I’ve been fielding quite a few requests about why donations via text messaging have done so well and why donations to Haiti via SMS have set new all time high’s. I am in Cambridge, MA this week. I was walking around Central Square yesterday evening, and I noticed how many promotions there are for donating via SMS. I was surprised.

Why is it doing so well?

  • Adoption of SMS is high as is usage = people are comfortable with the technology
  • $10 – not an insignificant amount of money, but affordable to many
  • Consumer awareness is high … each year there are more and more marketing campaigns and promotions incuding those to donate money. The more there are and the more consumers see them, the more aware they are – we’ve seen them encourage people to donate on the Today Show, Michelle Obama has asked, etc. – non-mobile promotions
  • Trusted source – people have known the Red Cross forever and it is a trusted organization as are those (e.g., Verizon) facilitating the donations
  • IT’S CONVENIENT! I think this is probably the most important reason. I don’t have to remember a phone number or an address. I don’t need to remember to write a check, find and envelope, find a stamp, etc. I can donate while standing in line or waiting for the bus … it’s EASY!

I was in Toscanini’s ice cream last night and they had floating Tweets on a screen with standing instructions for how one could donate via SMS.


And walking past the bus stop this morning … this one for breast cancer

Bus stop

Cancer text