Early Signals on Mobile Philanthropy

Publication date: 
May, 2010
Edge Research
Sea Change Strategies

Mobile technology and text messaging have introduced new channels for charities to engage with current and prospective donors, advocates and volunteers.  Prior to January 12, 2010, little more than $1 million had been raised via mobile text. However, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti close this amount rose dramatically.  The Haiti response marked unprecedented territory for mobile philanthropy, and the disaster relief effort has shown what a significant impact mobile giving can have in the United States.  This paper includes findings from a national survey of U.S. charitable donors that was conducted the week after the earthquake in Haiti occurred and during intense fundraising efforts for emergency relief. This data indicates that mobile philanthropy is gaining traction with younger generations, and the text-to-gift efforts around Haiti could be the tipping point for greater adoption. 

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