- Only charitable organizations qualified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Charities”) are eligible to conduct short code campaigns for charitable purposes.
- Charities seeking to offer short code campaigns for charitable purposes must be accredited by at least one arm’s-length, disinterested non-profit accreditation organization established to erect standards of accountability for charitable organizations and conduct and publish evaluations of charities against those standards. Recognized accreditation organizations are:
- Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, any charity with a current report on file.
- Charity Navigator, any charity with current 3- or 4-star rating.
- Based on guidance obtained from the non-profit community, CTIA and its carrier member companies will revise the list of recognized accreditation organizations as needed.
- Charities must maintain compliance with federal, state and local laws throughout the entirety of their mobile campaign to be eligible. Resources include:
- IRS watch list
- National Center for Charitable Statistics
Use of Short Code
- Qualified Charities may lease short codes from CSCA at a 60% reduction to published rates for commercial short code campaigns. In order to qualify for the 60% reduction, charities must meet all criteria outlined in these guidelines including the following:
- Charity will use a unique, exclusive short code (i.e. not shared).
- The code must be leased directly to the charity and not to an intermediary.
- Comply with all provisions outlined in the acceptable use policy for short codes leased from the CTIA operated Common Short Code Administration, which prohibits subleasing of codes.
- Qualified Charities using a unique, exclusive short code may mix communications, solicitation and mobile giving under their unique code, so long as a separate opt-in for each type of activity is obtained and all activity on the code complies with MMA Guidelines.
- Chapter-based Qualified Charities using a common name may lease a single code for use among all chapters.
- Qualified Charities that conduct unified fundraising campaigns such as United Way or Combined Federal Campaign may lease a single code in support of their unified campaigns. Unified fundraising Qualified Charities must demonstrate that they have been in operation for at least five years.
Enhanced Mobile Giving
- Gaming-related fundraising (e.g., lotteries, sweepstakes, raffles) is not supported.
- Commercial activities, such as sales of clothing or other products (e.g., ballcaps, t-shirts, wristbands, water bottles) with a charity’s logo or slogan will be treated as any other commercial user, subject to normal rates.
- Recurring subscriptions for mobile giving are not supported.
- Only the Qualified Charity running the mobile campaign has rights to any use of mobile subscriber information collected. No other entity involved in the campaign may use any part of the mobile subscriber data collected. Participating mobile subscriber information can only be used for the campaign for which it was collected.
Education and Messaging
- Charity and accreditation organizations are primary point of contact for general inquiries about mobile giving and mobile charitable solicitation.
- All parties involved in the provision of mobile giving services to the non-profit community are expected to collaborate to ensure frictionless, transparent, timely and accurate services to Qualified Charities conducting mobile giving campaigns.
- Intermediaries acting on behalf of Qualified Charities agree to abide by all rules and regulations required to run charitable short code campaigns including any monitoring required to verify compliance.
- Individual carriers reserve the right to amend these recommendations at any time and may at their discretion waive any stated recommendation. Individual carriers also reserve the right to establish additional requirements of their own.
Effective October 12, 2011