Remember those late night T.V. ad’s getting you to call in to donate money to some cause?
[Answer hopefully YES].
If so (and if not… because you’re stuck on this page!), fast forward to the 21st century and welcome the concept of “texting donations”. Texting donations is a way users can text a certain amount of money to a cause they find worthy. The world is going tech and with that so are public health campaigns and the way they are attracting stake holders. There are several sites out there that offer this service. Here are a couple that you may get when you google “texting donations”: Mgive.com, Omnipledge.com, mobilecause.com, and givemycell.com. These sites are great but they may not be the type of platform for you dependent on your resources. You have to really be aware of the costs associated with each “text” and weigh it against your working capitol. Texting campaigns have largely worked for disaster relief and health aid. At any rate, it’s still an option and it’s important you are aware of the dangers.
SO, are these sites on the up and up and do they REALLY do what say they do??? If that was a mouthful err readful(sorry Webster’s, but I’ve just created a new word), than let me let YOU in on the DIRTY truth of Texting Donation Campaigns and how you can avoid your Public Health campaign being associated with one.
So let me pose a scenario for you.
- You’re browsing amazon.com on your smartphone and all of sudden get a text from someone claiming to be the Red Cross saying “Donate now to support the victims of [insert natural disaster here].” You’ve heard about this natural disaster (let’s just say we’re talking about the Haiti Earthquake that occurred in 2010) and your heart strings are pulling at you. You think, it’s only 10 bucks, what’s the big deal???? So, you text the word “Haiti” and get a text back saying “Thank you for your donation to the Haiti victims. You are appreciated”. Great news, right???? Well, here’s the ugly truth. You may have thought you were donating to:
But did you know that the Red Cross that contacted you wasn’t really who they said they were and you ended up sending money to:
OMG right!!! All you want to do at this point is:
Because YOU’VE been HAD and that’s the DIRTY UGLY TRUTH!!!! So, how do you avoid this from happening to you and help out your public health campaign? Here are three things to chew on:
- Most Campaigns may not be what they say they are as a result of the recent scamming, more people are hesitant to donate money through texting. Provide CREDIBLE Sources and Get endorsements from trust worthy sites. You may not have a lot of money to work with trying to get the word out but at least you can do it with class. If you want to bring in stakeholders, make sure you get some good backing.
- Be upfront about where the money is going. What does this mean? Ok, come on, we don’t live in a free society and unless you are some very well known benefactor, a 100% of your donations is NOT going to be donated. There are overhead costs and costs to make sure the light stays on so BE HONEST. People react better to campaigns that disclose what THEIR money is going to do. If you inform people about what’s really going on, they are more inclined to believe you are legit and hand over the dough.
- Be aware of your costs and weigh your ROI (Return on Investment). If you REALLY want to use Texting as your platform, and are going to be honest about where the money is going, then you have to know that there are costs and it’s not cheap. Don’t make promises you can’t keep and sometimes a traditional brick and mortar campaign may work if you are trying to get local support. If you have some guns backing you, than this should be a breeze.
So before I sign off and go do a comb over (
okay okay, I’m not the sleezy guy, I promise, or am I???), I want to let you know that texting can be great and it has been successful. I personally have never been “had” but I’ve definitely had a couple of bums fool me and it felt awful. Knowing that there are honest organizations and honest ways to get the word out is encouraging and I want you to consider it an option if it’s right for you. Red Cross really did raise a whole bunch of money for Haiti by spreading the word out where to donate and what sites were credible. It’s very possible but it may not be what you’re looking for always see if texting will work for you!