Are you a registered charity looking to incorporate the mobile giving channel into your fundraising campaign? To find out if your organization is qualified to conduct a mobile giving campaign, please review the MGF Standards of Participation. If eligible, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request for a copy of the MGFC Registered Charity application package.
MGF Standards for Participation
In order for a Registered Charity (RC”) to solicit contributions through the mobile channel, the RC must have a rating of m4 or higher. If the RC has a rating of below m4, it may still participate in the mobile channel, however, the charity must be sponsored by the Mobile Giving Foundation or similar, qualified Registered Charity. We have attempted to create a set of reliable, straight forward standards that give all participants in the mobile ecosystem some assurances with respect to who is using the mobile channel.
The following scale is used:
RC adheres to all 11 standards: m5
RC adheres to 9 or more standards: m4
RC adheres to 6 or more standards: m3
RC adheres to 4 or more standards: m2
RC adheres to less than 4 standards: m1
- The organization shall be a Registered Charity with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”);
- The organization shall engage in only allowable activities;
- The organization has met its Disbursement Quota;
- The organization shall be in good standing with the CRA and its federal, provincial or territorial authority and have been operational for at least 1 year;
- The organization shall make only truthful representations to the public with respect to its fundraising, finances, operation and solicitations;
- The organization shall have an elected and volunteer Board of Directors of at least 5 members that has at least 4 meetings each year;
- The organization shall measure its effectiveness through assessment tools every two years;
- The organization shall have a well-defined mission statement and operate programs that work to efficiently achieve that mission;
- The organization shall spend its funds in a prudent and transparent manner;
- The organization shall accurately report its expenses and make such information, financial statements and annual reports openly available to the public.
All organizations interested in running a mobile giving program must first apply through MGFC by completing the MGFC Registered Charity Application found on our website here. The first step of the application is a simple questionnaire. Should MGFC deem your organization eligible to offer mobile giving programs, the second portion of the application will be provided to you via a link by e-mail along with all other necessary supporting documentation for your application. Applicants are required to provide payment for a one-time application fee of $350 at the time that the application is completed.
It typically takes MGFC no longer than 5 business days to review and approve a new application. Once an application has been approved, the charitable program agreement is countersigned, and a copy of which is provided with notice of approval.
In parallel to completing the application package, applicants should also give consideration to how and with whom they wish to run their mobile giving program.
There are a number of program-extensive options available to registered charity applicants that are offered outside of what MGFC enables (i.e. carrier billed donations). With this in mind, MGFC has approved a number of Application Service Providers (ASPs). ASPs are account managers, mobile marketers, consultants, and application developers with expertise in these respective fields. ASPs are connected to the MGFC platform and are approved to provide account management services directly for charities running mobile giving programs. ASPs may be selected based on their alignment with your charity’s vision, goals and budget. Each approved ASP has gone through a detailed application process and will comply with MGFC standards.
When a qualified registered charity (RC) has selected an approved ASP, two contractual agreements will be made; one between the RC and the ASP, and the other between the RC and MGFC.
Pricing for mobile giving campaigns is then determined by you and your Application Service Provider (ASP) based on the package of services needed. Pricing may include a mobile giving campaign charge invoiced from MGFC to the ASP. However, working with an ASP is optional. Charities are not obligated to obtain services from an ASP. In all cases: your costs at a minimum will be based on the number of campaigns (i.e. keywords and donation amounts) you have in market per calendar month.
Regardless of service cost, wireless carriers pass 100% of the charitable funds they collect to MGFC. MGFC also remits 100% of these funds to the respective recipient charities within 30 days of receiving funds from the wireless carriers.
Campaign activations take place every Tuesday. Requests for campaign activations or changes should be submitted no later than 5:00PM Eastern on the Wednesday prior to the targeted Tuesday activation. All campaigns are tested prior to launch in market to ensure functionality across participating wireless providers. No campaign activation request may be submitted unless the beneficiary charity has successfully completed the application process.
Types of Programs Available
All mobile giving programs consist of a short code and a keyword. Click here for a primer on the basics of how a mobile giving program works.
It is crucial that organizations running mobile giving programs establish a clear goal prior to activating a program. Click here for some marketing tips to help make sure your mobile giving program is a success!
