“Over the years we’ve developed a strong working relationship with Fonix - we have a shared vision of how the donation process should be: quick, simple and seamless.

“We’ve been impressed with Fonix’s innovation and passion, which has helped to drive mobile donation growth year on year. Text-to-donate is a fundamentally important payment option for our donors, which aids our ability to engage the public in the most convenient way and raise fantastic amounts of money to help change young lives.”

Karen Bass,
Chief Operating Officer for BBC Children in Need

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

BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity. It has the vision of ensuring that every child in the UK is safe, happy and secure, giving them the chance to reach their full potential.

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.


Fonix provided Children in Need 2017 with an SMS billing mechanic for mobile donations. This meant that the public were able to donate to the charity by text and had a choice of three price points: £5, £10 and £20.

This was carried out across a number of campaigns such as the Countryfile Ramble and the Rickshaw Challenge, as well as through a specially created fundraising campaign on the night of the show.

To cater to the growing demand for mobile, text-to-donate was promoted throughout the whole night for the first time.

The process for donating via SMS was as follows: consumers texting to donate 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 record required by HMRC as evidence for the claim of Gift Aid for the SMS donation campaign of BBC Children in Need 2017.

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 to remove the mobile numbers of any end users who had donated and successfully declared Gift Aid. Fonix then sent reminder messages to all donors where Gift Aid was not added.


Fonix processed £12.9 million of SMS donations, surpassing the 2016 total of £7.64m. This contributed to an overall total of £50.1 million raised for BBC Children in Need on the night of the 2017 appeal show.

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