Charity donations by text fell by almost £10 million in 2019/20, with experts predicting an even steeper fall in 2021/22.
The figures, published by the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA), will come as a blow for organisations and fundraisers which largely rely on donations by text, such as annual TV and radio appeals.
According to the report, text donations raised £40.1 million in 2019/20, down from nearly £50 million the previous year.
However, due to a spike in Covid-19 fundraising and major “telephon” events this year, such as the BBC’s Big Night In which raised £10.3 million through phone-paid services alone, the telephone regulator predicts an “expected rise” in 2020/21 to £47.9 million.
But the PSA says 2021/22 will see a record fall in donations by text, declining to an estimated £33.7 million.
“This decline is a reflection of the biannual nature of the segment, exacerbated by the displacement effect of short-term increases in donations during 2020-2021,” the authors state. “Many people will feel economic hardships while having already contributed to appeals in 2020-2021, which will result in a large reduction in spend in 2021-2022.”
Commenting on the figures, Joanne Prowse, chief executive of the PSA, said: “Many charities continue to use phone payment as a means to raise much-needed funds. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our Annual Market Review estimates that charities will raise nearly £50m this year.
“And we’ll do all we can to support the charity sector through effective regulation that meets the needs of consumers.”