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TEXT DONATIONS: Rising popularity

26/01/2012 by Alan Cole in the UK

Charity text donations becoming increasingly popular choice for donors

A new study of real-time charitable giving has confirmed the rising popularity of text donations.

The report produced by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project offers a detailed look at mobile giving and suggests charities that do not offer text donations to potential supporters are missing out...

The report shows charitable donations from mobile phones have grown more common in recent years and also reveals a number of new trends related to text giving. A majority of American adults - 64 per cent - now use text messaging and nine per cent, almost one in ten people, have texted a charitable donation from their mobile phone.

The report, Real Time Charitable Giving, reveals mobile phone users texted millions of dollars to support Haiti earthquake relief and also got their friends to do the same. Contributors to the Red Cross Text to Haiti earthquake relief campaign were spontaneous donors who often called on friends and family to give to the campaign too, the research reveals.

The detailed study analysed the Text to Haiti campaign and found three quarters of these donors - 73 per cent - used their phones to donate on the same day they heard about the appeal, suggesting the immediacy of texting a donation is an attractive proposition to donors.

Also 76 per cent of those interviewed say they typically make text message donations without conducting much research - again suggesting spontaneous giving takes place with the phone. But even more interestingly that 43 per cent of these donors encouraged their friends or family members to give to the campaign as well. These charity text donations spread virally almost like wildfire through groups of friends' mobile networks...suggesting a major new trend in charity giving is taking shape.

In addition, a majority of those surveyed - 56 per cent - have continued to give to more recent disaster relief appeals using their mobile phones, such as the Japan tsunami appeal.

The report's findings add to a growing amount of evidence over the last year that indicates text donations are an increasing phenomena especially for young people.

Pew's research offers substantial information to back up the trend with a focus on a major charity campaign case study. The report provides a mass of insights into why certain people appear to like to text their donations and in particularly identifies a younger generation which has grown up with the Internet and digital mobile technology and so is very comfortable with the idea of charity giving by text...

Texting is a very personal medium and when you consider so many phones are combined with Internet access, it suggests during campaigns text giving options should be provided along with other digital marketing platforms like social media, in order to maximise fundraising revenues...

The study suggests more charities should take advantage of the technology available to integrate text giving into their fundraising campaigns. And that there appears to be new markets out there for charity marketeers who want to integrate text donations into their campaigns...

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Written and edited in London and Geneva All Xperedon news articles are original and are written by the Xperedon news team. The team is headed in the UK by Alan Cole, an experienced award-winning journalist and copywriter. Alan has previously worked in-house for UK publishers, Pearson Media (Financial Times) and Northcliffe Newspapers, among others, and is an accredited member of the National Union of Journalists, UK.

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