The challenges behind mobile donations to Haiti
Coming out of the ruin and devastation in Haiti, the ability to micro-donate via text message. Already, mobile donations have ecplipsed $20-million.
Here, Jim Manis, CEO of the Mobile Giving Foundation, the organization behind a bulk of text donation campaigns, explains some challenges with texting help to Haiti.
Many of the mobile campaigns are only in the U.S. Is your organization coordinating text donations in Canada?
The Mobile Giving Foundation has collaborated with various wireless operators in Canada to launch in September 2009 basically an extension of what we have in the States. Then we were able to launch a Haiti relief project with the Salvation Army quickly last week by texting HAITI to 45678. Then others followed.
Canada was a couple days behind the United States in starting mobile donations. What were the hurdles?
There are no hurdles, but just a couple different dynamics.
Because of the cross-border media, people in Canada try to text to a shortcode that’s been set up by wireless operators in the United States. That same shortcode may not be supporting that same charity in Canada.So we are learning a few lessons. One of those lessons is that in the event of a major disaster, as we’re seeing here, there’s a natural response to help.For example, when Wyclef Jean, of the Yele Foundation, one of the primary charitable foundations in Haiti, goes on CNN and says to support Haiti relief efforts text YELE to 501501, to make a $5 donation, that broadcast clearly goes to Canada.
When Canadians try to text to that shortcode, 501501, it doesn’t go to the Yele Foundation it goes somewhere else that has nothing to do with Haitian relief.
Text the word “Haiti” to 30333 to donate $5 to Plan Canada
Text the word “Hope” or “Monde” to 45678 to donate $5 to World Vision Canada
Text the word “CAHAITI” to 20222 to donate $5 to the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative
Text the word “Haiti” to 45678 to the Salvation Army in Canada