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Enhancing digital literacy, online communication and fundraising skills

Mobile donation

Statistical data
Amount raised by time 
Amount raised by type of organisation
Case study

Case Study – On-line Fundraising


Written by: Tamás Knecht



Title: A gyerekkor mindenkinek jár! Childhood is for everyone!


Short Description: Children’s Day fundraising campaign in favour of Bátor Tábor

Foundation on RTL Klub television, Hungary’s most popular commercial TV channel


Financial Target: HUF 5 million (appr. EUR 16 000)

Amount Raised: appr. HUF 5,8 million (appr. EUR 18 700)


No.1 Learning Outcome: Mobile donation as a fundraising tool can only be used effectively in such campaigns, where and while visual inputs affect viewers. About 80 percent of the donations were received during the broadcast and within the following hour.



Name: Bátor Tábor Foundation (a serious fun camp – part of the serious fun network)




Focus / mission: We change lives. We provide life-changing experiences, strength and tools to live and to recover for seriously ill children and their families. All of these are free.

We believe that the sun always shines above the clouds.


Campaign description

On the occasion of Children’s Day, RTL Klub’s Fókusz Plusz magazine came out with a special edition. Throughout the show, they broadcasted short (6-7 mins) reports on the

activity of Bátor Tábor introducing their main target group: children with cancer and chronic illnesses, and their families, the volunteers and physicians of the foundation.

RTL has also broadcasted public service advertisements six times in the previous two days off-peak.


Target group

Viewers of RTL Klubs’s Fókusz Plusz magazine


Campaign goals (financial and non-financial)

  • raising at least 5 million Forints through AdhatVonal and online donations via

  • introducing the goals and activity of the foundation 

  • strenghtening the foundation’s brand


Campaign outcomes (financial and non-financial)

  • HUF 5,8 million in donation

  • numerous enquiries about volunteer work

  • many non-financial donations

  • public awareness of the foundation has been raised, which indirectly contributes to the success of future fundraising campaigns


Milestones, turning points, key decisions

  • since by its nature, it is a very sensitive issue (children with cancer) in the reports, it was necessary to find a healthy balance that can be accepted by the viewer

  • only those reports were run, where the subject of the interview could identify completely with the content

  • in relation to the success it was very important factor that the broadcast was live and we could report the campaign status from time to time

Learnings and takeaways


  • this was the 4th Children’s Day campaign co-organised with RTL Klub and despite this fact the outcome doesn’t show a declining trend

  • success highly depends on the quality of the reports (emotional enough but not too shocking or appalling)

  • text and call donations were received only during the broadcast and in he following short period of time, while the impulse lasted

  • quite important to report on the go

  • high emphasis should be placed on the stability of the technical background

Trends in the country about the topic

According to the research: „Komunikacja SMS w Polsce 2015” (SMS communication in Poland 2015,, 97% of Poles use SMS service. 66% out of them send SMS Premium. And 62% of the SMS Premium users send charitable SMS. Why do they do that? „People like to donate, and – according to our experience – they seek for different occasions to suport charity projcts. But it is important for them to find easy to access donation method. Sending charitable SMS meets their needs – it allows them to suport favourite organization or important issue in a fast and inexpensive way. What is more, when they receive thank-you SMS, they feel even more encouraged to offer that kind of support in the future”, says Anna Jadwiga Orzech from The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation.


What kind of ngos uses sms/mobile giving? Mostly big, well-recognized NGOs, such as:

  1. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (

  2. Polish Humanitarian Action ( They organize ad hoc actions, in order to, for example, support people and regions affected by some natural disasters:

    1.  #SOSNepal,

  3. Caritas Poland: There are several Caritas’ activities that can be supported by such donation, e.g. development of their crowdfunding webpage:, holidays for Caritas’ beneficiaries, food for the homeless, etc. They also organize some ad hoc actions, such as:

    1. Action for Aleppo:

  4. Corporate foundations associated to Polish private TV stations: Fundacja TVN Nie jesteś sam ( and Fundacja polast Dzieciom (

  5. Unicef Polska (

  6. Fundacja Anny Dymnej „Mimo Wszystko” ( – they organizae festiwal called Ogólnopolskie Dni Integracji „Zwyciężać Mimo Wszystko” (

  7. Fundacja Ewy Błaszczyk (

  8. Orange Foundation (


Why small ngo don’t use sms/mobile giving? One of the reason can be because the procedure of setting up the charity SMS action is quite complicated – too complicated for small NGOs.

