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Red Cross texting campaign raises $22 million


Yesterday, the Red Cross announced that donations made via mobile phones for Haiti Earthquake Relief had surpassed $22 million. The text-based fund-raising program was just part of a broader Red Cross campaign for Haiti that has so far resulted in pledges of over $100 million.

The Red Cross had experimented with mobile fund-raising in the past with some limited success but the results from the Haiti campaign have stunned even seasoned fund administrators. Over the weekend, TV spots promoting the text-based giving during the NFL play-offs resulted in donations being received at rates of over $500,000 an hour.

Companies such as mGive.com and the Mobile Giving Foundation have pioneered the technology whereby mobile phone users can text a keyword to a "shortcode" associated with a specific charity. A designated amount – usually $5, $10 or $20 – is donated in the phone user's name. The amount appears as a one-time charge on the texter's phone bill.

The mobile-giving initiative is just one area where new technology is making a difference in the response to the earthquake. As the above video from the Bay Area NBC affiliate in San Francisco reports, much of the early news-reports from Haiti came via Twitter and Facebook. Some of the most dramatic video footage shown on the major TV news networks comes from these same sources.

Meanwhile, the mobile-giving campaign continues in earnest. The following are just some of the keywords and shortcodes set up by organizations providing assistance in Haiti. The cell-phone carriers are committed to passing on 100% of contributions directly to the relief efforts.

Text the word "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5

Text the word "Yele10" or "YeleTen" to 501501 to donate $10
On behalf of the Yéle Foundation, the leading contributor to rebuilding Haiti founded by Wyclef Jean

Text the word "QUAKE" to 20222 to donate $10
On behalf of The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Text the word "Haiti"  to 20222 to donate $10
On behalf of the Clinton Foundation Haiti Relief Fund

Text the word "Haiti" to 52000 to donate $10
On behalf of the Salvation Army

Text the word "Haiti" to 85944 to donate $10
On behalf of the International Medical Corps

Text the word "Haiti" to 25383 to donate $5
On behalf of the International Rescue Committee

Text the word "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10
On behalf of the American Red Cross in the U.S.

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