So Apple is uninterested in working with the nonprofit and charitable community to give them access to the iTunes Store for money raising. There are other ways that bypass the Byzantine process ofand still offer means to support (some of) your favorite charities with your mobile device. Even your iPhone: Texting donations (‘Textonations’ anyone?).
The gold standard of money raised thus far comes from The American Red Cross, which raised over $305 million for survivors of the earthquake in Haiti last year – over $30 million of it from people donating $5 a text message. Though the campaign via text messages is closed for Haiti, this holiday season, The Red Cross is upping the ante for its supporters. Is texting the new ‘Please include your check in the envelope provided”?
Theis one of the four nonprofits participating in a test to offer opportunity for donors to give $25 gifts through December 31st. The test is being conducted by the and Mobile Accord, two of the largest providers of text-to-give services for nonprofits.
Joshua Kittner, senior marketing consultant for digital engagement at the American Red Cross in Washington DC, was interviewed for MobileCommercialDaily.com and had this: “As the public increasingly adopts mobile to access the web the mobile share of donations will also increase. So we see mobile becoming increasingly more important to our fundraising efforts over time. The opportunities in mobile are endless. Today it’s clear that text, mobile Web and applications are important.
“Emerging capabilities such as QR codes and abbreviated dial codes give us more ways for the public to connect with us and I’m sure there will be innovations in the future that we could hardly imagine today. Donors who make a $25 donation by texting GIFT to 90999 will receive a link to download a Red Cross badge for posting on their Facebook page. Customers can also make a $10 donation in support of American Red Cross Disaster Relief by texting the keyword REDCROSS to 90999. This $10 opportunity is not limited by the calendar year.
Results will not be presented to the public until January/February 2011, but if some $30 million can be raised at $5 a pop, who can predict what the opportunities could be for fundraising as the amounts per text grow larger? Maybe soon we can text the amounts we wish to give? And where the numbers will go as more people get comfortable with mobile technology and with the opportunity to reach out to help one another?