Thursday, 14 January 2010

The American Red Cross and Haiti: Fundraising 2010-style

Much was made of Barack Obama's ability to harness new technology to bankroll his election campaign in 2008.

Now, in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, a new example of excellent use of technology to fundraise has emerged with the American Red Cross' SMS text message campaign.

Mobile phone users in the US can text 'Haiti' to 90999, which results in $10 being debited from their phone account and handed to the Red Cross appeal. The project is a joint initiative between the US State Department and the Red Cross which was started late on Tuesday night.

The company managing the campaign, mGive, has confirmed on Twitter that $2 million has now been raised through the initiative.

This is an excellent example of how new technology can be used to simplify the process of charitable donation. By using a device the majority of us uses every day- a mobile phone- to enable people to donate to the Haiti campaign in the simplest of ways, they have been able to raise a vast amount of money is less than two days to help people affected by the earthquake.

This campaign will set a benchmark for future fundraising campaigns by charities and other groups, and shows just how new technology is changing dramatically many aspects of daily life.

2 comments:

Mr Ulster said...

Perhaps my direct marketing outfit was ahead of its time 10 years ago, but SMS fundraising is proven technique.

What makes this more potent is the combination with Twitter (sadly not present 10 years ago!):

http://twitter.com/RedCross

Update: $3 million raised so far.

Mr Ulster said...

UPDATE 15/1/2010: NYT article, "Burst of mobile giving adds millions in relief efforts":

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/technology/15mobile.html?ref=technology