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Posts Tagged ‘Text Message Donations’

Colorado St. RamsIn late June, we wrote about the University of Colorado and their research into using text-messaging as a fundraising tool. At the time, no athletics department had yet implemented such a campaign, but the potential of this type of program was intriguing enough to pursue. Just a few short months later, Colorado State University became the first athletics program to utilize text-messaging at a home football game.

For their home game against the University of Utah this past weekend, Colorado State, with assistance from Mobile Accord, Inc. (owned by a CSU grad), launched its first-ever mobile giving campaign. Fans at the football game (approximately 30,000) had the opportunity to support the university’s Athletics General Scholarship Fund by texting RAMS to a given number. Participants will see a $10 charge on their next phone bill, thus leaving credit card numbers out of the equation. The $10 will then be directed to the university.

At the time of this writing, it is still unknown how many fans participated with a text-gift. However, even a small response rate could yield noticeable results in CSU’s scholarship fund. Other schools, such as Florida A & M University, are also using this technology for fundraising.

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University of Colorado Buffaloes LogoThe use of new technology in athletics development was a major discussion point at the NAADD Convention on Orlando just a few weeks ago. Every school is searching for ways to use social networking, cellular phones, and online resources to boost their annual fund and gifts to the university. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, a groundbreaking effort to utilize new technology may be on the horizon.

According to the Daily Camera (Boulder’s Daily Newspaper), CU is looking into a technology and software package from Mobile Accord that will allow an innovative method of donation, a text message.

The concept is actually quite simple, a donor can make a donation to CU’s Foundation (which will show up on the consumer’s cell phone bill at the end of the month) by sending a text message to a predetermined short code. The amount pledged will then be transfered to the foundation’s account.

The article cited a home football game versus a big rival as a perfect opportunity to utilize the technology, “During a break in play, an announcer could tell spectators to pull out their cell phones, make a donation via text message and see which set of fans can raise more green for their respective school.” With such a captive audience, it is hard to imagine the idea would not work.

The main target audience of this idea is certainly the younger CU alumni and current students. Text messaging is such a common activity amongst college-aged and recently graduated students, it is reasonable to think that this type of donation would be much more appealing to them. While CU has not committed to the technology quite yet, text-donations are likely to catch on quickly throughout the country.

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