In aftermath of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake text donations to the Red Cross and other charities received enormous publicity, and generated a significant outpouring of donations. (SMS is an alternate term for text message – a160 character message sent over the mobile network)
The swiftness and the magnitude of the response made many nonprofit organizations take note. Appeals to donate swirled around via social networking sites such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook and generated numerous article in the traditional media. There was even a widely seen public service announcement recorded by First Lady Michelle Obama.
… Naturally, text giving is now considered with great interest by many nonprofits as a tool in their fundraising efforts. Nonprofits should indeed understand clearly the strategies and technology behind donating via a mobile phone not just in times of catastrophe and emergency. As more and more people have access to text messaging features on their cell phones (and as more and more carrier service plans include at least a minimal number of text messages a month), it is time for nonprofits to evaluate and clearly grasp how they can use mobile giving in their ongoing fundraising operations.
This article examines the process of using this still-new method of raising donations for charities – what it is, how to use it, and some of the issues to think about and plan for.