Eco Friendly Christmas Fundraising

Eco-friendly fundraising this Christmas: is it possible?

In the third instalment of our Christmas fundraising series, we’re exploring how you could use text giving to make your fundraising more eco-friendly.

Naughty or nice?

As the connection between consumerism and its impact on the environment become undeniably clear, it seems that we’re all on a mission to consume more sustainably. From Oxfam’s #SecondhandSeptember, to acknowledging that we probably don’t really need anything new for our birthdays and setting up a Facebook fundraiser instead.

But Christmas consumer culture hasn’t quite caught up. According to Business Leader, we waste £4bn on unwanted presents a year.  We send enough Christmas cards that if we placed them alongside each other, they’d cover the world’s circumference 500 times.

2019 has seen more public discussion about the environment than ever before. So, how can charities champion their cause and help supporters create their own more sustainable Christmas?

Oxfam Secondhand September

A Very Personal Present

If your charity’s Christmas appeal has an individual fundraising element, why not let supporters know that they can have their own unique text giving keyword this Christmas?

Created within a matter of seconds on the dashboard, these keywords could be included in supporter’s Christmas cards, shared at Christmas parties or even shared with families and friends as a way to give instead of buying you a small gift.

A Digital December

If you’d like to skip physical Christmas cards altogether, why not create an online card you could share with your supporters in an email campaign or across your social media?

The card could include festive season well wishes followed by a text-to-donate call to action to let others know how to support your work and do something good for the planet. We quickly mocked up the image below on Canva and used the Donr Foundation as an example. 👇

Online Charity Christmas Card

These really are just two of the many ways you can make your fundraising a little greener this Christmas – but if you have any ideas to share, we'd love to hear them! And in case you missed them, here are our other posts on how to easily add text giving to your 2019 Christmas Appeal, as well as how to get your social media content seen this Chrismas.

Reduce your Single-Use! The steps Team Donr are taking to help the planet

As mentioned in a previous post, here at Donr we’re using the summer months to check-in with our core values and beliefs. Our second post in this series takes inspiration from our recent partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, to look at what we're currently doing – and the things we still hope to do – to help slash our use of single-use plastics.


Becoming aware of the issue

Earlier this month, Team Donr helped the Marine Conservation Society to launch #DonateYourGuilt – an impactful campaign, inviting people to make a small donation whenever they accidentally slip up and buy a single-use plastic item (see: a plastic coffee cup or a plastic shopping bag). Inspired by our role in the ‘sharing’ element of the campaign, we decided to look internally at the actions we’re taking in order to be more environmentally-friendly...

Donr shopping bags

We’re proud that we have a collection of handy tote bags on display in the corner of our main office – some of which are Donr branded, and some which people have brought in themselves from home (a personal favourite is Max’s Glastonbury tote offering!). These reusable bags are available for anyone to grab when heading out of the office at lunchtime... Meaning our team can carry their meal deal back to HQ in style – and with a clean conscience!


Our Donr reusable tote bags helps fight plastic waste


Reusable coffee cups

As we become more aware of the good that choosing reusable achieves, our hot drink cups collection continues to grow on the middle shelf in our kitchen. Again – these are available for all members of staff to grab on their way out to secure their caffeine fix on the go. What’s even better, is that most coffee shops now offer a reward when you opt to bring your reusable cup in – whether it’s money off your drink or an extra stamp on your rewards card. What more could you ask for?!


Our hidden Tupperware stash

Just under our kitchen sink exists the hidden Tupperware stash – one that has unknowingly grown as a result of people cleaning out their lunch containers and leaving them in the office! However, the stash proves an extra handy resource for those nipping out to grab a morning pastry or a lunch time bread-roll to accompany their soup of choice... Why? Carrying a container stops the need for having to use a single-use plastic bag, which, at present, are still far too commonly used in the bakery sections of our local stores. Tupperwares - you rock!



From time to time, we’re all guilty of slipping up when it comes to the avoidance of single-use plastics – every single one of us has gotten to the front of the Starbucks queue to be hit with the realisation that our reusable cup has been left behind in the dishwasher! We get it – and we're guilty often too. But we also believe that the more we normalise our behaviours, by trying our very best to remember wherever we can, that things can only continue to change for the better.


And hey – if you do forget your reusable bag – don’t forget to check out Marine Conservation’s #DonateYourGuilt campaign!


