mBlox and Frudoo Partner for Charity Shortcode Initiative

Mobile transaction network mBlox has released details of a partnership with Frudoo Mobile Media and Commerce to create a mobile charity shortcode with a difference, allowing consumers to make donations to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).

Premium SMS payments allow charities to reach a large audience and raise funds through the donor’s mobile phone bill. Charity shortcodes work in the same way as a standard Premium SMS service, with billing via shortcodes and keywords. The charity shortcodes, however, are exempt of VAT, enabling the full value to be passed directly onto the charity. In addition, for this campaign, donors could also add Gift Aid to increase the value of their donation at no additional cost to themselves.

The campaign ran for the month of December. Texting GIFT to 70997 enabled a £5 VAT-free donation to the NSPCC Christmas campaign. Donors were sent a “Thank you” SMS after donating, and uniquely, donors could then add Gift Aid via SMS or the mobile internet. This increases the value of donations to charities by allowing them to reclaim the basic rate tax on the donation.

To add Gift Aid, donors either visited a mobile internet site, rendered appropriately for all smartphones or computers, or replied by SMS with their Gift Aid details. Frudoo worked closely with the Charities Group at HM Revenue & Customs to create an HMRC-approved Gift Aid SMS solution, to allow the NSPCC and its beneficiaries to receive the full benefit from donations.

“We received a strong response to this campaign,” says Frudoo CEO & founding partner, Chris Brown. “After making the initial donation, approximately 16 per cent of donors also provided an SMS-based Gift Aid declaration, and 7 per cent provided this via the mobile internet. We are delighted to be able to help such a great cause, while demonstrating the reach of mobile to increase charity donations.”

Barbara Moretti, Product Marketing Manager for UK and Ireland at mBlox, adds: “We are excited that charities such as the NSPCC are realising the potential of SMS and its ubiquity to reach all mobile users. There is no other medium that engages with consumers in a way that is as simple, quick and unobtrusive. Charity shortcodes are an important mobile development for the charity sector, as they enable charities to collect as high a proportion of the donation as possible, thanks to the generosity of the operators and the addition of Gift Aid.”