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The Power of Texting

January 17, 2010

The recent earthquake in Haiti devastated the country.  If there is any golden lining, it has been the response of the world.  Almost instantaneously, millions of dollars were donated to various charities to aid in the relief.  The efficiency actually makes me a little sad.  There have been so many natural (or unnatural) disasters recently that the world has gotten pretty good at responding.

One of the coolest and least time intensive ways to pitch in has been donating money via text.  Gone are the days of needing to sign online, type in a url and enter credit card info.  Now all you have to do is type in a few characters to a specific number to donate $5-10.  This may not seem like very much money, but as we have seen with phenomena like micro-lending and  crowd-sourcing, a lot of people doing their part can make a substantial impact.

I send far too many texts in any given day, it’s pretty incredible to think that one of the dozens could make an impact on Haiti.  So far, the money raised through these good-texts has exceeded $10 million.   There is apparently concern about a 90-day lag (given consumers are donating via their phone bill) but all the major carriers have made pledges to get the money to Haiti earlier.

Tech Crunch delineates all the possible charities to donate to via texting:

  • Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
  • Text HAITI to 25383 to donate $5 to International Rescue Committee
  • Text HAITI to 45678 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army in Canada
  • Text YELE to 501501 to donation $5 to Yele
  • Text RELIEF to 30644 to get automatically connected to Catholic Relief Services and donate money with your credit card
  • Text HAITI to 864833 to donate $5 to The United Way
  • Text CERF to 90999 to donate $5 to The United Nations Foundation
  • Text DISASTER to 90999 to donate $10 to Compassion International
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