Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mobile Social Media Tool Helps Red Cross Think Fast

When you're a relief organization like the Red Cross, there is a perpetual need to be able to reach the masses with ease and raise funds quickly. As announced on President Obama's website, Red Cross, which is conducting the bulk of U.S.-sponsored relief efforts in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, has started a mobile donation campaign to raise funds to support the relief program.

From whitehouse.gov: "For those interesting [sic] in helping [Haitian relief efforts] immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill."

With such a time-sensitive need to raise funds, the Red Cross's mobile organizing efforts work for three reasons:
  1. It's quick - donors don't have to fill out forms of information, get out their credit cards, or even be at a computer to donate;
  2. The ask is modest - at only $10, the baseline ask is hardly an amount to balk at, and because of the ease of the donation process, it's easy for donors to give multiple times;
  3. There's no "sign up" - many organizations require you to create an account on their website to donate and then proceed to flood your inbox with email updates. The Red Cross mobile donation program abides by the privacy policy of the Wireless Foundation, which processes these donations through non-personally identifiable information.
With the development of wireless technology on the rise, the Red Cross is staying ahead of the curve while making donating easier and more accessible. Due to the severity of the situation in Haiti, it's a good thing.

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