Tag Archives: charity shortcodes

Mystery Charges? It’s Not Us, Honestly!

Mystery Charges on your account? Let us e

Mystery Charges – The Problem

We often get calls to the office from donors who are (quite rightly) annoyed because some money has been taken from their account that they didn’t consent to.

The transaction usually indicates that instaGiv is the culprit, so we usually deal with an issue like this once a week.

Yet, we are not responsible for this – your mobile phone provider is.

Mystery Charges – The Mix Up

Here’s what happens. You see a spike in your phone bill and you want to know why.

So you ring your network and ask what’s going on. The operator checks your account and notices an unusual number associated with a charge on your account. This is usually in the £10-15 range and is never a round number, there’s always a stray 20p or 50p in there somewhere.

The number involved usually has nine digits (UK mobiles have 11), but the first five digits appear to always start with 70. This indicates that the number is a Charity Shortcode and this is where the confusion starts.

The Charity Shortcode (notice the word SHORT) is a five digit number used for raising funds, typically through SMS campaigns. It looks something like this – 70660.

Yet the number on the bill will look something like this – 700044075. It’s four digits longer. So why do network providers assume that it’s a charity shortcode?

That would be like a postman having a letter for number 12, but decided to post it to number 1 as it starts with the same number.

Mystery Charges – The Confusion Continues

It doesn’t make sense. Yet, time and time again we have people asking (sometimes in quite heated terms) why we have taken money from them without their permission.

Why do nine digit numbers show up on bills rather than the five digit shortcodes?

We honestly have no idea.

There are threads in online forums where other people discuss being charged random amounts of money by gaming app, horoscope sites and more. We somehow get sucked into this vortex sometimes, through no fault of our own.

If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance you’ve been directed here by a poorly trained mobile network operator.

The unfortunate thing is, we don’t even know how we can help you stop it. We can only advise that you contact your provider again.

But we can honestly say, it wasn’t us that billed you.

Festive Fundraising – SMS Campaigns for Christmas

Get to grips with Festive Fundraising with instaGiv

Charities Campaigning with Christmas Keywords

All charities know that the festive season is a mixed bag.

On the one hand, people can be inspired at Christmas to support charities and make larger donations.

On the other hand, people are rarely as strapped for cash as they are during the Christmas season. Competition will also heat up as every charity will be launching marketing campaigns pushing for donations.

People will also be bombarded with ads and sales and offers and discounts over the next few weeks. That’s why it’s more important than ever to find a good way to get your message across.

That’s why SMS Marketing is perfect for Christmas campaigns.

Festive Fundraising – Short and Sweet

Although people are willing to spend a long time watching TV adverts about Paddington and a Burglar (1 minute, 35 seconds!) and a Monster under the Bed (2m 11 secs!), the goodwill and the attention span of people will fade as they start to see ads everywhere.

That’s why an SMS message is the perfect method to grab the attention of supporters. You’re taking just a few seconds of their time to ask them to read just 160 characters and consider donating.

Even the busiest person will find time to check out your message, whereas they may not read a longer email.

Festive Fundraising – A Chance To Have Fun

Festive Fundraising Campaigns are a chance to have some fun

A Christmas campaign is a good opportunity to have a bit of fun with SMS keywords. Things like DONATE and SUPPORT are fine for the rest of the year, but at Christmas you need to spice things up a bit.

Some of the examples from our clients include Sense Scotland encouraging people to text RUDOLF to donate, while the Northern Ireland Hospice uses SANTAPAWS.

Festive Fundraising – Cost-Effective

As a keyword costs just £25 a month, SMS Marketing can be a great way to make the December budget go a little further. SMS campaigns are much less time-consuming and expensive than other campaigns, meaning you can use them to drum up support and focus more resources on other campaigns.


instaGiv is one of the UK’s leading software providers for the charity sector.

Working with over 300 UK registered charities, we use a range of tools to help charities collect donations, run competitions and more so that they can gather support for their cause.

This usually involves SMS tools. You’d be amazed at all the things we can do using just a humble text message.

Britney gets the importance of Festive Fundraising

Why not get in touch to get your Festive Fundraising sorted?