Hi, please

Mobile Donations – Concluding Post

1. Please text MONKEY to 89183 for a brief summary via 3 Text Messages to your mobile phone!


2. Listen to the podcast and view the accompanied slides.


Mobile Active Org

American Red Cross – Mobile Giving Program

US Mobile Carriers

Mobile Giving Foundation

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  1. mushon 20:01, Apr 12th, 10

    What I found most surprising and you’ve mentioned it yourself is that the limited aspect of this form of participation has been its greatest strength, in more than one way.

    First of all, donating by phone is simple and easy, you can really do it right away without having to think too much about it.

    But then, after you donated, the frustration you feel about this limited participation does get you wanting to be more involved and help some more. In my case, it made me look online to more donation options and got me to donate online to a different Haiti relief organization. For others I am sure it informed contribution from the type Nadine wrote about in the Ushahidi travelogue. And I am sure it also informed some of the contributions to Chile.

    In shorts this is a classic case study for how powerful this ladder of participation can be.

  2. ElzbthMllr 07:52, Apr 13th, 10

    This was really great and I learned a lot! I liked the short text message bullet points also :) I think I mentioned in class that I was in Atlanta this past week for a conference on nonprofits and technology and I cannot tell you how many panels were devoted to mobile fundraising, there were even a few people from the Mobile Giving Foundation and the Red Cross (the woman from the Red Cross said her most recent numbers were $30 million). One of the presenters George Weiner did a presentation on the implications of mobile giving and social media, which I didn’t attend, but you might find it interesting: http://www.georgeweiner.com/presentation/mobilegiving-nten2010. It is seriously the new hot thing. You covered a lot of the issues really well, safety, security, engagement of individuals etc.

    You mention what carriers allow this type of giving, I learned that Metro PCS didn’t even have their text message enabled in certain areas of California! That seems just crazy to me, and customers had to create a little uproar to get them to turn it on.

    I’m still not 100% convinced that this kind of giving is new. Yes, it’s innovating and quick and easy to do, but people have always donated online, through the phone, or through check etc. I think the whole thing is fascinating, but I would love to know # of first time donors this engaged. I’m also interested to see how Red Cross uses this information of its donors and the implications for privacy.

  3. nadine 11:48, Apr 13th, 10

    Honieh, I really liked your travelogue! I would like to receive more info about mobile activism and other social mobile projects (like your HIV information center app).
    It is true that participation is limited, but in my opinion it is the most personal way of engagement, it’s your phone (email is too anonymous, phone marketing is annoying)!
    I know that Jonathan Nachum, a guy from my ITP class, is setting up an online platform/and mobile app to allow donations to a great array of NGOs and institutions (thesis presentation on May 6). I will keep you posted!

  4. HoniehLayla 14:27, Apr 13th, 10

    M -

    It is definitely true – because of the limitations imposed by moblie giving, I found myself actively finding different ways to donate more. This restriction, actually turned into a positive. I guess the ease of donation through a mobile phone is the first step of becoming a true donor. Either way it provided a great amount of funds to the many causes out there supporting tragedies such as Haiti & Chile.

    E -

    I’m sure this type of giving isn’t “new”. As far as premium text messaging is concerned – it has been around for years. It was mainly popular in Europe with downloadable content such as ringtones and wallpapers for your mobile phones. This type of transaction through mobile is prominent in Asia/Europe and has only become more popular in the US in the past few years.

    I was unable to find any data on if mobile donors were first time donors. It would have been an interesting analysis. I believe due to privacy this data is not available.

    Metro PCS is actually a very small carrier. They have services here in the tri-state area but in a very limited capacity. They advertise well – but I don’t see many users from this specific carrier on my end. Thank you for the presentation – I will definitely check it out.

    N –

    I can discuss with you about the HIV stuff in class. Participation is not necessarily limited – it often depends on the demographic your gearing your program towards, ie the new Microsoft Smart Phones that became public yesterday.

    I would love to see what Jonathan has done especially since you have termed it as a “platform.” Please keep me posted. Building a platform of that kind is very difficult and complicated.

  5. Jimena 20:26, Apr 25th, 10

    Cultural institutions are catching up in the use of technology (as we’ve been learning/commenting throughout the semester. This campaign seems to be working pretty well (Mobile donations for the Brooklyn Public Library) http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/no-phoning-in-the-library-except-to-send-donations/?scp=3&sq=%22mobile%20donations%22&st=cse

  6. Jimena 20:54, Apr 25th, 10

    There is now a Spanish page on Mobile Donations in Wikipedia :)