TORONTO, ON–November 26th marks the 10th anniversary of the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada (MGFC). Incorporated in 2009, MGFC was established to create a means through which Canadians could make donations to registered charities through their mobile devices.
MGFC was founded by key members of Canada’s wireless industry, working in partnership with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). The concept behind MGFC is simple: provide Canadian wireless users with a single “mobile giving channel” where they can receive and respond to appeals from qualified registered charities.
“Canadians are generous and supportive of worthy causes, and they also embrace technology. Merging philanthropy with the power of mobile technology expands the pool of contributors, and has offered Canadians new ways to connect with causes they care about,” said Robert Ghiz, CWTA President and CEO. “Through the mobile giving channel, those who might only be able to afford a donation of $5, $10, $20 or $25 are able to make contributions to worthy causes, which are remitted through their wireless service provider bills.”
By providing one access point to all wireless carriers, MGFC gives charities the power to engage with donors in a fast and simple way. MGFC facilitates the text donations through its own platform, collects 100 per cent of funds generated through mobile giving campaigns from wireless carriers, and then distributes the collected funds to the designated charities.
MGFC has been demonstrating the power and reach of mobile giving since its inception – an idea originally conceived by Jim Manis, Founder of MGFC’s U.S. sister organization, the Mobile Foundation. Bell and Rogers were the first operators to partner with MGFC in 2009, enabling donations via text message to be charged as tax-exempt charitable gifts on customer wireless bills. TELUS joined in January 2010, around the same time the Canadian Red Cross launched its emergency appeal campaign to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. The emergency appeal campaign included a text-to-donate option, and across the three major operators over $500,000 was donated via text message in increments of $5 and $10 in January of that year alone. Since then, the majority of all wireless operators in Canada have partnered with MGFC, and nearly 700 unique registered charities across Canada have run charitable campaigns to raise more than $6.5 million through mobile donations.
“Mobile giving is powerful because it allows mobile users to immediately contribute to a cause that matters to them,” said Jim Manis. “It’s as simple as replying to a short, prescribed code and confirming your intent to donate. No need to write a cheque, fill out a form, or even make a call. This empowers charities to reach an expanded scope of donors, as well as donors to support charitable causes quickly and easily.”
MGFC vets all registered charities that use the mobile channel, certifies all mobile giving programs, and provides industry-wide guidance for charitable causes. The support of Bell, Rogers and all participating operators have been integral to MGFC’s success, as have the gateway services provided by ICF Next. This cooperative effort between MGFC, industry partners, CWTA and wireless operators creates a trusted, predictable and effective system for mobile giving.
“We’ve seen clearly that, given a compelling cause and message, Canadians will donate through their cell phone. It’s one of the easiest, convenient, and secure methods available, and will only gain in popularity as more and more charities approach it as an “always on” channel, and one that they promote alongside the more traditional channels,” said Graeme Binning, Fundraising Direct CEO.
“That’s why we’re proud to be a continuing supporter and partner of the MGFC, and their continued work at streamlining and promoting mobile giving for the not-for-profit sector.”
About the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada
The Mobile Giving Foundation Canada (MGFC) was founded in 2009 to create a “mobile giving channel” that empowers non-profit organizations and donors. MGFC provides the organizational layer, operational guidelines and technical infrastructure for registered charities and donors to use the incredible power and convenience of mobile technology. The mobile giving channel gives Canadians a simple and immediate way to respond to appeals from worthy causes and have their donation charged to their wireless phone bill. 100 per cent of the donation is then remitted to the designated charity. Mobile giving campaigns are supported by Bell, Bell MTS, Eastlink, Fido, Freedom Mobile, Rogers, TELUS, Tbaytel, Videotron and Virgin Mobile. For further information, please refer to the MGFC Web site at www.mobilegiving.ca.
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents companies that provide services and products across the wireless sector. Representing the industry before all levels of government and various regulatory agencies, CWTA actively promotes the industry with the goal of ensuring continued growth of the wireless sector in Canada. CWTA administers a number of initiatives on behalf of its members, including corporate social responsibility programs and the national common short codes program.