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Britain’s Breast Cancer Campaign launches first mobile giving effort

August 27, 2010

Breast Cancer Campaign is using SMS as part of its multichannel Isle of Pink campaign

Breast Cancer Campaign is using SMS as part of its multichannel Isle of Pink campaign

Britain’s Breast Cancer Campaign is launching one of its first mobile initiatives, taking its fundraising efforts further by accepting donations via text.

For three years running, Britain’s Isle of Wight has transformed into the Isle of Pink to raise funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer Campaign. It is targeting its current Campaign supporters and Isle of Wight visitors.

“We are putting the text donation out so people can easily donate via text rather than online,” said Faye Golding, communications assistant for the Breast Cancer Campaign, London.

“We have done one mobile initiative before for Mother’s Day,” she said. “People could send a text and donate— that was a bit more broader. But we’ve only done it a couple of times, including this one.”

The Breast Cancer Campaign claims the lead in breast cancer research in Britain and Ireland. Its mission is to fund research to understand the development of breast cancer, leading to better diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure.

The charity helps fund 112 research projects in Britain and Ireland.

Breast-pocket change
Breast Cancer Campaign launched its SMS effort so that supporters could donate in more ways than simply via its Web site.

By texting “PINK” to 70099, consumers donate a standard rate of £2 ($3.10) per text message, plus the cost of one text message per their service provider.

The Breast Cancer Campaign receives at least $2.74 from every text sent. The charity receives £1.48 from Virgin Mobile phones.

Text message donations are being accepted through Oct. 11.

“After someone has sent a text donation they get a response thank-you message, which guides them towards Breast Cancer Campaign’s Web site to find out more about our Isle of Pink events,” Ms. Golding said.

The Isle of Wight in the last two years has raised more than $71,400 toward the Breast Cancer Campaign. Annually, it makes the island as pink as possible by collecting donations and holding pink-themed philanthropic events. 

Slick strategy
SMS campaigns have proven recently to be a major source of donations for non-profits and charities.

 According to the Mobile Giving Foundation, SMS fundraising has increased from $350,000 in 2008 to a projected $2 million in 2009 (see story).

This year, The American Red Cross made waves in mobile giving with the most successful SMS mobile giving initiative to date for its American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund.

Consumers donated $10 via text and by March the charity had raised $32 million (see story).

Social networking Web sites have also integrated giving into their technology

After the Gulf oil spill, WhosHere, a messaging platform that uses location-based technology to link users based on proximity, raised donations by allowing users to send text and image messages (see story).

The Breast Cancer Campaign is waiting for the outcome of its SMS donation campaign.

“We are currently just trialing this right now,” Ms. Golding said.

“We haven’t done much text donation before,” she said. “We are just testing it with different campaigns and when we see the results, we will know how well it has worked.”

Final Take
Kaitlyn Bonneville, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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