Start-up makes text donations pay for charities
Irish start-up Likecharity has announced a partnership with the country’s mobile operators that will ensure 100 per cent of donations made by text are passed directly to the named charities.
The company, which was established earlier this year by serial entrepreneur Tadhg O’Toole, has developed a secure and simple platform for members of the public to donate to charity by text.
“We’ve been in trials with Focus Ireland for the last few weeks and have received excellent feedback . . . this time last year they were getting only 60 per cent of the money donated via text. This year they get 100 per cent.”
Mr O’Toole came up with the concept for the company last Christmas after he discovered that a large proportion of the money donated to charities via text was being eaten up in fees and charges.
“People would donate €2.50 but the charity would only get €1 ultimately,” he said. “I thought it would be better for them to get 100 per cent of the donation.”
The company charges charities a fee to use the platform depending on the number of users. The fee is 50 cent per donor but the fee is capped at 5 per cent of all donations per month. So if the donor is giving €1 then that fee will be 5 per cent of the amount donated, according to Mr O’Toole.
“We don’t link the fee to what’s donated. If 1,000 donators use the platform, the fee might be €500. However, if those 1,000 users have only donated €1,000 between them, then the fee would only be 5 per cent of the donation amount,” Mr O’Toole said.
The company currently has Unicef, Concern and the Laura Lynn foundation on board, and hopes to roll out in the UK early next year.
“The Irish market isn’t big enough to sustain us,” he says. “We charge a very low fee so the Irish market just isn’t big enough for us. It has been very important from an RD point of view though.”