Text To Donate: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Improve

Todd Cohen, editor and publisher of Philanthropy Journal, wrote about the potential for increased use of digital media as a means of charitable giving on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog.  In the weeks following the Haiti earthquake disaster, text messaging has emerged as a popular vehicle for donation.  I have seen many advertisements encouraging individuals to text to a certain number to donate to the Haiti relief effort.  According to Mr. Cohen, much of this has been facilitated through Twitter.

It is interesting to watch the emergence of new ways of doing various things in organizations.  Online giving, for instance, developed “in the days after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the tsunamis in Asia” (Cohen).  What was once a new and revolutionary way of seeking donations has become mainstream.  Is that the future of donating via text messaging as well?  It is a very feasible possibility, but there is one thing that may hinder it: the lack of business acumen that plagues many non-profit organizations.

As Cohen points out, “nonprofits tend to be slow on the uptake in adopting new media and fully integrating new digital tools into the way they do business.”  In general, non-profits tend to be led by caring, honorable individuals.  However, too often they do not have the business backgrounds to run the organizations as effectively as possible.  Thus, productivity is not maximized and the organizations do not reach their potentials.

Digital forms of donating and providing support to charitable organizations represent one area in which these organizations should invest time and effort.  By making such options available and easy to use, the productivity of the organizations will heighten because they will be made more attractive to potential supporters.

This is a topic that deals with the organizational personnel and their abilities to effectively integrate desired technology and processes into their organizations.  By addressing such issues, the goals and strategies of organizations can be better realized.  The first step is for these charitable organizations to get on the donating via texting bandwagon.

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4 Responses

  1. I can not agree with you in 100% regarding some thoughts, but you got good point of view.

    • Thank you. The great part of blogging is that it allows individuals to express their points of view, sparking interesting discussions and allowing readers to examine a topic from somebody else’s point of view.

  2. I agree that not only business organizations but charities must keep up to date with technology. I know of many people that have donated to Haiti relief via text messaging. They may not have done this if there were a more formal process they had to follow just to donate $10.

    • Thanks Macey. It is great to hear to hear how your personal experience witnessing the behavior of those that you know corresponds with the ideas proposed. As this phenomenon becomes more widely instituted, it will be interesting to see the data regarding its effectiveness.

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