The Survey Series: The Text Giving Supporter journey

Growing your mobile number database allows you to take donors on a supporter journey that shows them everything from the impact of their donation to introducing them to a completely different area of your work. Or does it?


Survey results

In our survey series, we asked members of the Donr Community what you do with your data once you download it from the Donr Dashboard. A whopping 77% said that you don’t have a text giving supporter journey at all, and so we explored why.


The Power of SMS

Our email inboxes are busy places. Just take a moment to think about how many times you’ve deleted all the emails in your ‘Promotions’ tab because even though you opted to receive them, you just don’t have the time or capacity to sift through them all.

According to Campaign Monitor, just 20% of all emails are opened, compared to SMS open rates which are as high as 98%, and it makes perfect sense. Our text message inboxes just aren’t as busy. To test our theory we polled the office, with the majority of Donr HQ revealing that the only texts they receive are appointment reminders, parcel delivery updates as well as a couple of conversations with friends and family who prefer not to use other apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

So why aren’t charities communicating via SMS when their supporters have said that they want to be contacted via text?


Leading by example

On a quest to find out more, we scoured the internet for examples of SMS supporter journey campaigns and advice from service providers and charity bodies. Here's what we found:


The NHS Blood and Transplant Journey

Although the NHS' text supporter journey starts with a blood donation and not a monetary one, we still think it deserves to be mentioned. The service very cleverly uses outbound texts to deepen the donor's emotional connection to the NHS and its Give Blood campaign. Once a supporter's blood has been used they receive a text to let them know which hospital its been issued at — reminding them their donation has had a positive impact on a real person's life.

Battersea Rehoming Alerts

Launched just last week, Battersea's new text service combines text donations and rehoming alerts which let you know when a cat or dog has found their forever family.

Battersea Text Donation


Our internet scour, however, ended there. Excluding the two campaigns mentioned above, we could only find general content about supporter journeys which often only included a sentence or two about SMS.

We know from our survey that a lack of digital skills is preventing some charities from integrating mobile giving and digital supporter journeys into their fundraising. But we also know that it’s common practice within the sector to share knowledge about what works, and what doesn’t. So, is one of the reasons charities are not fully utilising text because there aren’t any readily available examples for teams to use as inspiration?


What do you think the barriers are that are preventing charities from fully utilising SMS supporter journey? Let us know on social media or email us at ⚡️

Is text giving the easiest way to introduce supporters to digital?

Mobile phones are such an integral part of our daily lives, with the average person checking their phone every 12 minutes. We use them for everything – from storing our train tickets to capturing life’s special moments. They are familiar devices to most of us, which is why we believe giving by text is the perfect way to introduce your supporter base to digital giving.

In April we asked you what your biggest digital fundraising challenges were, and we spotted three main trends:


  1. Your charity is new to digital
  2. Your supporters feel uneasy about digital, preferring cash
  3. You don’t have the time to implement it


This blog post will explore just how easy it is to introduce text giving to your organisation – in a way that will leave them inspired to give by mobile, and turning them into digital donors in the process.

Why rolling out text giving should be on your to-do list

If you’re struggling to convince your trustees, or even just to make the time in your busy schedule to research how your organisation can best use text-to-donate, here’s why you should:

Whilst there’s no denying the impact of cash giving on the charity sector, giving by text message has seen the biggest increase alongside online donations in 2017. This growth –combined with the fact that the UK is rapidly on its way to becoming a cashless society (UK Finance predict that cash will soon account for just 9% of all payments) – reveals just how important integrating cashless donation options into supporter communities is.

Initial roll out doesn’t have to be a massive project that eats up your time and resources. Instead, why not choose one campaign or segment of your supporter base to do some testing on? Introduce text giving in the places you already use to communicate with them — from a snippet in your next direct mail, to an email explaining the giving process from start to finish.

A screenshot of CancerOnBoard's tweet introducing Donr text Giving to their online community

As easy as ABC

Our daily lives are filled with skills that we once had to learn, from learning to talk to understanding how to catch the school bus. They were initially presented as achievable tasks that we had no need to be afraid of — and introducing digital giving to your community should be no different.

Start with what they know

We suggest starting with the part they already know how to do: sending a text. Let your supporters know that they can donate to your cause by simply texting your keyword and how much they’d like to give to a short code number (example 70085), and that it’s no different than sending a text to their best friend. Once they’ve texted, they’ll receive a thank you message from your charity which you can personalise from the Donr Dashboard. The message will tell them how much they’ve donated, and also share our helpline number which they can ring if they have any questions.

