Chile earthquake relief: Cellphone donations struggle compared to Haiti
While $21 million in cellphone text-message donations poured into Haiti in the first 48 hours after the earthquake, only about $100,000 in total phone text donations have gone to Chile since the Feb. 27 earthquake.
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Moreover, the Chilean government sent out mixed signals when it initially said it would not accept foreign donations. For that reason, the Red Cross – which was one of the primary recipients of mobile phone donations for Haiti relief – held off on launching a text-to-donate campaign for Chlie.Skip to next paragraph
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But others have.
Texting “CHILE” to 52000, for example, donates $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army. The Mobile Giving Foundation passes on 100 percent of the donation and cooperating cell phone companies add the amount to the donator’s monthly cell phone bill. Only the receiving foundation – such as the Salvation Army – pays a fee to the processor for the service.
Donors are allowed to give up to $30 per month to any one charity. Following the Haiti earthquake, only 0.25 percent of all donations were later cancelled, which Zimmern said was because those donations were made by a child or on a company cell phone.
Americans give $300 billion annually to charities, Zimmern says, and 20 percent of that is in amounts less than $150. Less than 1 percent of the total is given through text message donations.
“I doubt that it’s donor fatigue,” Zimmern says. “We have 180 million cell phones in the US – 4 or 5 million people were making donations to Haiti. That means a lot of people are still not making a donation.”
Other analysts and observers say donor fatigue is hurting Chile relief, however.
Chile is one of the top topics trending on Twitter, but rapidly falling out of popularity, eclipsed by Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus's new boyfriend. A simple search of "Chile + Donation" reveals that the socially-driven donation nation is well underway. But, Twitter also reveals sentiments that it's tired with some users tweeting "we have to donate to Chile too?"