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National Wildlife Federation raising funds for Gulf oil spill via mobile

May 25, 2010

bp-oil-spillThe Mobile Giving Foundation is helping the National Wildlife Federation protect Gulf-region wildlife devastated by the recent BP oil spill.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed Jim Manis, chairman and CEO of the Mobile Giving Foundation, Bellevue, WA. Here is what he said:

What is the strategy?
The Mobile Giving Foundation (MGF) is working with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to raise funds through a new mobile-giving campaign to benefit wildlife affected by the recent, ongoing British Petroleum (BP) oil spill. 

Donors are encouraged to text the keyword WILDLIFE to the short code 20222 to make a micro-donation of $10 to the NWF Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund.

This is already one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history. More than 210,000 gallons of oil per day are gushing into what is already a fragile and vulnerable ecosystem, threatening the coastline, the region’s fishing industry and 400-plus species of wildlife that are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

There is an urgent need for the general public to get involved to help preserve marine and wildlife habitats in the region.

The NWF is raising funds to enable its staff members in their collaboration with local and national nonprofits, the organization’s state affiliate network, and state and federal government agencies to help mobilize a meaningful volunteer response to this catastrophe.

Why is mobile ideal to fulfill this strategy?
There are two primary reasons.

The immediacy with which people can make a difference with their donations. Additionally, the microdonation amount of $10 removes a lot of barriers to donor participation.

The oil spill news is very timely. 

Prospective donors can see a call-to-action and make a spontaneous gift to help. 

The donation appears as a charge on a donor’s wireless carrier bill, and standard rates may apply. 

The process is fast, easy and secure, which promotes a very positive user experience.

Where will calls-to-action be publicized?
Just [yesterday], the response to the announcement that we made has been very strong. 

We will employ a mix of traditional print and broadcast public relations, Web communications, direct marketing and social networking.

As we saw with Haiti earthquake relief, social networks play a large role in spreading the word to the widest range of donors. 

So, we are getting out the word via Facebook, Twitter and the other popular social networks.

Why is mobile a great channel for nonprofits?
The immediate response of donors is huge for nonprofit organizations. 

Depending on the cause, call-to-action and other cobranding elements (e.g. celebrity spokesperson, sports or entertainment affiliations, etc.), nonprofits sometimes can raise organizationally transforming funds in a very short amount of time.

The MGF has worked hard to streamline the process of getting nonprofits onboard, vet our approved list of application service providers (ASPs) that offer the technical capabilities to nonprofits to enable mobile giving, and make the user experience as safe and easy as possible.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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