SMS donations have been declining since 2020
Charity donations from texts suffered a worrying 28% fall in 2023 due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Research by the industry body Phone-paid Services Authority (PPSA), reveals charity donations plummeted from a total of £50.0 million in 2021–2022 to £35.9 million in 2022–2023.
It’s annual report said the amount of charity donations raised though phone-paid services has been declining since a peak in 2020–2021 while donations fell in 2022–2023 primarily because of the biannual nature of the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, the declining popularity of telethons overall, and consumers’ reduced income in light of the cost-of-living crisis.
Two additional telethons, Concert for Ukraine and Stand Up to Cancer, were televised in 2021–2022 but without the donations raised for these two events, it is likely that the total donation figure for 2021–2022 would have been closer to the £40.1 million raised in 2019–2020.
“We do not expect charity donations to reach the high levels seen in 2020/21 and 2021/22 because charities are increasingly diversifying the payment channels that they offer to donors and are continuing to run an increasing number of online fundraisers,” the report states.
“Declining TV viewership following the end of Covid-19 lockdowns, in line with longer-term trends, also explains why donation amounts are not expected to reach the amounts raised via phone-paid service payment channels in 2020/21 and 2021/22.”