UNICEF runs text-or-treat mobile campaign

July 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

It’s always good to know that someone is looking out for the little guys.  I have several friends interning with the U.N. right now and I find it to be a very admirable trait.  We love the mobile communication industry here at MyMojo and not just for the free ringtones but for the applications, the facebooking, the blogging. Charity is one thing that has benefited quite a bit in the past few years with the power of the mobile industry with this one being my personal favorite so far. I find that most people don’t want to donate to a cause, even when they support it, because they don’t want to get wrapped up in the red tape. Donation usually requires writing a check, getting a money order, or going online and using a credit card or paypal account. Truth be told, we are busy bodies and by the time we get the time, we’ve already long forgotten. This years Text-or-Treat campaign however is based heavily on the mobile industry, allowing donors to simply have the donation billed to them on their wireless service provider’s monthly invoice. Simple, quick, and effective. The best way to actually get a donor! Check out this article by Jordan Crook of the The Mobile Marketer.

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has added a mobile element to its 59th consecutive Trick-or-Treat campaign.

The campaign is an effort to reach a new demographic of youth that is growing up with technology at their fingertips. To date, the Trick-or-Treat campaign from UNICEF has raised over $148 million in its fight to end the deaths of the 25,000 children who die every day from preventable causes.

“The Trick-or-Treat campaign is the longest-running youth volunteer activity in the U.S., and we’ve recently updated it with a variety of tech-based ways of participating that we hope will appeal to a new generation of donors,” said Marci Greenberg, officer of public relations, United States Fund for UNICEF, New York.

Trick-or-Treat is one of the nation’s longest-running philanthropy programs targeted at youth and in most cases, is the first volunteering experiences for kids in the United States.

The mobile component of this campaign involves mobile giving via SMS, where the phone owner can text in to donate money that is taken directly from the user’s phone bill.

Those interested in donating money can text the keyword TOT to the short code 864233 (UNICEF) in order to make a $5 donation.

The opt-in also signs up the user to receive mobile alerts about UNICEF’s work across the globe.

Mobile giving works out in the consumer’s favor as there is no need to type in lengthy credit card information. The $5 donated in the SMS message is billed directly to the user’s phone bill.

The mobile component of this campaign is only one facet of its overall spread across different media channels.

Trick-or-Treat, of course, relies on UNICEF’s traditional fundraising techniques and strategies.

Along with the mobile channel, UNICEF has also implemented other technologically savvy methods of donation and building awareness.

Supporters can host Halloween parties where the mobile call-to-action can be displayed or announced in order to further the donations.

UNICEF also made downloadable lesson plans, activity sheets, fundraising ideas and e-card reminders available online at http://www.unicefusa.org/trickortreat.

Trick-or-Treat prides itself on not only being a big-time fundraiser, but an educational event where children and their parents can learn about their peers worldwide who need money to survive.

The program stresses the importance of community service and gives children the tools to be active global citizens who make a difference.

“The goals of the campaign are fundraising in support of UNICEF’s lifesaving work, of course, and engagement of a younger demographic,” Ms. Greenberg said.

“Mobile is a good platform for this type of initiative because it is the preferred mode of communications for a segment of our target audience,” she said.

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