The nuts and bolts

Next, explain where their donation comes from. It’s as simple as that it’s added to their next mobile phone bill if they have a contract, or, if they use Pay-As-You-Go. that the donation amount will be deducted from their credit.

How text giving helps your charity

Finally, your supporters are part of your community because they value the impact of your work, so why not let them know how text giving helps you? If you’re on a quest to handle less cash because it reaches your beneficiaries quicker, then let your community know. Or maybe giving by mobile will allow you to keep in better touch with a supporter, showing them what their donation helped achieve, which is important to you.

Sharing this information with your community will help them to feel even closer/more engaged with your charity, as they’ll understand the why behind your new text giving call-to-action – as well as knowing the who (to your cause), what (donating via SMS) and the where (from your mobile!)

Digital Donor ✅

And just like that, you’ve now introduced your supporters to a new way of giving, turning them into digital donors in the process. Their details are now stored on a secure online dashboard which you can download to give to your Finance Team, add to your CRM and so much more!

The Barbican Centre

IoFFC 19: Our top three takeaways

At Donr HQ, we're lucky enough to speak to fundraisers almost every day – so when we asked them which event we'd be silly to miss, they all said the IoFFC, hosted by the Institute of Fundraising. Last week we exhibited at our very first Convention, hosted at London's iconic Barbican Centre. We spent three full days chatting to charities old and new about their upcoming campaigns, digital fact-finding missions and how they could join the text giving revolution — and even managed to sneak into a couple of sessions.


Here are our top three takeaways...


The beanbags zone

We're all only human, and being at a conference that created space where anyone could grab 20 minutes in between sessions to catch up and rest was one of our favourite additions. With society finally putting a much-deserved emphasis on mental health, the beanbags were just one of the ways the IoF gave us all a subtle nudge to say, "You can't make the world a better place if you're not taking care of yourself — rest a little."


The mind-blowing session by =mc on behavioural economics

Did you know that the presence of simple images of eyes encourages people to donate more? On Day 2, Bernard Ross' session explored how we could use this subconscious processing as well as other lessons from behavioural economics as a force for good. We've just ordered his new book Change for Good which we've added to the Donr Library and definitely feel a blog post series in the making. ⚡️


Tuesday's plenary with Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn

Two members of the team were lucky enough to hear Jonny and Neil share their incredible tale of courage, kindness and friendship shining a light on young people's mental health and their new charity Beyond Shame Beyond Stigma.

Neil met Jonny ten years ago when Jonny was sat on Waterloo Bridge contemplating taking his own life. He stopped to talk to him, convincing Jonny to take a step back. The plenary left every single person moved, reminding us all that small acts of kindness can change lives.



This list could have gone on for substantially longer, but we'll keep it short and sweet. To everyone we met at #IoFFC thank you for taking the time to introduce yourselves and tell us about your charity — we simply can't wait to see which incredible things you'll achieve next!






The Survey Series: Your Mobile Supporter Journey

We strive to be a platform created by collaboration and feedback. So, in April, we designed a survey to find out more about how the UK charity sector is using text giving, your supporter journeys and what you need next to take your fundraising to the next level — and the results are in.

This new blog series will dive deeper into the results, sharing what the Donr Community have to say about everything from fundraising KPIs to your favourite ways to learn new digital fundraising skills. To kick off we thought we'd start with your mobile supporter journey.

We know how important data collection is to fundraisers. Without it, you can't show supporters what your community has achieved beyond the impact of their donation, deepen their emotional connection to your cause and more.

But when we asked the Donr Community what you do with your opt-in data nearly 80% of you said that you don't have a text donation supporter journey at all.



Do you have a digital strategy?

Several bodies of research within the sector point towards a lack of digital skills, including the Charity Digital Skills Report 2019, compiled by Skills Platform and Zoe Amar Digital, which found that more than half (52%) of charities don't have a digital strategy at all.

Although we know a lack of funding and skills are some of the main obstacles preventing charities from better integrating digital into their work, we wondered if there are challenges specific to text and mobile giving that are preventing charities from developing comprehensive text donation journeys.

For example, are there clear sector guidelines for creating text and mobile-specific fundraising and community engagement strategies? Or, are we jumping the gun and the reason charities aren't doing anything with their supporters' mobile numbers is because there isn't a streamlined way to integrate data from text giving into their CRMs?

