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MobileCause shines spotlight on text-to-donate campaigns with film tie-in

Fundraising platform MobileCause is bringing text-to-donate campaigns to the forefront by allowing audiences viewing Warren Miller’s Chasing Shadows film to virtually send funds to help the Nepal earthquake relief efforts, proving that QR codes and SMS functions have not become dormant.

The platform, alongside bar code solution provider NeoMedia Technologies, has joined forces with the Alpine Ascents Foundation and Warren Miller Entertainment to introduce the campaign to film audiences. Movie attendees will have the option to donate money to earthquake relief by texting a key word to a designated number, or leveraging a scanning application of their choice to snap a photo of a QR code.

“When sitting in a dark theater, the last thing you want to do is start typing long URLs into your mobile device,” said Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia, Boulder, CO. “The QR code, or text call-to-action, helps to reduce the number of steps necessary to facilitate the donation and as such, we are hoping for good response from donors nationwide, throughout the film tour.

“And the cause, Sherpa Education Fund, is aligned nicely with the Warren Miller event which also helps encourage donations.”

Making donating easier
Consumers attending Warren Miller’s Chasing Shadows film, centering on winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding, will also be privy to a pre-show interview with the movie’s producer. The clip features a discussion surrounding the aftereffects of the Nepal earthquake, a tragedy that occurred several weeks after filming concluded.

Audiences are then encouraged to use their smartphones to donate to the Sherpa Education Fund, a subsidiary of the Alpine Ascents Foundation. To send money, consumers may text the word Sherpa to 41444, or use any preferred scanning app to capture a QR code on premises.

MobileCause has powered other organizations’ donation collections before

Although QR codes have been labeled as a dying mobile channel by some marketers, they can still revive their potency when it comes to driving donations for non-profits, especially if featured in the appropriate setting.

“Working with MobileCause, we can provide their clients with QR options, in addition to text-to-donate or simply visiting an online Web page,” Ms. Marriott said. “Imagine having a QR code on the side of a donation box – to allow instantaneous donations highlighting, for the non-profit, the success down to the exact location (for example).

“QR codes are another solid activation element in the mobile toolkit and one that non-profits should consider.”

According to MobileCause, branded mobile responsive design pages generate approximately 30 percent more participation, suggesting that this campaign can garner a significant amount of digital donations for Nepal relief efforts.

Consumers can easily donate whenever the motivation strikes them.

Mobile collection efforts
A plethora of major brands and non-profits have recently taken to mobile to fuel donations among millennials and other consumers, capitalizing on users’ increasing comfort with sending money via digital channels.

Last May, non-profit Oxfam America leveraged location-based ads on the smartphones of attendees at Internet Week to drive them to a mobile-optimized site where they could make a donation to support relief efforts in Nepal (see story).

Meanwhile, tapped mobile search to highlight social causes important to young consumers by accepting a 10 cent donation from Yahoo for every eligible search performed on a mobile browser throughout October (see story).

Yahoo and tapped mobile search for donations

Warren Miller’s film will likely receive a favorite output from attendees, especially if they find the pre-show interview inspiring enough to press several buttons and donate immediately.

“The majority of film attendees have a mobile device in their pocket so getting them to reach in their pockets and donate, from their seats – at the venue where the call to action is occurring – is very powerful,” Ms. Marriott said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York