24 Jan Technology is Changing the Face of Giving
Relief efforts continue to pour into Haiti after last week’s catastrophic earthquake there. Here in the US, technology is changing the face of giving, providing effective tools for raising money for those in need. Provided are a few examples of technology and social media’s impact on the relief efforts.
After a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake and numerous aftershocks rocked the nation of Haiti, social media became the medium in which everybody spread the word. Dramatic pictures and first hand accounts spread across the web.
One of the most powerful parts of social media’s impact on Haiti has to be the charity text message campaign for Haiti victim relief. Social media helped spread the word, technology enabled it to happen.
By texting a to a designated short code via a mobile phone, a micro donation of $5 or $10 can be made to aid millions of people affected by this tragedy. 100% of your donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donations appear as a charge on your carrier bill, standard rates apply.
Cell phone users have so far donated more than $27 million to relief organizations like the Red Cross just by sending text messages. And with the help of twitter and social networking sites like Facebook, these efforts have gone viral, making this the largest mobile phone giving campaign in history.
Donating is easy; in the Red Cross’ case, phone users can text the word “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10,” and when prompted, hit “YES” to confirm the donation. The donation is added to the cell user’s bill, and receipts are available.
During times of emergency, it has been shown that sending text messages rather than calling is a more reliable form of communications and frees calling lines for critical communication between first responders, other emergency personnel and aid workers.
Tony Aiello CEO of MGive.com, which is providing this mobile service to Red Cross free of charge, says “it’s so successful because in age of social networking and 24-hour news, it allows people to donate on impulse. And they may have heard whether they’re sitting in an airport waiting for a plane or over at a friend’s house and the one thing they pretty much always have is the mobile phone with them. So it’s a quick and easy way for them to respond.”
As this story clearly demonstrates, technology is having a profound impact on giving. With the likes of social media, texting and mobile applications individuals are embracing technology for the betterment of others. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by the tragic events in Haiti.
Do you have other examples of how technology is changing the face of giving? How has the mortgage industry responded to this tragic event? Do examples like this expand your view of social networking and mobile solutions? Share with us your thoughts.