January 13, 2010 11:53 PM   Subscribe

How does the $10 donation from texting the word HAITI to 90999 get to Red Cross? Do they get all of the money? How quickly?

A friend of mine is pestering me about this. So I looked it up, and was unable to figure out how it works. Does Red Cross get all the money? Does my provider keep a portion of it? How fast does Red Cross get the money?
posted by humannaire to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Looks like they're using mgive.
posted by null terminated at 12:06 AM on January 14, 2010

Best answer: How it works. Looks like mGive is waiving their usual fees for this.
posted by rabinowitz at 12:09 AM on January 14, 2010

Best answer: According to this page, 100% of your text donation is delivered to the International Federation of the Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti. [...] Msg&Data Rates May Apply.

So if you normally pay to send text messages, you may also have to pay the cost of a text message, which would go to your service provider. So $10.00 still ends up with the red cross, but the message might cost $10.10 when it appears on your phone bill if you pay $0.10 for text messages.

Of course, a great many ways to pay (Paypal, credit cards, cheques) have an administration fee involved; it's pretty hard to make a small charity donation without someone taking a 1% transaction fee!

According to this page, once the red cross have the money, they're about 90% efficient, so about $9.00 ends up being spent on Red Cross operations.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:14 AM on January 14, 2010

Does the Clinton Foundation donation website take 90 days to process as well? What about their text message donation number?
posted by billtron at 5:12 AM on January 14, 2010

How quickly?

NB. also that this is in some ways not something to worry about — Haiti's going to need money for a long, long time, and arguably more so when the media spotlight has moved on. If your money takes a while to take effect it won't be any less vital.

posted by game warden to the events rhino at 5:17 AM on January 14, 2010 [4 favorites]

Also on the timing - don't worry about it. Money is fungible.

Even if your actual dollars don't get to them right away, they'll still know it is coming, so they'll free other funds now. At worst, they can use donation receivables as collateral to borrow money for immediate use.
posted by yesster at 6:26 AM on January 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

According to the Consumerist/MSNBC Sprint is also charging people for the text message, it looks like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon are waiving the text message fee (if you are charged for them in the first place). Something to think about if you have Sprint, you might want to find another avenue to donate.
posted by magnetsphere at 2:06 PM on January 14, 2010

I really hope the waiving of the text message fee is correct (I have AT&T), because it's more than one text being sent and received.

My experience:
1. text to 90999 with "HAITI"
1a. receive request to confirm donation by texting "YES"
2. text to 90999 with "YES"
2a. receive confirmation that donation was made
2b. receive text requesting confirmation for receiving updates via text message. send "YES" or "STOP"
3. text to 90999 with "STOP"
3b. receive confirmation that I didn't want text updates

The incoming messages were all prefixed with "Free Msg:" but I'll have to check my next phone bill to see if the three outgoing text fees were waived.
posted by CancerMan at 12:06 PM on January 15, 2010

« Older Photos need mailing... badly.   |   Databases for collaboration: Is Access the way to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.