Tech & The District » Haiti Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Mobile giving: Changing the way we donate Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:17:37 +0000 Andrew Cuneo I’ve always believed that one of the reasons we don’t do more as a society in terms of international charitable donations is because we feel it’s too difficult or would take too much time.  Following the recent devastation in Haiti, I noticed First Lady Michelle Obama on TV urging Americans to text a message to the American Red Cross and donate $10.


I was surprised by how easy it was. I quickly and easily typed in Haiti, sent and 22 seconds later, had easily donated to the cause.   I was even more surprised to find how many texting addresses actually existed where we could donate money. It has now become the most popular way to donate. Over 2.5 million Americans donated $10 to the Red Cross using this method.


One issue operators are battling with is the distribution of the funds. Since operators cannot provide the money until consumers (such as myself, for example) pay their cell phone bills the money doesn’t go anywhere. Mobile operators are taking necessary precautions though shortening lag time since there is such a dire need for the money now.


I believe this to be a starting point in a long line of technological advances that will make donating easier, no matter what the cause.   As we’ve seen recently with new mobile devices being introduced to the market, expect more functionality to showcase American generosity. While we hope the devastation in Haiti will not be mirrored anywhere else ever again, it’s nice to know we can make a difference instantly with mobile technology.


As the need for relief in Haiti will continue over the coming weeks and months, our clients at the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) remind you that donating cash is best.

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