Open Fundraising


Open Gets Mobilised

Right, if you haven’t got time for my rambling reminiscences and short-term nostalgia then all you need to know is that we’ve just launched the best PSMS regular giving system in the world ever. It’s flexible, analytical, international and affordable and it has a rather perfunctory web site here.


UNICEF, WWF and St John Ambulance are all on board and there are a number of other similarly discerning organisations about to join them. So if you’re thinking of getting into this form of fundraising then you really need to talk to us about it.


Anyway, that’s the sales bit over. Now the story…


As many people have pointed out recently, regular giving via PSMS is a game-changer. By making giving easy and putting payment and communications in the same place, it opens up so many possibilities. Which is why we’re very happy that Open made it happen.


It all started back when we chatted to some of the many thousands of prospects we recruited through our Christian Aid Nets Now campaign. Lots of them asked why they couldn’t give every month – like a Direct Debit but NOT a Direct Debit. Which got us thinking.


We asked CYMBA, who do great stuff in the area of Charity PSMS, if we could do monthly donations. The technical answer was yes. But practically, there was a big problem – the fact that UK regulations say that every month you have to remind SMS ‘subscribers’ that they can cancel their gift forever just by texting the word STOP.


That’s a bit like contacting your Direct Debit donors every month and asking them if they want to cancel by just nodding their head!


Our solution was simple. To give donors more control via a new command – allowing them to SKIP their gift for a month if they chose.


CYMBA set up a meeting with PhonePay Plus, the UK regulators, where Michael Newsome from UNICEF and I made the case for SKIP. And we were delighted when good people of PPP said yes and gave us a short-term exemption from the rules to test the idea.


It all happened very fast. I came up with the name ‘Connected’, Richard designed the logo in an afternoon and we started looking for some brave charities to test the idea.


The next eighteen months were a bit of a whirlwind. With a lot of help from Listen, we tested across audiences and channels – developing as we went and making sure that we had the exhaustive analysis we needed to justify the trust that PPP and our clients had placed in us.


The results were fascinating. Regular PSMS giving isn’t a magic bullet. But used well, and with the right analytical tools in place, it can achieve amazing results. So it’s not surprising that it’s about to go mainstream in a big way.


Open and Cymba no longer work together on premium SMS payment regular giving systems and Cymba now owns and administers the Connected regular giving system.


But as I may have mentioned earlier, we have just launched the best PSMS regular giving system in the world ever…




One response to “Open Gets Mobilised”

  1. […] is no easier way to make a donation than by text. Whether it’s Justtextgiving or Mobilise, make it easy for supporters to donate by […]

Leave a Reply