The recent devastation in Haiti triggered a global cooperative effort to aid people that were suffering and in need of help. Virtually every available medium was flooded with requests for donations. It seems that within a moments notice every television, radio station, computer monitor, and even mobile phone, was prompting you to help do something. One of the most prominent calls to action was the Red Cross SMS campaign: Text HAITI to 90999.
This particular campaign, as is any campaign on the 90999 short code, was made possible by the good folks over at mGive. I worked with the founders of mGive a couple years ago and helped design their logo and website, and remember the simple utility in what they were hoping to create: The easiest way to raise money for a cause. If you stop and think about it, it’s amazing that SMS donations are not more popular in the United States. Everyone has a mobile phone that requires some method of payment for monthly use. Everyone uses SMS to communicate and receive notifications and alerts. People are comfortable texting to short codes for acquiring mobile content to their handsets. Why not use SMS as a donation platform?
This is exactly what mGive has created, an SMS donation platform that enables qualified 501c3 Non-Profit Organizations with the ability to raise funds for their cause through text messaging. It’s unfortunate that it took a massive tragedy to bring the benefit of SMS donations to the lime light, but through the unified efforts of many people around the world; mobile donations generated more than $25,000,000 in support for Haiti. In a brave new world, it’s comforting to see that all this technology really can make the world a better place.