Text donations raised £40.1m last year, down from nearly £50m in 2018-19, according to the latest data.
The Phone-paid Services Authority’s (PSA) Annual Market Review was published this week with data on donations for the year to March 2020. It attributes this year's fall to the cyclical nature telethon fundraising events, with Comic Relief's Red Nose Day years raising more than Sport Relief years.
PSA predicts that charity donations will eventually reach £49.2m in 2022-2023, but only after an expected decline to £33.7m in 2021-22.
“This decline is a reflection of the biannual nature of the segment, exacerbated by the displacement effect of short-term increases in donations during 2020-2021,” the review reads.
It adds: “Many people will feel economic hardships while having already contributed to appeals in 2020-2021, which will result in a large reduction in spend in 2021-2022.”
Charity text donations expected to rise this year
The report states that “growth will slow down as the market begins to approach saturation” following an expected rise in 2020-2021 to £47.9m.
This predicted increase is because of major telethon events happening this year.
There was also a spike in Covid-19 related donations early in the financial year. The BBC’s Big Night In, for example, raised £27.3m on the night, of which £10.3m was through phone-paid services.
Further growth is likely to be dependent on recurring donations because donations via telethon events are expected to reach saturation.
Joanne Prowse, chief executive of the PSA, said: “Many charities continue to use phone payment as a means to raise much-needed funds. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our Annual Market Review estimates that charities will raise nearly £50m this year.
“And we’ll do all we can to support the charity sector through effective regulation that meets the needs of consumers.”