Want contributions? Reach out to the socially connected tech community.


This site is dedicated to government, associations and nonprofits and nothing stirs the soul of people in the latter two categories than fundraising; money moves public policy far more than ideology.

The research below from Pew Internet is based on charitable giving during emergencies. Charitable donations from mobile phones have grown more common in recent years and 9% have used text messaging to send a charitable donation.

The ability to react immediately via technology has relevancy for giving across the board. The findings are summarized below but to me, the most interesting observation is the involvement of the tech community:

Pew based its findings on giving during disasters in Haiti. Pew found few differences between the tech oriented givers and the rest of the population. However, these donors are different when it comes to their technology habits and are significantly more likely than US adults as a whole to:

  • Own an e-reader (24% do so, compared with 9% of all US adults), laptop computer (82% vs. 57%) or tablet computer (23% vs. 10%).
  • Use Twitter (23% of the Haiti donors we surveyed who go online are Twitter users, compared with 12% of all online adults) or social networking sites (83% vs. 64%).
  • Use their phones for activities such as accessing the internet (74% do so, compared with 44% of all adult cell owners), taking pictures (96% vs. 73%), recording video (67% vs. 34%) or using email (70% vs. 38%).

Mobile givers also differ in unique ways when compared with other types of charitable givers—in particular, they are younger and more racially and ethnically diverse when compared with those who contribute through more traditional means.

This is significant. As groups try to raise money for a wide variety of causes, there now seems to be a younger more technologically connected group who are willing to respond immediately to a cause and give.

I assume that the tech oriented community is more in touch with the world around them via their devices and it’s those same devices that make giving seamless, quick and easy.

Additional findings:

The ability to send small donations using mobile phones facilitates “impulse giving” in response to moving images or events.

The typical Haiti text donor was a first-time mobile giver who made a single contribution to earthquake relief using his or her mobile phone.

A majority of the Haiti text donors in have contributed to more recent disaster recovery efforts using their phones.

Charitable giving in the mobile age by these donors is a social networking activity, but more through in-person conversations than through online tools.

These mobile givers are willing to make donations in a number of ways—but prefer not to do so by making a phone call.

Source: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/MobileGiving/Key-Findings.aspx

Best, Len.

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