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Are Mobile Donations Safe? Why do they take so long? What can we do next?

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  1. Leslie 10:26, Mar 30th, 10

    That’s crazy that the companies promoting the donations have to pay the phone services so much money to keep the mobile donations up and running. Do you have a percentage for this at all? You might have already said it and I missed it…I’m having trouble getting the video to replay for some reason.

    This fact makes me rethink donating through mobile devices. I rather have the company I’m donating to get every cent they can, rather than having part of it going to the phone service. I wonder if users knew this, if they’d still donate through cell phones, or if they’d opt to donate through the more traditional methods? But, donation through the cell phone might be tapping into people that would not have otherwise donated, with is a very good thing.

  2. Alexandra 11:42, Mar 30th, 10

    Your podcast was definitely eye-opening for me. I never donate through text message a) because I only have a company phone so I can’t really donate on behalf of my company but b) because i am never convinced that it’s not some sort of scam or I won’t get follow up spam text messages. So it was good for me to hear that. But I definitely agree with Leslie, if I was going to donate I would rather the organization I’m giving to get every cent, rather than some middleman getting a bunch of it. I can see how this might play out. While it’s good that it’s easy for people to donate and therefore more people do it, the fees imposed are taking a big chunk out of the actual donations.

  3. ElzbthMllr 11:59, Mar 30th, 10

    Really good job covering some of our important questions. It’s frustrating to learn about the fee that mobile carriers charge for the donations and that the charities aren’t getting all the $. This combined with the fact that unless it’s specified that they can’t, organizations can use the $ donated for the organization’s operating costs rather than on the ground support for people who need it. And I did ask you about whether you’d charge me $5, but I did it via text ;) It’s good to know that from a safety standpoint though, these text message donations are pretty secure. I’d be interested to know if you can use the Red Cross as an example and learn for instance how many first time donaters used text message vs. online donations or mailing in a check etc. Are these campaigns reaching new donors? Existing donors?

  4. HoniehLayla 14:46, Mar 30th, 10

    I recall that some of these charities stating that the donations being done through mobile would be 100% sent to the charities – this definitely not the common practice – but being that there is large concern for this topic – I will dig deeper.

    Maybe as a good faith during crisis the carriers cut these charities a break. I will let you know :)

    Thank you for tuning in.

  5. DanJee 15:16, Mar 30th, 10

    I personally think that it is just as easy (or dangerous) to be involved in a mobile donation scam as on-line or telephone or television. The level of transparency, if you look into it carefully enough, are similar. However, what I do think makes mobile SMS donation more dangerous is that the it can be more impulsive, and can be completed more easily. I think it would be interesting to look into how process can be un-done if one finds out something he/she didn’t notice initially about the SMS donation.

  6. HoniehLayla 15:08, Apr 8th, 10

    I just wanted to add a personal note to this post – I did some additional research – I will be using Red Cross as my test case – and all mobile donations made through them are 100% sent over to the charity.. This isn’t the case for ALL mobile donations.. only some.

    I will further explain this process in my concluding post.