I understand that the fundraising activity in question has utilized text messaging as its main vehicle for facilitating donations. In this context, I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that charitable donations made by text message, excluding any fees charged by the telecommunications provider or other service provider, are outside the scope of Irish VAT. However, any fees charged by the telecommunications service providers in connection with the facilitation of donations are liable to VAT at the standard rate of 23%. The VAT treatment of charitable donations made by text message is set out in Revenue's eBrief 29/11 which is available at http://www.revenue.ie/en/practitioner/ebrief/archive/2011/no-292011.html .
While the important work carried out by charities and community groups is well recognized, such groups are exempt from VAT under the EU VAT Directive, with which Irish VAT Law must comply. This means that they do not charge VAT on the services they provide and cannot recover VAT incurred on goods and services which they purchase.