Text donation was worth £115m to charities in 2014 and is expected to grow to £124m in 2015, according to the premium rate regulator’s annual market report.
PhonePay Plus said this was due to the success of viral social media campaigns and a relaxation in the rules around regular text giving.
The regulator estimates that 5.8 million people, or 9 per cent of the population, donated to charity by text last year. The average annual amount was just under £20 with two-thirds of users donating on a quarterly basis.
Overall charity donations account for 30 per cent of the premium rate market and are predicted to be the biggest contributor this year, overtaking directory enquiries which is expected to see its revenue fall from £117m in 2014 to £95m this year.
At the beginning of 2014 PhonePay Plus relaxed the rules for regular giving by text, enabling donors to ‘skip’ rather than ‘stop’ donations in a given month.
By the end of 2014 it estimates that 100,000 people were giving regularly by text and that this is growing at around 5,000 users per month, with PhonePay Plus expecting this to accelerate through 2015.
The report identifies viral social media campaigns, such as the #nomakeupselfie campaign last year, as a reason for the predicted growth, saying that text lines had “become the glue linking donations with the monetisation of social media”.
PhonePay Plus’s estimates are based on a survey of 3,000 people and data from supplied by industry players working in that sector.