SMS charity donations: Red Cross raise $20m for Haiti Disaster

As the tragedy from last week’s earthquake in Haiti continues to unfold, the Red Cross and other relief organizations have now raised more than $20 million via text message donations. The text donations have been accelerating at a rapid rate, from $5 million last week to more than $20 million today. A huge number of people are picking up their phones to text “HAITI” to 90999, with many making mobile SMS payments for the first time. the UK’s leading supplier of mobile marketing services, have worked with numerous charities across the UK to raise thousands for good causes. SMS can work in a variety of ways for charitable organisations, whether it’s to receive text donations, obtain bids for auctions or just keep fundraisers informed of the latest information; text represents the easiest way to fulfil these for both the charity and the fundraisers.

Alastair Shortland (Textlocal, technical director) comments “For charities it’s all about reducing the barrier to donating, making it as easy as possible for people to give and then reducing the administration once the money is collected. Text is by far the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to raise multiple small donations. It can be done from wherever donors are, whenever they wish and requires no cash handling/counting and banking, plus donors do not need to input their bank details, write a cheque or visit a bank. It’s all so simple and straightforward”

Alastair continues “It also represents an extremely safe and secure way for fundraisers to raise money. There are none of the associated security risks of collecting cash, no money handling/counting plus the donor can be sure the donation goes directly to their intended charity.”

The recent Comic Relief Kilimanjaro Climb 2009, relied heavily on donors texting CLIMB to 88808 to raise money for the celebrity Kilimanjaro climb. A massive £1.5 million was raised in support of the cause with the vast majority coming from text donations.

Worcester based charity St Richard’s Hospice, recently used Textlocals SMS Short Code service to raise over £1000 for a charity event. The fundraising event involved a St Richards employee having her hair shaved off in front of a rugby crowd. Spectators were encouraged to make a text donation of £3.00 directly from their mobile phones to contribute to the cause.

Tricia Cavell, fundraising manager at St Richards described the results from their SMS campaigns as excellent “The text service provides the best option for collecting funds on the day. The service makes it easy for people to make an instant donation by simply sending a text message.”

Cavell continues “We have had excellent results from our SMS campaigns.”

How can SMS help your Charity?

Donations – Supporters can text donations directly from their mobile, paid via their phone bill or credit stored on the phone.

Raise Money Interactively – text can be used for potential donors to bid on auctions/reverse auctions or register their interest for forthcoming events

News and Notifications – SMS is easily used to thank attendees for coming to charity events and let them know how much was raised. It can also be used to remind fundraisers of collection dates for pledged/outstanding donations and remind them of entry dates for forthcoming events.

If you’re a charity and wish to get started with an SMS campaign you can do so instantly. Simply sign up at now. Our simple, user-friendly dashboard guides you through the whole process and we’ll even give you 10 FREE credits.

From donations to awareness there are many ways in which SMS can be used to support UK charity business goals. See some of our charity mobile marketing success stories.