“Thanks to the generosity of the public, the 2016 campaign was a record on-the-night total which we’re immensely proud of. Text-to-donate is a fundamentally important payment option for our donors, which aids our ability to engage the public and raise fantastic amounts of money to help change young lives.”

Karen Bass,
Director of Operations and Finance, CIN

Fonix powers mobile donations for BBC Children in Need, helping to achieve a record-breaking total

BBC Children in Need supports projects in communities across the UK working to changes the lives of disadvantaged children and young people.

The BBC Children in Need Appeal Night takes place every year in November and its mobile payments have been powered by Fonix since 2014.


BBC Children in Need wanted a way to ensure that they were maximizing ways to raise as much money as possible to help make a difference to young lives. If donors are UK taxpayers, BBC Children in Need can claim an additional 25p in Gift Aid from the Government for every £1 donated. Increasing Gift Aid declarations from text-to-donate was therefore also fundamental to the success of the campaign.


Mobile CRM starts the moment a consumer donates. When a consumer texts to donate they would receive a response message almost instantaneously. As well as acting as the donation collection mechanic to the end user, this message is also used to provide the Gift Aid declaration code which is unique to each specific user.

On receiving the text message when clicking on the link, the consumer would arrive at a declaration landing page where they needed to confirm details such as being a UK taxpayer.

Fonix also created a website journey in order to arrive at the electronic record required by HMRC as evidence for the claim of Gift Aid for the SMS donation campaign of BBC Children in Need 2016.

For repeated donations, the custom journey that was created by Fonix would recognise if a consumer had already given Gift Aid.

Three days after the campaign closed, our expert team of data analysts were able remove the mobile numbers of any end users who had donated and successfully declared Gift Aid. The reason why this is so fundamental to the strategy is because the BBC have a responsibility not to spam consumers. Fonix then sent reminder messages to all donors where Gift Aid was not added.

When someone decides to give via mobile, it is usually because they don’t want to speak to anyone directly, so it proved good practice to continue to engage with them using the medium which they were comfortable with.

Furthermore, in previous years, text donations were collected via £5 and £10 price points. This year Fonix developed and supported the introduction of a £20 price point - this was a UK first which delivered fantastic results. The higher price point campaigns saw a larger percentage of Gift Aid claims and the three £20 campaigns all saw more than 50% of donations followed by a Gift Aid declaration.


The Gift Aid reminder that Fonix sent, in conjunction with the introduction of a £20 price point, resulted in an increase in the number of successful Gift Aid declarations for the charity, leading to an excellent rate of conversion. Resultantly, Children in Need 2016 raised a record £7.6m via Fonix’s text-to-donate platform, out of a total £46.6m raised overall.

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