Mobile presents a huge opportunity for nonprofits to expand their fundraising and outreach efforts. Many nonprofits have already run successful fundraising campaigns; the biggest example to date is the mobile campaigns during the Haiti earthquake, where the American Red Cross alone raised more than $30 million using a common short code.
FundRaising Success: How would you define where the fundraising sector in the United States is in regard to mobile giving?
Jim Killion: Mobile giving is in its infancy, but with the dramatic results achieved by the Red Cross with text-to-give to Haiti relief, it is now on most people's radar. In many ways, mobile giving is where what is now often referred to as "traditional Internet giving" was six or eight years ago. And just as Internet giving has taken off in the last decade, so will mobile giving. But the move to mobile will be much faster than the move to Internet giving.
DENVER, July 1, 2009 — Alicia Keys' appearance on the 2009 BET Awards Show Sunday night (June 28) raised more than $130,000 from more than 26,000+ mobile donors who texted their donations. Keep a Child Alive is the non-profit organization co-founded by Keys to provide health care and housing to children with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
Fundacion Teleton MexAmerica, the organization behind the annual Teleton, included a text to donate call to action for the first time ever in a nationally broadcast telethon. The nonprofit partnered with mGive.com to use its groundbreaking technology to raise an unprecedented amount of money through mobile donations. Viewers of the Telethon were asked to send a text message with the keyword TELETON to 90999 to give $5. The tax-deductible donation is charged to the donor's regular monthly cell phone bill.
2008 was an amazing roller-coaster of a year on so many levels, filled with soaring highs and abysmal lows. A couple of the highlights: The Phillies won the World Series — hey, we’re in Philadelphia; it was a big deal (but whether it made the Eagles’ smashed Super Bowl dreams any less painful is debatable); and, oh yeah, history was made in the political arena when the American people gave Barack Obama the presidency.
In 1997, online donations in the United States totaled a mere $300,000. In 2007, online donations were pinpointed at $10.44 billion reflecting exponential growth in overall giving and technology, according to a Harvard University study on innovation in Social Enterprise.