For what kind of actions ngos raise funds via sms/mobile?

  • Ad hoc actions, e.g. as an answer to a natural disaster or other unpredictable disaster that affect many people at a time.

  • Re-occuring events (e.g. festivals, charity balls).

  • Statutory activities.

Inspirational examples

Fundacja TVN – Akcja SMS „Zielone drzwi” (SMS Action ‘Green Doors”) - case study to download.

Polish Humanitarian Action – #SOSNepal - case study to download.

Resource list - a step by step guide to set up a charity SMS service.
Statistical data
Not available. There are no in depth quantitative nor qualitatuive reports concerning SMS/mobile giving in Poland, so unfortunately we are not able to say, how many Polish NGOs use these fundraising methods and with what results. 
Case study
  • What to do, if my organisation wants to start a charity SMS campaign?

Follow this step by step guide

Trends in the country about the topic

In 2013, Romania was only the third European country to implement a recurring text giving system. Since then, individual donors can choose to donate 2 euros/month to a charity they want to support, for as long as they want to support it.

The amounts given by donors via recurring text donations have had a fantastic growth since 2103 and so had the number of donors. 2017 was particularly extraordinary in terms of the SMS donations success. Two organizations reached the goal of raising $120,000/month via text donations.

Money raised trough SMS pledge

Inspirational examples

MagiCamp, an NGO who takes care of kids with cancer, decided to build a house, near the largest pediatric hospital in Romania, for the parents to have a place where to sleep, do laundry, cook for their sick children etc.


They had an amazing concept: because these parents live on a chair, near their child’s bed for as long as the child is in hospital, MagiCamp put a chair near a bed in the city center, in Bucharest and declared that they will not stand up until they raise 100,000 SMS donations. Many public figures sit on the chair and they raised the first 100,000 SMS donations in 3 weeks, in November, 2017.

They have now over 75,000 monthly donors and raised 1.3 million euro.

Statistical data
Case study

Title: Give the Gift of Life

Short Description: the campaign is meant to ensure funding for building a Paediatric Hospital in Bucharest, for children with cancer.

Financial Target: 1 million euro

Amount Raised: 560,000 euro so far (50,000 euro/month)

No.1 Learning Outcome: Monthly SMS donations as a fundraising method is a good tool to raise money for a capital campaign, provided that the organization has an outstanding reputation and an excellent media coverage.



Name: Daruieste Viata



Focus / mission: To increase the chances to survive for the Romanian cancer patients.


Campaign description

  • Daruieste Viata (Give the Gift of Life) had a very good experience in 3 fundraising campaigns, using one off SMS donations. After SMS pledge became an option to fundraise in Romania, they decided to start an on-going campaign to raise money for the Paediatric Hospital.

  • They make an excellent use of their reputation, making an outstanding PR campaign, involving public figures (actors, singers, media stars) that took the campaign’s message and made it public in creative ways.

  • The media coverage includes: interviews in prime time TV shows, TV news, Facebook ads.

  • They involve volunteers in donor care. The donors receive a welcome call after the firs donation and e-mails about the progress of the campaign. There is constant communication via Facebook about the progress of the campaign.


Target group

Romanian people with a mobile phone subscription (about 10 million people)


Campaign goals (financial and non-financial)

  • raising 1 million euro for the hospital construction;

  • building relationships with at least 20000



Campaign outcomes (financial and non-financial)


  • 560,000 euro, so far

  • a donor database, containing the contact details for more than 30,000  donors

  • 43% retention rate after 12 months

  • 12:1 ROI 


Milestones, turning points, key decisions

One of the milestones of the campaign was the PR push, when the campaign message was broadcasted several times in prime time TV shows.

 In the beginning, the organization didn’t have the human resources to manage the donor database, and they decided to train volunteers to contact the donors via telephone. The volunteers are still on board and they make the difference between 43% retention rate and 36% for the NGOs that don’t do donor care.

Learnings and takeaways

  • An emotional cause (children with cancer) helps a lot in raising funds via SMS donations;

  • The ambassadors help the campaign, with the proper organizational support;

  • Prime time TV shows bring more donors than any other type of promotion;

  • Donor care is essential for a good retention rate;

  • Constant public communication about the campaign helps keeping the donors interested and committed.

Closing notes

SMS pledge donation is a simple and effective fundraising method with an extraordinary ROI.

