After the earthquake in Haiti, students have added a new contact to their phones. The Red Cross and other charities have made a new method of donating available: texting.
According to The Mobile Giving Foundation (MGF), this idea started after the 2004 Tsunami when MGF CEO Jim Manis saw an opportunity, and collaborated with mobile carriers to make it possible for 100 percent of the money raised goes to the charity.
MGF decided to use technology as a way to spread the word about donating money since it seemed to be the most efficient method.
“I saw [the destruction in Haiti] on a commercial and I felt bad because I was sitting on a comfortable couch [while people in Haiti were suffering],” said junior Vera Johne, who texted in a donation.
According to MGF, which works with North American operators to enable the 100 percent pass-through of funds raised by mobile campaigns, texters raised $34 million in the month of January alone. This is the most that has ever been raised by a mobile campaign.
“I felt fine donating to Haiti through text message,” senior Liam Regan said. “I thought it was a great idea to accept donations that way. It reminds me of how Obama asked for many small donations and that amounted to large sums of money.”
Despite the no cell phone policy in schools that has been strongly enforced this year, students are still glued to their phones outside of schools, which helps to explain the expediency of fundraising for Haiti: everyone always has their cell phone on.
“AT&T actually texted me [to tell] me that I should donate, and I did,” Regan said. “I would definitely donate to another charity like this.”
While many have no concerns donating to any charity they hear about, others are more cautious about how they will be charged.
“I’d rather [donate] to a direct charity because I don’t feel like texting donations is very secure,” administrator Jan Fisher said.
MGF says that Fisher can text with ease because this means of donation is completely safe. No personal information like credit card numbers or even names are exchanged.
How to do it? Simply text a short code to a number, then the donor will receive a confirmation text message that must be responded to in order to complete the transaction. The donation, usually in amounts of $5-10 will be added to the donor’s monthly phone bill. Mobile providers then forward the donation to MGF, which sends 100 percent of the donations to the charity.
With this new method of donating money, profits will not only increase, but it will encourage more people to get involved in charities because of the easy accessibility.
Other Charities That Accept Donations Via Text
• Text ‘Haiti’ to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross Haitian Relief
• Text ‘Help’ to 1291 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army Haitian Relief
• Text ‘Wish’ to 90999 to donate $5 to the Make a Wish Foundation
• Text ‘Darfur’ to 40579 to donate $5 to Save Darfur
• Text ‘Standup’ to 85944 to donate $5 to Stand Up to Cancer
• Text ‘JDRF’ to 40579 to donate $5 to Juvenile Diabetes Research International