How Phones Could Transform Your Charity’s Marketing Strategy

Charity Marketing Strategy

When we think about charity marketing, our minds tend to immediately go to the big stuff: billboards, newsletters, and expensive advertising campaigns. It’s important to go back to the basics and think about how the smaller things can really transform the way you’re perceived, and how you interact with your target audience. We’re a nation attached to our phones, yet SMS solutions and business numbers tend to be a blind spot when it comes to how businesses (and charities, in particular) approach their marketing.

So, why use SMS?

The open rates!

SMS open rates are incredibly high compared to their email equivalent, coming in at an impressive 98%. While email and social media marketing can be effective, with automatic filtering and the sheer number of other content being delivered through these mediums, you may find little return for your effort. If you have a strong database of interested parties, or existing donors, SMS could be a fantastic way to communicate and build or maintain relationships. It can be used for the following:

  • Make consumers aware of events
  • Alert people to the fact they need to resubscribe to an annual donation
  • Market one-off campaigns 
  • Advertise volunteering opportunities 
  • Link people to pages on your website

It’s inexpensive and far reaching

With over 94% of the adult population owning a mobile phone, it’s undoubtedly an easy method of reaching a nationwide audience. Not only that, SMS campaigns cost as little as 2p per text. Considering their impressive open rates, it really is a small cost to pay.

It’s a simple micropayment solution

One of the greatest things about using SMS is that people are able to easily donate on-the-go, and can utilise carrier billing to give up to £30. There’s no need to hunt for a credit card or fill out long-winded forms, it’s simply added to the person’s phone bill at the end of the month. In 2018, a study reported that 51% of people suggested they donate ‘from time to time’ rather than having a regular donation pattern. SMS supports this method of donating, making one-off payments a truly quick and painless process.

Charity marketing that really works!

SMS can be used in tandem with other marketing techniques, and is proven to be a fantastic method of bringing in large donations from a wide audience. Between 2019 – 2020, the PSA recorded £40.1 million was donated to charities via premium SMS in the UK, and they expect this to increase in 2020/21 due to the ‘favourable seasonality of major telethon events’.

But, what about the excess costs?

Regulations put in place a few years ago, mean that UK-based, approved charities are guaranteed to receive 100% of their SMS donations.

How Can A 0800/0808 Number Help Your Charity Marketing?

A number says a surprising amount about your company and – while it may not be top of your list when it comes to marketing – the general public are likely to make judgements based purely on the first few digits of your number. So, why is it so important to have the right number? The answer can be broken down into three components: image, accessibility and cost.


When consumers see ‘0800’, they automatically connect it with a free number. A lot of the time that connotation will go one step further and they’ll think of a charity line. It’s something that’s become ingrained in our subconscious over time, and is beginning to extend to 0808 as it builds in popularity among charities and other free-lines. While other number types are fine, the image that comes with an 0800/0808 number may be the difference between a consumer calling or taking their interest elsewhere. This is particularly applicable to younger charities still building on their reputation and brand awareness.


With an 0800 number, you’re opening up your audience simply by providing a service that’s free of charge, regardless of whether the caller is contacting you via mobile or a landline. This accessibility is unique to 0800 numbers and 0808 numbers and shows your audience that you want to be contacted.


Lastly and, perhaps most obviously, is the cost and it underpins the image and accessibility of a charity. Having to pay to contact any service can leave a bitter taste in a consumer’s mouth, but this could be particularly true if they’re trying to donate. Alongside this, a free call option incentivises people to give more as they know the call isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg, regardless of hold times.

Share this article


Related Articles

Find out how SMS marketing could help your organisation by getting in touch