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Earthquake Relief Fundraising Efforts

A Digital Communications Success Story

Text donation played a big role in Haiti relief efforts

As most everyone knows by now, on January 12, 2010 Haiti was all but leveled by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. And while TV news played a big role in informing the world about developments related to this disaster, it was non-traditional digital communications that really stole the show.

It was cell phones and websites, Twitter and blogs, personal websites and social networks that called the world to action and resulted in one of the most successful relief support (donations) efforts ever conducted.

Soon after the word of the earthquake began to spread, agencies such as the Red Cross and AmeriCare jumped into action. The word spread and requests for donations to help relief efforts were at the forefront of the messages being relayed.

In a matter of days, the Red Cross began receiving millions of dollars from $10 donations sent via text messaging over mobile phones.

In addition, bloggers jumped into action, creating conduits for receiving and delivering additional donations. WhatGives!.com , launched a 24 hour fundraising telethon that raised thousands of dollars in aide. Partnered with a radio fundraising broadcast, they raised thousands more.

At the same time, those that gave and those that were concerned got onto their Twitter and Facebook pages to tell the world of their actions and ask that  readers do the same.

The result was the quick accumulation of much needed relief donations. The Red Cross alone raised more than $21 million – that compares to $400,00 raised for Hurricane Katrina and more than 5 times the amount raised in mobile donations in 2009 by ALL CHARITIES PUT TOGETHER.

The use of digital media has once again proven to be a highly effective means of spreading the word and calling people to action.

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More Stories By Brad Brenner

Brad Lee Brenner is a master blogger, radio host and founder of Brenner Associates, a public relations / communications firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Over the past thirty years, Brad has written hundreds of articles that have been published in trade journals, newspapers and online news sources. His focus of expertise includes technology, the medical industry and communications for the digital age.