Mobile giving the next best thing in fundraising?

You may have heard about a text-to-donate campaign by the Red Cross to raise urgently needed funds for Pakistan. All you need to do is text the word “RED CROSS” to 30333 to donate $5 to its relief efforts.

Rogers Communications also launched a campaign to raise funds for the Red Cross. Rogers and Fido customers can donate $10.00 to help Pakistan by texting HELP to 4357.

Mobile giving is relatively new in Canada and its popularity is growing – not just with the Red Cross, but among various Canadian charities. Everyone from Muscular Dystrophy to Ducks Unlimited Canada is doing it.

And why are they doing it? Quite simply: because it works.

When the earthquake struck Haiti, the American Red Cross raised an unprecedented amount – about $32 million – through text messaging.  With the help of a celebrity cabinet promoting the message on Twitter, the text-to-donate campaign went viral.

Another popular example of mobile giving came when Alicia Keys appeared on American Idol last year challenging the audience to text $5 to her charity, Keep a Child Alive. The result? About $450,000 from more than 90,000 cell phone users.

The Mobile Giving Foundation, which works with non-profits to set up text-to-give campaigns, reports that text giving works because the immediacy and ease of it allow non-profits to engage an entirely new class of donors.

Challenges exist though: Texting has limited capabilities, donations are capped at a certain amount (usually lower than what one might donate online) and technology is ever-changing.

What do you think?

Is mobile giving here to stay? Have you ever made a donation on text? Why did you do it?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

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