can now receive donations by SMS text message without facing
hefty charges to mobile phone operators following the discovery
of a new messaging product through the Institute of Fundraising’s
Innovation Zone programme.
LUUP mobile donations, identified by the Institute through
its work promoting new and essential products for charities,
allows anyone over the age of 14 to pay, send and receive
money by SMS or WAP.
Charities must fill in a registration form, and can then
begin receiving donations immediately. There are no upfront
fees, and LUUP only receives a fee when a donation is made.
Accounts can be set up in a matter of hours.
The discovery of the LUUP service follows a survey of Institute
of Fundraising members which found that an overwhelming
majority of charities (89%) are held back from using text
message donations due to the pricing structure of mobile
phone operators. A further 84% said they would be likely
to use it if the charges were lower.
Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at the Institute,
said she was pleased that the Innovation Zone had identified
a mechanism that would allow charities of all sizes to receive
“The Institute has had an ongoing campaign to enable
charities to receive SMS text message donations cost effectively,”
she said. “Our attempts to work with the UK mobile
operator industry in a cooperative and mutually beneficial
manner for a considerable period of time have largely fallen
on deaf ears. We are delighted that we have now identified
another solution outside of the control of the UK mobile
operator industry that will enable charities to solicit
donations via SMS.”
Amnesty International is one of the first charities to
set up an account with LUUP. New development business manager
Katie Hart said: “In the past we avoided [SMS donation]
as we felt its value was questionable and that it was too
costly for donors. But LUUP presents a mobile payments option
that is not only easy to use and very secure but also ensures
the donation ends up with those who need it most.”
Christopher Lovold, LUUP’s UK director, said he was
pleased the company had been able to fill a gap in the market.
“Impulse donations are now a reality,” he added.
“Charities are able to collect real-time donations
from supporters anytime, from anywhere.”
Other products that impressed the Innovation Zone in February
were LIFE, a simulator that can assist the forecasting of
legacy income, and Charity Champions Maestro, a pre-paid
charity debit card from Mastercard.
The Institute is now inviting suppliers to submit their
products for the September session of the Innovation Zone.