What do Mobile Phones, Baseball and Pediatric Diabetes have in common?

10 years ago


Photo by Christopher Dale

A text to give campaign will make its major league debut at a professional sporting event on the July 13th
Children’s National Day at Nationals Park . This a special day will highlight and support the partnership between the Washington Nationals and Children’s National Medical Center to fight
pediatric diabetes. (The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation has
given $2 million toward the creation of a new $5 million diabetes care complex at Children’s.) Baseball fans can buy discounted tickets for the 1:35 game against the Houston Astros and have $15 from every ticket be donated to the Children’s Medical Center.

During the game, the Nationals and Major League Baseball will launch a mobile giving campaign. All fans at the stadium – and people anywhere – will be invited to text a one-word message to a special five-digit number and a $5 donation will go to Children’s. The donation will be added to the donor’s phone bill.

According to the Mobile Giving Foundation, which is making this initiative possible, this technology was used successfully during this year’s Super Bowl, but this will be the first time mobile giving has been used in a stadium at a professional sporting event to allow fans to support a charity. More from MobileActive about Text-to-Give campaigns in America and elsewhere.

Last February, Mobile Active reported on the Sunday’s Super Bowl launch of a United Way fund-raising campaign using mobile phone text messaging. The campaign was also noted
by Philanthropy 2173 Blog (Lucy Bernholz) who asked, "Texting votes to American Idol is old hat - will it work for giving?"

In a May 2008 post in Read/Write Web about Text to Give Campaigns:

Mobile Giving is certainly a growing trend meant to capitalize on the ubiquity of cell phones and their heavy use by members of the younger generation. We'll definitely start seeing more of these "text to give" campaigns in the future, but it seems that, today, only Verizon seems to offer a campaign for China and Myanmar aid, which is disappointing.

It will be interesting to watch the continued evolution of "text to give" in the US and how this fundraising strategy will be used by more and more nonprofits here in the US. What's your take on text to give campaigns?

Beth Kanter, BlogHer CE for NGOS and Social Change, writes Beth's Blog.

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