Text message donations to charities down by £7 million

Text message donations to charities fell by £7 million last year, according to new figures published by the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA).

The UK regulator for content, goods and services said that the total amount raised through text donations was now worth £115 million to the third sector, down from £122 million the previous year. This is despite the PSA forecasting in last year’s annual report that text income would grow to £129 million in 2017.

Experts said success in 2015/16 was attributed to viral campaigns, such as the “ice bucket challenge” and “no-make-up selfie”.

However, the charity sector was still the largest recipient of texting revenue, surpassing online competition and quizzes (£70 million) and games on social networks (£66 million).

The regulator said the total market size for phone-paid services in 2016/17 exceeded £700 million for the first time.

About 55 per cent of users were either satisfied or very satisfied with text services, and the total number of users peaked at 22.7 million – around 40 per cent of the UK population – spending on average £16 per service.

A spokesman for the PSA said it will produce a more detailed market review in coming weeks.

The PSA’s 2016/17 annual report can be found here.

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