our services right across the country,” said Lisa Nicole Dunne, director of fundraising and marketing for Focus Ireland.

A valuable service

It is estimated that about 22.7pc of annual donations to Irish charities are received via online donations, internet appeals and direct debit. Jimmy Fearon, CEO of DEBRA Ireland, believes an initiative like Likecharity was very much in need.

“The sector has been crying out for this service for years,” Fearon said. “The key trend in supporter behaviour is towards mobile phone dependency for transactions and donations. This allows the sector to capitalise on this and it makes it easier for the already generous Irish public to support their charity with minimum effort and minimum cost.”

“This valuable new service will be a lifeline to many good causes that are struggling to survive because of funding cuts and falling incomes,” added Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel, a representative network for the community and voluntary sector in Ireland.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.