Mobile Donations May Account for 20% of Sandy Relief Efforts

This article was written by Chantal Tode and orig­i­nally appeared in Mobile Marketer on November 1, 2012.

Disaster relief agencies have responded quickly to the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, with many making mobile a key part of their efforts to raise funds to help those affected by the disaster.

The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Humane Assoc. and World Vision are among the relief organizations that have created mobile giving campaigns enabling users to text a keyword to a short code to donate $10. Mobile is playing a bigger role in disaster relief efforts as mobile phone penetration grows and users become aware of how easy it is to make a donation this way.

“One reason there is a focus on mobile giving is because we know that cell phone penetration is over 100 percent and users generally have their phones in arms reach 24 hours a day,” said Jenifer Snyder, executive director of The mGive Foundation, Denver, CO.

“We know that the best way to help is through financial contributions and the easiest way to do that is through text,” she said.

“We also know that text message open rates are 97 percent and 85 percent are read in 15 minutes. So, text is a quick way to get to someone and know they will open the message in an expedited fashion.”

Mobile outreach grows

Nonprofits have discovered that mobile can be a good way to reach a new audience of givers, as a significant percentage of mobile donors do not communicate with charities using any other method.

Hurricane Sandy marks the first time relief organizations have proactively sent out mobile messaging asking for donations in a significant way, per Ms. Snyder.

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Image source: American Red Cross