Text messages that count – mobile giving for Haiti

Tap, tap, tap send.

Many younger mobile phone users just love to text. It’s fast, it’s cheap (free for some plans) and it’s fun. And lately it can be life saving. Several Canadian carriers and charitable organizations are using SMS technology to get much needed money and relief good to earthquake devastated Haiti.

The Seattle-based Mobile Giving Foundation (MGF) reports that during the last two days, it has raised more than $7 million for victims of the killer earthquake.

It takes no more than 15 seconds to make a donation.

Make that text message count. Tap these numbers to make an instant donation:

For Rogers Wireless and Fido subscribers – donate $5 per call to the Haiti relief efforts by sending the text message HELP to shortcode 1291. Rogers is also donating $250,00 for the relief efforts.

MGF also partners with Rogers, Fido, Bell and Telus, enabling these carriers’ customers to donate $5 – $10 per call, through MGF.

Here are their numbers:

—the Salvation Army in Canada: Text the word “Haiti” to 45678 (In Canada Only)
—the Plan Canada: Text the word “Haiti” to 30333 (In Canada Only)

— the Yele Foundation: Text Yele to 501501 to donate $5

—the Clinton Foundation Haiti Relief Fund: Text the word “Haiti”  to 20222 to donate $10

—the International Medical Corp: Text the word “Haiti” to 85944 to donate $10

—the International Rescue Committee: Text the word “Haiti”  to 25383 to donate $5

—the the Red Cross in the U.S.: Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10

—the Salvation Army Upper Wisconsin: Text the word “Haiti” to 52000 to donate $10

Mobile giving removes a lot of barriers that traditional donation chanels have. For one, donors can do it almost no matter where they are and anytime of the day. It also appeals to many donors because it’s basically painless and the wireless donation method has no strings attached. You just send and forget — until your phone bill arrives.

Will it catch on? Jim Manis of MFG says it’s been a resounding success so far. It is rel;atively easy to set up. The key component are carriers who tack on the donations to the mobile phone subscriber’s monthly bill. So far carriers have not been charging for their services

Mobile giving has primarily been used for emergency disasters, but Manis says it can easily be adopted by organizations seeking a more steady stream of donations.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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