MGFC undergoes a rigorous reconciliation and remittance process each month to accurately account for all funds donated, and to ensure these funds reach the intended beneficiary charities. This process, at a high level, involves the following actions:
- MGFC prepares Wireless Service Provider (WSP) specific invoices at the end of each month to account for pledges made within that month by each of the WSP’s customers.
- MGFC uses its platform records to account for all successfully pledged donations within a given month as the invoice back-up.
- MGFC sends each participating WSP an invoice within the first 5 business days following a month end.
- MGFC consolidates payments received from each WSP after reconciling the amounts to ensure that all funds have been received as invoiced. It can take anywhere between 30-60 days after a month end for MGFC to receive all funds from each participating WSP.
- MGFC holds all funds in its Trust account until the time of remittance once the reconciliation is complete.
- MGFC remits all funds donated to the respective beneficiary charities in cheque form, and by post mail.
- Prior to mailing remittance cheques, MGFC issues each charity a remittance report via email with a summary of the total funds received by WSP and by campaign (keyword/short code). This email also serves as notice that the cheque is being sent.
- MGFC guarantees the issuance of remittance cheques no later than 30 days after MGFC has received funds from all participating WSPs for a given month.
Tax Receipt Process
- All donations through text message are made to the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada for the benefit of the charity running and promoting the program.
- All receipts for text message donations are provided by MGFC to text donors that visit our web site to collect their tax receipt here: http://www.mobilegiving.ca/tax-receipt/
- Text donors are anonymous until they are able to validate that they are the user of the phone, which is validated through a handset verification process upon visiting the receipt page and inputting the mobile number from which donations were pledged. Donors must input their full name and all address information to receive an official receipt.
- Note that MGFC records all funds donated and remitted to beneficiary organizations as ‘gifts made to other qualified donees’ on MGFC’s annual charity tax return.
- Beneficiary organizations should record all funds received from MGFC on their annual charity tax return as gifts received from other qualified donees (MGFC Charity Registration # – 849455662RR0001).
- Beneficiary organizations should not provide MGFC with a tax receipt.
Frequently Asked Questions
- My organization is a not-for-profit, but is not a registered charity. Is my organization eligible to run a mobile giving program?
- How long does it take to apply, get approved, and launch a program?
- What information does my organization receive on mobile users that donate through text message?
- How can my organization use the information received on mobile users that donate through text message?
- What guidelines apply to the use of mobile giving programs?
- What types of mobile giving campaigns are prohibited?
- What information do I need to include when marketing a mobile giving call-to-action?
1. My organization is a not-for-profit, but is not a registered charity. Is my organization eligible to run a mobile giving program?
No. Only registered charities, and some other qualified donees as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency, are eligible to run mobile giving programs. As a registered charity, MGFC may only gift funds received through text message donations to other registered charities.
2. How long does it take to apply, get approved, and launch a program?
3. What information does my organization receive on mobile users that donate through text message?
All transactions reported through the MGFC platform include the mobile number from which the donation was initiated and completed. Also included with each transaction is the relative status of each, the time stamp for each, and the campaign keyword and short code for each.
4. How can my organization use the information received on mobile users that donate through text message?
This information can be used for internal reporting purposes only. This information is confidential and must not be used for any reason other than its intended purpose, which is to report on the transaction-based interaction between mobile users and a mobile giving program.
5. What guidelines apply to the use of mobile giving programs?
Mobile giving programs are supported through the use of common short code numbers. Common short codes are administered by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, and all short code programs must comply with the Canadian Common Short Code Application Guidelines.
6. What types of mobile giving campaigns are prohibited?
Contests, sweepstakes, draws, or any other type of campaign where the donation through text message is used as a form of entry. Campaigns that offer a prize, or anything with fixed monetary value, to the donor, negate the tax deductibility of donations. Furthermore, MGFC is not approved by participating wireless providers to support contest-like campaigns where the donation through text message is used as a means of entry.
7. What information do I need to include when marketing a mobile giving call-to-action?
MGFC encourages organizations to include the following full terms and conditions whenever promoting a mobile giving call-to-action.
A one-time donation of [enter relevant price point] will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. All donations must be authorized by the account holder. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of [enter relevant RC] by the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada and subject to the terms found at: http://www.mobilegiving.ca/terms-and-conditions
However, it may not always be feasible for the above terms to be noted with every call-to-action. At a minimum each call-to-action must include the following information:
- Donation amount(s)
- Keyword / sub-keyword
- Short code number
- Beneficiary organization