JustTextGiving by Vodafone turns four this week, and to celebrate we've been taking a look back at some of the service's biggest fundraising wins.

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Heard the news? This week marks four years since JustTextGiving by Vodafone connected the phone in your pocket to a world of fundraising possibilities by enabling members of the public to set up their own text codes. In those four years the service has helped to raise over £27 million for great causes. With nearly 218k individual fundraising using JustTextGiving to boost their fundraising for a variety of charities across the UK, along with the 21,700 UK charities that have a JustTextGiving code to help promote their causes, JustTextGiving is going from strength to strength.

With its simple text-to-donate service and no hassle setup, JustTextGiving has grown in its short lifespan from enterprising charity aid to one of the UK’s most powerful fundraising tools. And at every step of the way we’ve been there to document the success stories, the people behind the codes and the insider tips that’ll supercharge your altruistic activities.

And with all that in mind, there’s probably no better time to take a look back at some of the highlights from JustTextGiving’s last four years…

Famous fundraisers and textcode tactics

Over the last 1460 days, JustTextGiving has produced success story after success story, proving itself as a fantastic way for thousands and thousands of you donate generously to worthwhile causes.

Take Claire Lomas for example, who embarked on a 400 mile charity bike ride back in 2013, using a specially adapted bike that lets her pedal using her arms. And using JustTextGiving, she raised a massive £85,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.

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Claire’s valiant efforts may have made her a celebrity in her own right, but there’s been no shortage of other notable characters getting involved left, right and centre as well. Whilst Claire was busy pedalling around Britain, Olympic runner Iwan Thomas and Spice Girl Mel C went head-to-head in 2013 to see who could raise more money at the Bupa North and South Runs respectively. After putting together two teams of fundraising heroes, the rivals managed to raise a huge £23,000 using JustTextGiving, for homeless aid charity Shelter and MacMillan Cancer Support.

“ICED55 raised over £3.7 million for the MND Association, raising £1 million of that in just 24 hours…”

And how could anyone forget the incredible story of the Ice Bucket Challenge? What you might not know is that as the chilly craze swept across the nation, the JustTextGiving code you donated to in your thousands was the creation of one Paula Maguire – a midwife and tireless fundraiser from the north of England. Her code – ICED55 – raised over £3.7 million for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and managed to raise £1 million of that in just 24 hours!

As you may have read in some of our stories over the years, JustTextGiving is a joint initiative between Vodafone UK and JustGiving and is supported by the Vodafone Foundation (registered charity no.1089625), a partnership that works tirelessly to bring aid to crises around the world, such as when Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines in November 2013.

The Foundation helps in other ways too – most recently making a donation of £100,000 to the UK Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) and deploying our Instant Network to support the relief effort in Nepal, following the devastating earthquake. And our customers and employees have donated over £120,000 for the cause too.

JustTextGiving on Twitter

Do you follow @JustTextGiving on Twitter? It’s an essential tool for all charity fundraisers who want to get the most support possible. We’ve got tips from celebrity runners and home grown heroes alike, as well as all the inspiration you’ll need to keep smashing through the wall when things get tough.

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Among the household names using JustTextGiving there are countless stories of generous JustTextGiving users on Twitter, which we often amplify and give them a helping hand. Stories like James’ Wish to Walk, which had 336 Retweets and garnered £909 in text donations for 20-months-old James’ life-changing surgery. Or like Haroon Mota’s Marathon Mission for Teenage Cancer Trust, which bagged £699 from text donations thanks to his getting involved with us on Twitter.

There was the story of YouTuber @ProSyndicate, who @JustTextGiving helped steer past the £33,000 text donation mark. And then there was Ben McBean’s #BigPoppyRun, which took Twitter by storm. That hashtag and JustTextGiving helped Ben raise £1851 from text donations. Need any more convincing? Head over to @JustTextGiving to dive into the community.

How does it work?

Whatever network you’re on, JustTextGiving by Vodafone lets anyone donate to you by text. It’s free, easy to set up and every penny goes to charity. Letting your supporters donate with nothing but a quick text is the key to JustTextGiving’s massive popularity, but have you ever wondered how it all works? Wonder no more: we’ve stripped back the science to reveal all:

 

jtg text mainHow does text donation work?
We’ve unravelled what happens when you send a text to JustTextGiving…
Click here for the full story.

 

How to set up your JustTextGiving code

Want to get involved? Getting started with JustTextGiving is really simple, and will only take you a few minutes. Better still, once you’re good to go, it’ll only take your friends and family a few seconds to sponsor your cause. Here’s how to get going:

 

 

So what’s next?

With today’s innovations launching at pace, what tools will we be using to boost our fundraising in a year’s time, or five years’ time? We’ll be asking for your ideas soon, so keep it locked to Vodafone Social and keep an eye on @JustTextGiving for more info.

More on JustTextGiving: For all of our JustTextGiving stories, click here. To register your page and text code, head to http://www.justgiving.com/en/justtextgiving