JustTextGiving, a free charity text donation service funded by JustGiving and Vodafone, which has raised over £40m to date, will be shut down next year.
JustGiving said the decision was taken because technology trends have moved on and confirmed it will offer support to charities in other ways.
It was revealed that the service will close in the JustGiving Foundation’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2017, recently filed with the Charity Commission.
“The JustTextGivingService will cease in March 2019. However, JustGiving Foundation will remain active as the trustees have no intention of winding down the entity,” the accounts said.
The foundation’s trustees are Jon Olson and Anthony Boor, who were also appointed as the company directors for JustGiving when it was bought by Blackbaud.
There are alternative text donation services for charities, but these typically charge fees.
The service launched in 2011 and within weeks had 9,200 charities signed up. But the number of charities has now declined to under 3,000 and the amount raised via the service declined sharply last year.
In 2016 it raised £741,000 but this fell to £198,000 in 2017.
The Vodafone Foundation’s annual accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017 say that it had spent £109,000 on JustTextGiving that year.
‘Overtaken by other trends’
A spokesman for JustGiving said the service had been “groundbreaking” when it launched.
“It has raised £42.5m for more than 25,000 charities. It has been a massive success and we are very proud of what it has achieved,” they said.
“However, with change in consumer behaviour and new technologies, the use of this service has been overtaken by other emerging mobile trends which JustGiving has been at the forefront of developing. The rapid development of smartphone technology has meant JustGiving has had to keep innovating ahead of these trends to support the changing needs of causes and consumers who want to give.”
They did not say whether charities had already been told that the service had been earmarked for closure, but said that charities using the service would be offered “more online and mobile giving solutions with the support needed to help charities continue to raise more money in the most effective way possible.
“As the JustTextGiving service winds down over the coming six months, we will be engaging closely with our charity partners and fundraisers to make sure they are kept informed.”