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Mobile and Social Payments for Charity- Making a Difference in Japan
Posted By Margaret Weichert On March 17, 2011 @ 8:55 am In Payments, Technology | No Comments
The recent Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters bring home once again how fragile and precious our lives can be and reminds us too of how easily disaster can strike anyone. Spurred by a sense of interconnectedness and purpose, people across the globe are using social media tools to make a difference, donating money quickly and cost-effectively, while using these same tools to encourage others to do the same. (Related Article:  Innovation in Charitable Giving: Democratization of Philanthropy)
Payments companies like  Twitpay, a Twitter-based social media payments solution, have responded quickly to the disaster in Japan. Twitpay, joined with non-profit Citizen Effect in the immediate aftermath of the Japanese earthquake to raise funds for disaster relief through the Citizen Effect Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. This fund, backed in part by $100,000 in matching funds from Google Chairman and CEO,  Eric Schmidt, will raise money that will go to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund. “People are excited about a new and simple way to make small and immediate donations to non-profits,” said Twitpay’s General Manager and EVP, Client Services, John Beisner. “Donations are small - between $10-25 - and [Twitpay makes them] quick and effective.” Using this method, individuals can make a real difference, not only making donations themselves, but encouraging all their Twitter followers to do likewise. To make a donation via Twitpay, visit  http://rt2give.com/t/1112.
Another organization, Global Giving, made it very easy for me to send $10 via text message to earthquake relief, simply by texting JAPAN to 50555. GlobalGiving connects individuals to grassroots charity projects around the world, making it efficient and transparent way for individuals to connect with charities at a grassroots level, via mobile devices or the Internet.
Mobile payments company  Obopay joined with Benevity Social Ventures to launch a similar text-to-donate relief solution for the Japanese disaster. “There is so much devastation there, and we recognize the need to get funds to Japan and in the hands of charities that can put them to work as fast as possible,” said  Carol Realini, Executive Chairman for Obopay, “…normal means of donating take too long.” Donations via this Rapid Response Japanese Earthquake Relief program go to Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children and AmeriCares. This program allows individuals to make larger donations (hundreds of dollars), in addition to small value donations. In addition, the solutions get funds quickly to the target charities, taking days, rather than the 90-120 day delays associated with carrier-based text donation programs. To send money via Obopay, text JAPAN to 48510 and follow the directions there. Tax receipts are made available online.
For Facebook aficionados, there are a host of ways to give. Most charities have Facebook pages that provide links to their eCommerce websites and make it easy for individuals to post stories and “like” the charity on their walls. One interesting and innovative way to donate that I’ve tried involved making a special donation via Zynga’s Farmville game. It was easy to buy $25 worth of Farmville credits (using PayPal) and make an instant donation to Save the Children. In exchange, I received a special Japanese plant (Daikon) that can be used in the Farmville game. Go onto Facebook and search for your favorite charity. Chances are they are making it easier than ever for you to give, at any level you’d like.
Ultimately, the  social and mobile giving phenomenon highlights how easy it is to unlock the inherently generous tendencies so many individuals have, making charitable giving quick, easy and cost effective for people on any budget. These social giving solutions also make it easy for people to increase their giving power, by easily enabling them to encourage friends, family and colleagues to donate as well.
So, as you contemplate the current disaster, consider using one of these new social or mobile vehicles to make your donations. You can learn something new about social and mobile payments, while also doing something to help the earthquake victims.
Margaret is a Managing Director at  Market Platform Dynamics and experienced payments industry executive with a proven track record of commercializing new technologies in small start-ups, and large multi-national corporations.  Read More
Article printed from The Catalyst Code: http://www.thecatalystcode.com/theconversation/blog
URL to article: http://www.thecatalystcode.com/theconversation/blog/2011/03/17/mobile-and-social-payments-for-charity-making-a-difference-in-japan/
URLs in this post:
 Innovation in Charitable Giving: Democratization of Philanthropy: http://pymnts.com/innovation-in-charitable-giving-democratization-of-philanthropy/
 Twitpay: http://www.pymnts.com/our-next-alternative-currency-cash/
 Eric Schmidt: http://www.pymnts.com/accelerating-deployment-of-open-nfc-mobile-commerce-applications/
 http://rt2give.com/t/1112: http://rt2give.com/t/1112
 Obopay: http://www.pymnts.com/securing-mobile-money-to-deliver-on-the-promise-3/
 Carol Realini: http://www.pymnts.com/carol-realini/
 social and mobile giving phenomenon: http://www.pymnts.com/innovation-in-charitable-giving-democratization-of-philanthropy/
 Market Platform Dynamics: http://www.marketplatforms.com/MPD/corporate/
 Read More: http://www.marketplatforms.com/MPD/corporate/whoweare/Experts/Margaret%20Weichert/
 Image: http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php
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