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Make-A-Wish tries SMS to drive donations

April 2, 2013

The Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles chapter is using SMS for the first time to make it easier for consumers to donate.

Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is encouraging consumers to donate via SMS as part of the nonprofit’s “100% Wish” campaign. The Orange County and Inland Empire Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in Southern California are also involved in the initiative.

“As we look to celebrate our 30th birthday, we also want to accelerate our fundraising efforts,” said Dimitri Czupylo, senior director of marketing and communications at Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles.

“We want to reach different donor bases at their easiest point of contact,” he said.

Quick donations
The “100% Wish” campaign is being kicked off to celebrate the 30th birthday of the Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles chapter.

As part of the celebration, a month-long campaign is being used to raise $30,000. The money will be used to grant 30 wishes from children with life-threatening illnesses.

The goal is to get 10,000 of the 9.9 million Los Angeles residents to donate $30.

Consumers can text the keyword DONATE to the short code 80088 to donate $10 to the Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles chapter.

Ideally, consumers will complete three donations during the campaign to hit the recommended $30 donation, but the effort is more broadly aimed to give donors an easy way to donate, per Mr. Czupylo.

Donors then reply to a bounce-back message to confirm their donation, which is made through their phone bill and carrier.

Mobile promotion
To spread the word about the campaign, Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is encouraging consumers to make a mobile donation via its social media, local radio and televised marketing.

Campaign calls-to-action on Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles’ Facebook page

Although this is the first time that Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is using SMS to push donations, Make-A-Wish has used SMS for other chapters in the past.

SMS is a workhorse for nonprofits to reach the widest group of mobile users. Additionally, the channel helps marketers capitalize on the spontaneous, quick donation habits.

“It is always a good opportunity to try new vehicles to reach new donors,” Mr. Czupylo said.

“It is an experiment to see how effective SMS is – we will be evaluating it in the next few months,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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