Mobile Giving at $10 Per Text, Raises $2 Million for Haiti Quake Victims
January 14, 2010
(ChattahBox)—The twenty-first century and the growing popularity of texting as our primary means of social communication, have now given us a new way to donate money to victims of natural disasters. After the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the impoverished nation of Haiti on Tuesday, a company that organizes mobile phone fund raising efforts set up a text donation campaign for the quake victims. The campaign is a testament to the generosity of Americans, the power of social media and the widespread use of cell phones. At a donation of $10 per text message, over $2 million had been raised by Wednesday night.
The texting campaign was organized by a company called mGive, which works with organizations and charities to run mobile phone giving campaigns, including the American Heart Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Anyone having a mobile phone and an account with a major wireless carrier can text the phrase “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross, to help the victims of the Haiti quake. The amount is then charged to the donor’s cellphone bill. Tony Aiello, chief executive of mGive, worked with the State Department and the Red Cross late Tuesday night to set up the cell phone giving drive. The texting campaign was announced on the White House blog and was quickly promoted on Twitter and Facebook.
Aiello says mGive usually charges a a licensing fee and a transaction fee, but in this case, the company is waiving all fees. “Catastrophic fund-raising is different from the everyday fund-raising that we help facilitate,” Aiello said. “This is a huge tragedy, and we simply hope to help provide relief.”
It usually takes about 90-days for the donations to reach the intended recipients, but Aiello is working with wireless carriers to speed up the process for the Haitian quake victims.
Source: The New York Times