Mechanics (and pitfalls) of text-based giving

In the wake of relief efforts coming to the fore in Haiti, you have probably heard over the past week about the option to donate by sending a text message, or through social media channels. Such options are now available due to organizations like the Mobile Giving Foundation.

New York Magazine reports there may be significant processing delays in this methodology (depending on your cell carrier), even though donations are being assumed as a done deal by relief agencies.

$10 million has already been raised this way, surely much more because of the convenience of texting. The bad news? Because cell phone carriers are not creditors and have to wait for you to pay your bill to forward the money on, it won’t actually reach the Red Cross’s coffers for 90 days.

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  1. susan s.

    There’s always a catch!


    Old info, I believe. January 18th the Washington Post reported: “To get the money to Haiti faster, Verizon said Monday that it transmitted nearly $3 million in text-message pledges to the American Red Cross. Normally, telecommunications companies wait for the user to pay their phone bill, a process that can take a few months, before passing the donation to the charity.” T-Mobile, At&T, and Sprint have also agreed to speed donations for Haiti.

    But the usual procedure seems to be to wait ’til the cell phone customer pay the bill.

    Gretchen Donart

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