Premium SMS has been a boon to disaster relief giving. When acts of nature devastate regions, people seem ready to respond on the spot with text-to-give programs that can garner millions in donations in very short order.
And now the Council of Better Business Bureaus and its BBB Wise Giving Alliance are partnering with the Mobile Giving Alliance to create the BBB Mobile Giving Alliance. The aim of the new group is to provide donors and charities with a safe and trusted way to use text-to-give programs.
The Alliance will give comprehensive reviews of charitable organizations to determine whether they are abiding by about 20 codes of conduct and how they conduct governance, fund-raising etc. The Mobile Giving Alliance is a go-between for charities. The group works with carriers to enable donation programs. In the past four-and-a-half years, the MGF says it has been responsible for gathering $50 million for over 1,000 charities. Generally, it says the optimal giving amounts in text-to-mobile programs are $5 and $10 increments.
According to the MGF, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 was a turning point for mobile charity. More than $30 million was donated in the first few weeks. The group also says that mobile programs are not only convenient for donors -- they also help reach a new class of younger donors and acquaint them with the range of charities looking for help both in disaster scenarios and year round.
Generally, mobile giving carries a low overhead of under 10%.