A while ago a signed up via text message to Save the Children £3 per month. I get a message every month saying thank you for donating and £3 is added to my phone bill. But I wonder does the phone operator take a big cut of that?
Would I be better just setting up a standing order from my bank. I could not find much info about it online just very old articles, saying operators are taking a big cut but then I found national funding scheme, which seems to have no charges for charities ( that i could find anyway).

  • 1
    "But I wonder does the phone operator take a big cut of that?" It's a valid question Ask Save The Children. "Would I be better just setting up a standing order from my bank." In the US, we contact the charity and they set everything up. The UK does many things backwards, though.
    – RonJohn
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:44
  • 1
    I guess contacting the charity was the obvious thing to do :), just saw this question "money.stackexchange.com/questions/113473/…" and it reminded me I had this setup, and just wondered if it was a "poor" way donate
    – PaddyD
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:53
  • 6
    @RonJohn "The UK does many things backwards, though" The UK can do things either way. You can set up a Standing Order, which is where you get your bank to repeatedly push money to a recipient, or you can authorize a recipient to repeatedly pull money from your account via a Direct Debit. See What's the difference...?. A company/organisation has to go through several "hoops" before it is allowed to pull money via Direct Debit, and only then with a specific mandate from the individual.
    – TripeHound
    Sep 12, 2019 at 9:21
  • 1
    @DJClayworth "On the other hand the overhead of processing the payment is going to take a big chunk out of £3 per month" not with a standing order, thats different from a direct debit, (as Triphound points out) were you just ask the bank to to a transfers every month for a set amount until you ask them to stop. There is no setup fee for this or another charge
    – PaddyD
    Sep 12, 2019 at 9:27
  • 1
    @RonJohn How is that backward?
    – glglgl
    Sep 12, 2019 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


Assuming that this was a direct sign up to donate to Save the Children via text, and not via some third party broker or agent, then Save the Children get 100% of your donation.

They have the details on their website:

What happens when I sign up?
You'll be charged £3 or £5 plus the cost of one standard rate text message in the first month and we'll receive 100% of your donation. Your gift will be activated and your first donation of £3 or £5 will immediately be charged to your phone bill or your pay-as-you-go credit.
Each month from then on
This is a monthly subscription service to Save the Children. Each month you'll receive a free text as a reminder, the day before your gift is due. If you're happy to give you don't need to do anything and you'll be charged £3 or £5, or you can choose to skip a month. You will be charged £3 or £5 a month thereafter. We will receive 100% of your donation.

Presumably, they have signed up with a platform that doesn't charge them per-donation fees, although since the platform must get their money from somewhere I would guess that Save the Children are paying them a flat fee to operate the service. There is a list of charity text donation platforms along with how much they charge here

  • Thanks for doing the leg work. I think it was a TV ad directly from save the children ( about Syria i think), so i guess not via 3rd party. Thanks for the link but I noticed that the article is sponsored by Donr, which is the first (still working) service on the list.
    – PaddyD
    Sep 12, 2019 at 8:52
  • 2
    "since the platform must get their money from somewhere I would guess that Save the Children are paying them a flat fee to operate the service" - That is one scenario but at times charities will also get a service for free / as a corporate donation (and the provider does their corporate social responsibility, gets good press and usually a fiscal benefit)
    – HBruijn
    Sep 12, 2019 at 12:49

Here are some general rules for fund-raiser calls and texts:

  • If not given, ask for the specific name of the charity that they are soliciting for (not please help our vets or help the hungry children)

  • Ask how your contribution will be used and what percentage of your donation will go to the charity

  • Call the organization to verify that the fund raiser is collecting on behalf of the organization and if so, how much of money raised by the fund raiser goes to the charity (cost of fund raising).

  • Ask if your contribution is tax-deductible. Pay by check, made out to the charity. Avoid cash gifts. .

  • Be wary of any suggestion that you will receive special treatment for donating

If anything doesn't sound legitimate, report the caller to the appropriate regulatory agency.

Fund raisers are paid to contact you. In some cases, only a fraction of your donation actually goes to the charity. Look up the financials of the charity in question for specifics.

  • 2
    "Save The Children" is a specific charity in the UK (and elsewhere) savethechildren.org.uk/about-us Sep 11, 2019 at 16:33
  • 5
    This doesn't seem to answer the question. They're not asking how to find out how a charity spends money they receive. They're asking if a charity gets the whole amount paid through a text or if the phone company takes a cut.
    – Kat
    Sep 11, 2019 at 19:25
  • 1
    Can you check you’ve understood the question correctly? Doesn’t seem like it at the moment. Sep 13, 2019 at 5:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.