Should You Not Donate by Text Message?

Posted by Ginny Mies,

PC World, June 2, 2010.

We all have our excuses for not donating to disaster relief funds or to our favorite charities: We’re broke, the donation process is too complicated, we lack the time to write and send a check, and so on. Mobile donating–giving money to an organization via text message–makes giving a little easier. But is it safe? And does it have a significant impact on the charity or the people in need?

Donating by cell phone is incredibly quick and easy: You just text a word (like ?HAITI’) or a number to a specific phone number, and a set amount is charged to your phone bill. Your carrier then delivers the funds to the charity. The mobile donation approach has been around for a couple of years, but it didn’t really catch on until the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The American Red Cross’s Haiti Relief and Development Fund, the most successful mobile campaign to date, raised more than $32 million within a month after the disaster.

Advocates say that mobile donations are an appealing option because they’re convenient and offer instant gratification. The system also opens up philanthropy to individuals who might otherwise feel that they couldn’t contribute. Younger audiences, for instance, appreciate being able to donate via text message because they don’t need a credit card to do so.

Click here to read more on how to find a legitimate charity worth donating via text messaging.

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