Tuesday, February 2, 2010

35 million reasons to consider mobile giving in your fundraising future

By now everyone has seen the text "Haiti" to 90999 to give $10 ads. A lot of us have responded. A heckuva lot of us. Over 3.5 million if my math is correct.

The Miami Herald reports on 2/2/10:

"As of Monday, $35 million had been donated by text message to a variety of organizations working to improve conditions in Haiti."

This is powerful leveraging of the ubiquitous cellphone. It's hard think of any faster, easier way for an individual to donate a small amount of money. The $10 ask is so small that it isn't a second thought. Painless. No forms to fill out. You can even donate from you car (stop it first).

I'm betting this puts 90999 and MGive.com on the radar screens of many nonprofits. There are other companies that provide similar services. MGive has the American Red Cross account, among others.

The article continues:
"Following the Jan. 12 earthquake, more than two dozen short codes were created to allow cellphone users to donate $5 or $10 to an organization and pay for the contribution on their cellphone bill.Most of those donations -- more than $24 million -- were made to the American Red Cross."

But there are things to watch out for. Service fees and commissions for one, delays in payment for another:
"Under normal circumstances, it could take as long as 90 days for the beneficiaries to receive the contributions because cellphone companies usually wait until they collect donations from customers via their bills before passing the money along." In this instance, many cellphone providers have advanced the funds.

I wouldn't suggest that mobile giving is all you need to do.Micro-pledges can add up to big numbers that can augment your other development efforts. Is there a text 90999 in your organization's future?

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home