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Mobile fundraising

April 7th, 2011 by Talya

We talk quite frequently about all that you can do via mobile – shop, game, book travel, etc,. From what we see, much (if not most) of the activity on the mobile internet tends to be very “me” related. Think about it – shopping, playing games, dating, all of these things (which are BIG movers in mobile) tend to be more or less self-focused activities. Now we are not saying that there is anything wrong with that, but once in a while it is nice to see that mobile can be used for the good of others, especially when major tragedies occur.

Haiti was a great example. Within three weeks of the catastrophic earthquake in January of last year, over $35 million in donations had been made from – you guessed it – mobile fundraising. Users were able to text codes to the Red Cross and other organizations which then ended up as donations to the disaster relief. Loads of money was donated this way.

We are seeing the same thing start with the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well. Within a week of the tragedy, several  non-profit organizations, mobile carriers, and a number of celebrities began rallying people to make monetary donations via their mobile devices for the victims in Japan. According to Mobile Commerce Daily, by March 15, the American public had already donated $1 million to relief efforts through their mobile devices.

Not only are people giving money with their mobile phones, but they are also opting in to stay informed of the latest details. Through social media, people are also spreading the word, telling others about the opportunities to stay informed and make donations to groups like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Of course, celebrities are also using social networking sites (particularly Facebook and Twitter) to encourage others to give to relief agencies. As mentioned before, it is always refreshing to see some of the best of humanity – especially when it is through the mobile web!