American Red Cross raises stakes on mobile

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The American Red Cross launched a mobile holiday donation effort on December 1, raising the minimum donation to $25 from $10 in years past. The campaign calls on individuals to text GIFT to 90999 in order to make the donation to the American Red Cross, to help fund efforts such as disaster response, teaching first aid and assisting the military where needed.

The Red Cross partnered with mobile donation company mGive for the effort, a company they have worked with for years, including the massive fund-raising response to the Haiti earthquake earlier this year. That program raised a record-breaking $33 million in relief dollars through text donations. However, this campaign will test whether donors are willing to give at a higher level than has been asked of them before.

“We've gotten lots of demand in the marketplace to move and expand the industry to something beyond the $10 price point,” said Brian Leamy, executive VP at mGive. “This is really a trial to see if donors are willing to participate at this level.”

The marketing of the campaign, which runs through the end of 2010, will be conducted by the American Red Cross, which could not be reached for comment. For past charity drives, the nonprofit has tapped a number of channels, including direct mail, radio, TV and social media. 

mGive has handled some 7,000 campaigns and has seen demand for text-based giving explode in recent years.

“It's really the most straightforward and simple way to give. No need to write a check or enter credit card info,” said Leamy. “Everyone knows how to text.”

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