Mobile Giving Update
Six thousand people responded to the ask with a text message reply, and 2,000 followed through with donations. We were not able to ascertain from the United Way how many people responded to the in-stadium ask as opposed to the commercial on TV.
Both stressed to MobileActive that the fundraising campaign “was clearly a success.” Schreiber acknowledged that the TV spot was brief — too brief for many viewers to remember the short code (a six-digit number to text to in order to donate).
The ad also had been on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 21,000 times, and on the United Way Web site.
Some other groups also have used their lists of cellphone numbers to direct constituents via voice mail and text message to a live phone bank. Donors then can make their donations on the phone with a credit card rather than via text message.
In a conversation with MobileActive, James Eberhard, co-founder and chairman of Mobile Accord, said that “the Mobile Giving Foundation played an essential role in this technical environment.”
He noted that one of the carriers did not approve the campaign until the day before the Super Bowl. He also emphasized the importance of having an organization of the United Way’s stature (and non-political nature) as the prototype nonprofit campaign in order to get the mobile carriers on board.
Asked whether this effort has revolutionized mobile giving in the United States, Eberhard said, “No, it didn’t. But we took it to mass market, and it works.”
Katrin Verclas is with MobileActive.org, a global network of people focused on the use of mobile phones in civil society.