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Macmillan Cancer Support launches first-ever mobile giving program

October 2, 2009

Giving to people living with cancer

Giving to people living with cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning Sept. 25, let attendees donate the cost of their coffee to support people living with cancer.

MX Telecom provided Macmillan with the first short code in the newly commissioned charity range. TigerSpike designed, created and delivered the text, mobile and Web campaign around the event.

“The world’s biggest coffee morning is almost an institution in the UK,” said Alex Hall, chief operating officer at TigerSpike, New York. “However, the objective of the campaign moving forward is to extend beyond just the morning event and into mobile donations.

“This creates a bigger time window for people to get involved as well as giving more opportunity to people who are more comfortable making smaller, one-off contributions,” he said.

Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. The nonprofit provides practical, medical and financial support and pushes for better cancer care.

TigerSpike worked closely with Macmillan to work out the simplest mechanic that would maximize engagement and ensure as high a percentage of the donation as possible would go to charity.

Mobile was selected as the perfect facilitator for mobile donations, allowing consumers to react immediately to a call to action and donate with the sending of a simple text message.

Consumers could text the keyword CUPPA to short code 70123 to donate 3 Euros.

TigerSpike and MX Telecom negotiated with carriers to increase the average payout in most cases from approx 2.20 to 2.80 Euros. This made the mobile channel a lot more compelling for people who understandably wanted to see as much of their donation as possible go direct to the charity.

Results are yet to be confirmed in conjunction with the wider campaign, but text donations are a major part of Macmillan’s plans in the next year.

The text-to-give capability will soon receive support from an integrated media campaign in conjunction with celebrity endorsements.

“The concept of mobile donating opens huge opportunities for the charity sector to extend their reach,” Mr. Hall said. “This is being pioneered by mobile, largely due to the convenience and ease of the process. Macmillan Cancer’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is the first UK campaign to use the new 70XXX short code range.

“This range is charity-specific which is valuable for two reasons,” he said. “It gives people reassurance surrounding the legitimacy of the campaign and it also means the payment can be processed without Value Added Tax (VAT), which will move to 17.5 percent in 2010.

“This allows for more peace of mind that a greater share of the donation is going to charity.”

Mobile donations make the charity more accessible to a much broader range of people.

As a result, the giving opportunity extends to those who might not be able to get involved from a time or geography perspective, as well as those who are less inclined to make a larger donation.

TigerSpike has spent more than five years working with charities and nonprofits on various mobile activities as well as all other areas of personal media. Clients include the Starlight Foundation, Amnesty International and Macmillan Cancer

“The potential for spontaneity and ability to act while it’s on your mind is important for charities who are competing with thousands of other charities as well as more commercial brands for a small window of attention in the average person’s day,” Mr. Hall said.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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