It is a method that works best for NGOs with excellent media relations and an emotional cause.

  1. What are the first steps in preparing an SMS pledge campaign?
    There are 3 very important steps when preparing an SMS pledge campaign: make sure you will have unpaid media coverage for your cause, make sure you have an emotional fundraising message and make sure you have the resources for the donor care (at least one person to deal with questions and complaints from the donors)

  2. Should I pay for the media coverage?
    No. The ROI of SMS donations campaign is excellent only if you can get unpaid media coverage. Otherwise, the campaign gets too expensive.

  3. Do the ambassadors help?
    Yes, if you are very specific in the actions you want them to do and in the message you want them to send out.

  4. Should I invest in an on-line campaign?
    Our recommendation is to use only the organic reach of your social media pages. This doesn’t mean not to use social media for your campaign. You should often post relevant information and you should engage your friends and supporters all the time.


Trends in the country about the topic

Mobile Fundraising is a small yet growing branch of online fundraising. Mobile is one of the fasted growing media usages in Germany and therefore NGOs try to raise attention on mobile networks as well.


Another important channel in mobile fundraising is SMS fundraising. About 98% of all German Mobile Accounts are donation-ready. All major telecom providers allow mobile donations. The fee charged by mobile providers is about 0.17 Euros There are several commercial providers of mobile donations.

Mobile providers do not transmit user data – needs to be retrieved through second message. Donations between 3 and 10 Euros can be submitted.


Inspirational examples


As an example, the Austrian NGO Amnesty Australia used a very good mobile campaign to raise awareness for their causes. In their campaign „Tinder Takeover“ for the World Womens Day in 2014, they asked users of the dating website Tinder to change their profile picture to a special picture provided by Amnesty. This campaign raised a lot of media attention, but did not include a fundraising channel.


The German branch of Amnesty also experienced with mobile fundraising. The campaign „Ranhalten“ („Close Touch“) allowed users to touch their smartphones to an NFC Button carried by Amnesty Activists during campaign events. The users would then be directed to a website called where they could sign petitions. 


The NFC Button was also incorporated in public bill boards, where users could get in touch when seeing the add.


Here a fundraising channel was added. When a smartphone was connected, it allowed to generate donations. For this fundraising, the service provider Twingle was used. 


Twingle provides software for online fundraising, through a fundraising dashboard which allows the management of several fundraising channels.  Twingle charges 5% of all the raised donations.



The campaign Seenotretter by the German Maritime Search and Rescue Organisation has distributed more than 15.000 of their iconic wooden rescue boats across Germany. The miniature boats were NFC Ready and included a QR code, which both liked to microsite where donors could generate an SMS donation of 5 Euros.


The SMS donations were facilitated through the Grün/Spendino SMS donation tool. Grün/Spendinow is a provider of online software for fundraising management. They also provide SMS widgets for the incorporation of an SMS donation channel into the website.


The tools allow to send a follow-up SMS to donor, either for generating a tax-relevant donation certificate or an opt-in page for receiving further.




In 2016, a third option for mobile fundraising started: donating while on the phone. The mobile phone provider Goood allowed users to donate 10% of their monthly phone contract to 250 non-profit organisations. Users could also increase the amount donated monthly. Goood itself donates 25% of its profits to NGOs. The company estimates it will raise 25 million Euros in donations in the next five years. The donations itself are run through the online platform of Betterplace.

Trends in the country about the topic

Donation lines were operated by bigger humanitarian organisations in the past.
Mobile and telephone donation was started by NIOK Foundation in a larger scale in October 2012 in co-opeartion with the 3 biggest telecom service provider, which was extended by 1 provider more later. The service can involve 99 organisations, general utilisation is about 60 percent. 
Organisations can apply to use the tool to NIOK two times per year through a tender, where main selection criteria are public benefit status, fundraising ability and capacity, number of supporters and geographical coverage. Organisations gain the opportunity to use the number for one year, which can be extended.

Inspirational examples


Public media provided all-day screen time for the International Children’s Safety Service foundation in the frame of its annual charity campaign. Mobile donations was only one of the tools used to raise funds but one that viewers could follow via TV broadcast. MTVA has shown public service

advertisements through all its TV and radio channels the week preceding the event.


Amount Raised: HUF 220 million, of which HUF 17,5 million through mobile donation.

If an organisation would like to use the service, should apply to NIOK in the spring or autumn tender.

Resource list 

Mobile donation

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