LIKECHARITY’s Journey to €6 Million

Our success lies in the joining of the generosity of Ireland and the simplicity of sending a text message.

As of last week LIKECHARITY has raised €6 million for charities through text message donations!

Our story began 4 years ago when Tadhg O’Toole and John Kyne saw a gap between charities and potential donors.  Text-to-donate campaigns were not popular because cell service providers were not able to effectively set up individual campaigns for Irish charities.

This problem lead to a solution. Kyne and O’Toole dubbed this solution LIKECHARITY, an intermediary between charities and the public that makes donating to an organisation as easy as sending a text message.

Since we unveiled our text-to-donate platform, over 300 charities have used the service, not only in Ireland but in the UK and United States as well.

Chief Operating Officer John Kyne explained that they never imagined the service would be so successful.  

“It wasn’t until Majella O’Donnell’s segment on the Late Late Show when she shaved her head in an effort to raise donations for the Irish Cancer Society.  It was such an emotional segment and she gave great context to the the issue at hand.”  

O’Donnell’s fundraising stunt was able to captivate a huge audience.  Over 15% of viewers donated via text message to the Irish Cancer Society.  Overnight the organisation received €500,000.  

This was when our little startup realised its potential, and more importantly realised that the generosity of Ireland is limitless.  We have gained fame from viral campaigns over the years which boosted donations tremendously; but just as important are the small charities we work with who utilise our platform so well.  Charities like Lauralynn and Jack and Jill are two children’s hospices that use our mobile donation platform extremely efficiently.

“We’re just the intermediary,” says Kyne.  “The real story is the people who donate and the brilliant charities who do such great work.”

We saw a huge amount of donations for Haiti hurricane relief this past week. This sent us over the €6 million mark in text message donations.  Fittingly, this surge was due to the Late Late Show, as retired rugby player Paul O’Connell went on air and urged viewers to donate to the disaster stricken country.


Lead Generation For Non-Profits

Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not “ready to buy”. Worse still you only have eight seconds to convince the remaining 4% who are ‘ready’ that what you’re offering is worth them purchasing in the first place. Just like any regular business non-profits need to show their products and create a donor journey to acquire regular donors. At its simplest form this is about communicating exactly what you do and how people can help you achieve this. For example, using the 8 second rule and applying it to Merchants Quay Ireland’s website; the call to action on the initial slider is clear “For Ireland’s homeless and hungry, it all starts with a cup of tea…and you”. This proposition is immediately reinforced by the simple underling message in bold “A hot meal. A helping hand. A fresh start”. Straight away without having any outside information of the organization you are aware they are;

A) A homeless charity

B) Providing basic tangible frontline services in feeding the homeless.

C) They need your help to do so.

Online lead generation

This all neatly dove-tails with a “text to donate” slider and a donate button, so in theory any website visitor has been prepped with enough basic information to make a quick and informed decision i.e. my donation will feed the homeless. Obviously the rest of the website goes into more detail about the organisation and services provided but the initial hook is enough to compel people to act.

As a result this has led to 74% of marketers spending more than €45 euro in acquiring a single lead. Traditionally LIKECHARITY has specialised in using DRTV in order to target quality prospects.  However, sometimes 30 seconds can be too short a window to explain complex issues in foreign countries that your target audience may not have prior knowledge of.  For example, NGO’s trying to convey the work they do to empower local community’s via sustainable employment, training and equal opportunities. By combining digital media with television LIKECHARITY can use online lead generation to target leads during a TV campaign to increase awareness i.e. supporters (users who’ve text in) can be targeted with stories which will appear in their Facebook news feed before they even receive a phone call from a call centre.

The point of combining two media groups is to increase goal conversion (donor acquisition). At LIKECHARITY we try to influence people at a behavioral level via framing. This means we try to target state of mind as opposed to just casting the net far and wide. By choosing to communicate with someone in an informal manner such as Facebook, we can provide information about the organization and what they do in a causal manner (soft sell approach) and then follow this up with a direct call to action (text to donate) via television. Rather than creating a mad dash to sign-up donors at any cost (nobody likes to feel pressured) this multi-faceted approach helps create informed donors which is ultimately reflected in our campaigns first year rate of attrition (the number of sign-ups who quit within a year) being the lowest in Ireland by some considerable margin (between 1.5-3%).

Lead Generation

This is backed up by recent research by The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) research which concluded that online advertising delivers uplift in brand and ad awareness, whilst TV increases favourability and purchase intent - with the two combining to create a 25% uplift in overall campaign awareness.

How we target a donor is actually more important than the message itself. In Decoded by Phil Bardsen broccoli sales in a school canteen were increased by a whopping 10-15% simply by placing it at the start of the queue. By framing healthy options at the start, rather than at the end of the journey people’s good intentions are easily rewarded (rather than at the end when you’ve already piled your plate full of chips and gravy!). This is exactly what we try to achieve at LIKECHARITY, rather than ask people to make one big commitment, we try to create a serious of small decisions starting with a call to action as simple as “would you like to help?”.  In short we want to reward people’s good intentions.

For more information about DRTV or Online lead generation contact andrew.anderson@likecharity.com