It’s for You!
Mobile fundraising has arrived in the United States. In early February 2008, the Mobile Giving Foundation opened the mobile-giving channel in the U.S., providing nonprofits nationwide the ability to utilize text messaging for purposes other than constituent contact and advocacy programs.
Nonprofits in many other countries have been collecting mobile donations via text messaging for several years, and now their American counterparts have the chance to benefit from the power and reach of this vital, new fundraising channel.
The vast majority of the 250 million U.S. mobile-phone users now can send text messages to make $5 or $10 donations to participating charities — for example, text “ALIVE” to 90999 to give $5 to Keep a Child Alive, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based organization working to combat AIDS in developing nations. A donor is requested to confirm her donation by replying to the text message she receives back from the charity with YES. Upon confirmation, the charge is added to the donor’s mobile-phone bill. The charge appears as a tax-deductible donation to the charity of choice on the donor’s bill, which can be used as a receipt. The donation is collected by the wireless carrier when the donor pays her next mobile-phone bill.
Mobile Giving Foundation
The Mobile Giving Foundation serves as a clearinghouse for all donations, collecting the funds from each participating carrier and sending the money to the appropriate charities (minus a 10 percent processing fee) in 60 to 90 days.
MGF is a new 501(c)(3) created to oversee mobile-giving standards and best practices for the wireless industry, certify nonprofits and mobile vendors wishing to participate in the mobile-giving channel, and facilitate the flow of funds from carriers directly to participating nonprofits.
According to the MGF’s Nonprofit Standards of Compliance, all client organizations must meet specific standards of legitimacy, thereby safeguarding the integrity of carriers and the interests of the end users. The NSC establish benchmarks to make certain an organization is fulfilling its obligations to those who benefit from its programs, to contributors and to the public. The guidelines also ensure that client activity is compliant with the Mobile Marketing Association’s Consumer Best Practices Guidelines and the MMA Code of Conduct for Mobile Marketing. These standards are intended as a framework for all fundraising using the mobile channel.
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