DENVER — Millions of dollars have already been raised to help those affected by Monday’s tornado in Oklahoma. Much of it has come from text donations.
This modern way of giving has revolutionized fundraising in the wake of tragedies including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Many of the donations were made through a text messaging service called mGive. According to Steve Gutterman, president of Mobile Accord, mGive is currently the leading source of mobile donations in the country.
Mobile Accord has helped raise more than $65 million for 15 disasters around the world, including the tornado victims in Oklahoma.
“The natural inclination that most people have when they hear about something horrible like this is to think about, ‘Well what can I do to help?’,” Gutterman said.
Convenience is sometimes a barrier to giving Gutterman said. Often people become aware of a cause they would be willing to give to, but are not near a computer, or could have trouble finding the right agency to give too.
Getting to potential donors as quickly as possible is one of the best ways to guarentee they will donate, Gutterman said. What better way to do that, than with a device most people around the world have on them, every minute of every day – their cell phone.
The company, based in Denver’s Highlands Neighborhood, pioneered a new way of giving by establishing relationships with some of the country’s leading charities and creating a tech platform to accept donations via text.
“If they text a $5 or $10 donation to the organization of their choice, that money is going to get to the most needy people, quickly and efficiently,” Gutterman said.
When he heard about being able to donate via text, Denver resident, Patrick Enoch picked up his phone and made a donation. He’s not alone.
Today, text fundraising has become so popular mGive has already facilitated more than $3 million in text donations for Oklahoma.
“To be able to make a 5 or 10 dollar donation that immediately gets to victims is empowering, gratifying and very important.”