The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) says the donations that occurred in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January marked a “watershed” moment for mobile giving.
Nearly twice the number of people who had previously used text messaging for charitable contributions donated via SMS for the Haiti disaster, according to a survey conducted by Luth Research on behalf of the MMA.
Of the 33 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers who donated to Haitian relief efforts, 22 percent used SMS and just over one-third used their computers to contribute.
“The mobile channel provides consumers with a secure, convenient way to respond immediately to charitable appeals no matter where they appear, whether in a print or broadcast ad or anywhere else,” said Peter A. Johnson, vice president of market intelligence, MMA, and author of the study. “Mobile’s immediacy benefits charities and those they seek to help because it relieves consumers of the burden of having to wait until the next time they’re at a PC with their credit card or can pull out their checkbook and mail a donation.”
Overall, 7 percent of the 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed said they used text messaging to donate funds to Haiti and 23 percent said they were “very likely or somewhat likely” to use text messaging to donate in the future.
African-Americans and Hispanics were the largest demographic groups using SMS for donations, and men contributed via text messaging at nearly twice the rate of women. The survey was conducted in mid-February and asked a variety of questions, including means of donation used to contribute to Haitian relief, if any; previous texting donation experience; and industry practices that would increase consumer willingness to text donations.
“The MMA is proud to be part of an industry whose companies and customers responded so quickly and generously to the Haitian relief effort,” said Michael Becker, North American Managing Director, MMA, in a statement. “We hope that the record donations will encourage other charities, companies and individuals to consider using premium SMS, and related mobile channels, both for the current relief effort and for future interactive consumer engagements.”