The DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal has raised more than £1,500,000 through SMS donations alone - by far the highest amount for any DEC appeal. The figure includes gift aid from more than 70% of donors.  

The DEC believes £1.5m may be the highest total ever raised in the UK by an SMS campaign for a single charitable cause. Red Nose Day 2011 raised £15m for a wide variety of UK and International causes.
The previous highest total raised by text for a DEC appeal was £230,000 for the 2010 Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
Disasters Emergency Committee Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:
“The support of the UK public for the East Africa Crisis Appeal has been extraordinarily generous and amazingly sustained.
“We are particularly pleased by the very strong response to the wider promotion of text to give. SMS donations have surged with no sign that giving by other channels has declined.
“We believe text to give is helping us reach a new generation of donors and the feedback we have received from those donors via social media has been excellent.
The £72m so far raised overall by the DEC and its member agencies for East Africa is already the third highest appeal total in the organisation’s 45 year history.  It is also the largest total ever raised by the DEC for a food crisis, the largest for any African appeal and the largest for any country or regional appeal where conflict was one of the principle causes of a disaster.  More money was raised only for the 2004 Tsunami Earthquake Appeal (£392m) and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake Appeal (£107m)
The sustained nature of fundraising for East Africa Appeal has contributed to the fact that 46% of the money raised - £33m - was given via member agencies with 54% -  £39m - given directly to the DEC itself.  The DEC only proactively fundraises in the weeks immediately following the launch of an appeal so member agencies raise a higher proportion of the total funds directly when giving is sustained.
Online donations continued to be the largest single channel for direct donations to DEC at 34.5%, post remained 2nd highest at 26%, over the counter at post offices and banks third at 15.4% and phone fourth at 12.4%.  There are also wide range of smaller channels include CAF. Donations via text have jumped dramatically from 0.3% for Haiti and 0.2% for Pakistan to 3.3% for East Africa.  The dramatic shift follows the decision to include text to give donation details in one of the charity’s TV appeals for the first time.  Text to give details were included in the ITN appeal featuring Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs and screened in prime time slots on ITV, C4, Channel 5 and Sky.
The DEC text to donate platform is provided by OpenMarket. Donors text 70000 and a key word such as ‘AFRICA’ to donate £5 to the DEC.  The DEC receives the full £5 and sending the text is completely free for all users on all networks. Gift aid details can be forwarded by text and gift aid is claimed automatically for eligible repeat donors. The campaign has been shortlisted for three mobile industry awards.
The DEC East Africa Appeal will remain open until 31 December 2011 and funds will continue to help those in the region until July 2013.  An update on the situation in East Africa and how DEC member agencies are helping can be found here.
Notes to Editors:

  • Stay up to date with developments in East Africa, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: or become a fan of ‘Disasters-Emergency-Committee-DEC’ on Facebook.  
  • The DEC Appeal was announced on 6 July but launched 8 July with the broadcast of appeals by broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4.
  • The DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal covers Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Funds are spent by the DEC’s member agencies and their partners on lifesaving assistance and, where funds allow, on helping people affected by the disaster to rebuild their lives.
  • To donate £5 by text send the word AFRICA to 70000.  The full £5 will go to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payers permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.
  • The DEC member agencies are: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CAFOD,   CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
  • OpenMarket, a division of Amdocs, is a leading global mobile transaction hub. OpenMarket provides a comprehensive set of payments, messaging and emerging services to enterprises, merchants and developers. From the largest consumer brands to the smallest business ventures, OpenMarket empowers companies to monetise their services, expand their marketing initiatives and strengthen customer relationships by leveraging the mobile channel. OpenMarket provides the most reliable cross-channel, cross-network platform with extensive mobile operator connections globally. For more information, please visit