With donations by text expected to grow by 34% in the next 12 months, we hope to create more tools to solve the challenges mentioned above. But and as always if there's something you think we should add to the dashboard, or you have a brainwave in the middle of the night and want to share it, let us know!

Who can Donr work with?

Find out who Donr can work with by reading on...

Donr provides Text Giving services and Fundraising pages to registered charities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. To work with Donr and take advantage of any of these products, an organisation must have a registered charity number from the Charity Commission in either England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. This is due to regulations imposed by the UK Mobile Network Operators with whom Donr works and is not something that Donr has the power to change.

Unfortunately, this means that, currently, Donr cannot work Community Interest Companies (CICs), or individuals or fundraising teams looking to raise money for a certain charity.

While we cannot work with CICs at the moment, we'd still like to hear from CICs who are interested in using our services. We are currently exploring options as to how we can bring our products to CICs and would love to talk to interested groups about how this may work.

In the case of individuals or fundraising teams, we'd suggest contacting the charity you wish to raise money for directly and asking them to sign up for a Donr Text Giving account – this will then give them the ability to set up a specific keyword for you, allowing you to encourage your supporters to text and donate to the charity in this way.

Are there any donation limits associated with Donr's services?

Donation Limits Associated with Donr's Text Giving Service

There are several donation limits which charities and supporters should keep in mind when using Donr's Text Giving service.

The maximum that can be contributed via a donation using Donr's Text Giving service is £20. If a supporter would like to make a larger contribution, they can do this by sending multiple texts until they have donated their desired amount. However, they should be aware that UK mobile networks have per service per day limits on how much can be spent via a person's mobile bill. UK mobile network operators can provide more information on these limits.

Supporters should also be aware that some operators impose monthly caps to try and stop users running up big mobile bills. Donr cannot see what these caps are but, if a supporter would like further information, their mobile network operator may be able to help.

And with Donr Appeal Pages...

Donation limits on Donr's Appeal pages are generally higher than those associated with Text Giving.

The maximum donation amount on a Donr Appeal Page using a credit or debit card is £5,000. If a supporter would like to donate more than this amount, they need to make two separate transactions – if they wished to donate £10,000, they need to make two separate online payments of £5,000.

The maximum donation amount on a Donr Appeal Page via mobile phone can vary. The general rule is that up to £20 can be donated per transaction. Charges of up to £30 can be made to a single UK mobile phone number per day. For instance, if a supporter would like to donate £30 to a cause via mobile phone, they'd need to make two separate payments of £20 and £10. If they then decided they'd like to contribute further, they would have to wait until the next day to donate via their mobile phone again.

The minimum that can be contributed via Donr's Appeal Pages is £1. However, while all of the organisations we work with appreciate any support you can give, the average donation is significantly higher than this.

JustTextGiving has closed – can Donr Text Giving replace it?

It’s never nice to hear of a service closing down and we appreciate how many charities are worried about one of their key income streams being taken away. However, while JustGiving's JustTextGiving has closed, we do believe though that Donr's Text Giving can replace it.

We’re really proud of our Text Giving service. Hundreds of charities have already signed up to use Text Giving, with many using it to raise significant funds for their various causes.

Donr's Text Giving Service Highlights

Pricing: we take 5% (+VAT) of any and all donations we collect on behalf of our Charity Partners. There are absolutely no other mandatory fees to consider with Donr's Text Giving service.

Choice: with Donr’s Text Giving service, our Charity Partners enjoy a huge amount of choice when it comes to selecting text-to-give keyword(s). As long as the keyword meets our criteria, the only limit to what you can have as a keyword is your imagination.

Adaptability: the text-to-give donation mechanism lends itself well to many fundraising scenarios. It’s really easy to advertise in literature and on social media and it’s great for use at charity events too – not everyone has change for the collection tin, but most attendees will have a mobile phone on them. With Donr, organisations can register as many Text Giving keywords as they wish, making it easy to raise money for various campaigns at the same time and to assign certain keywords to specific events.

If you’d like more information on Donr’s Text Giving service, check out the Text Giving FAQ category here. Or, if you’d like to chat to us in person, please email and someone from our customer-facing team will get back to you. Alternatively, you can call us on 03334444777.

If you’re ready to get going with Donr’s Text Giving service, you can find the sign-up form here.