Text, Swish or click!

The ways of donating money are moving into our personal daily life in different apperans. From our living room to public transport through advertisements. In this post I will point out on how organizations use new technology to collect their funding’s. Three common ways are described and discussed below.

Text or swish your donation in 10 sec. Marketing in public sphere like in subway, malls and streets have been around us for many years but the technology of reaching foundations and donors have developed and so have their strategy for it. From advertisements to advertisements with an action plan to do on-demand included. Everywhere you can see the advertisements. They often contain a picture of an area or person that is exposed and with a short explaining text and together with information on how to donate money. Today these posters often have a swish-number or a text-number to make it possible to donate in the same moment you see the post. Swish is an app that you can send money through between different accounts by using a phone number connected to a bank account. The Swish number can be connected private account or to a company or organization. The messages in the advertisements are clear – donate now by just texting from your phone. This have made it easier for the receiver of advertise to donate money on spot. It is not uncommon that they I different ways also plays on the human being’s feelings – It is too easy to not donate when you have the technology in front of you. You maybe already are sitting with your phone in your hand scrolling on the latest happenings on Facebook.

Advertises on the subway in Stockholm, Sweden. Both of them have a message that you should donate money through your mobile. The one to the left is made by MSF and says: “Kill-time on the subway? Your kill-time can save life. Use Swish to donate” and then the number that is used.   The one to the right is made by PLAN International and says: “ This is how the future stars; with a safe place to play on. Give children the future that they have the right to. Support the work for children’s rights. Use Swish to donate” and then the number that is used.

Social media and internet is used more and more to advertise and collecting donors to aid and development organizations.  These are also structured in similar ways and appears in social media newsfeed and as advertisements in different online pages on their space for advertisements. The use of sponsored articles is also appears in internets different platforms. To follow the trends and have a market driven approach is needed to be able to reach as many potential customers as possible. By embracing new media and modern technology a wider target group and younger generations will be reached when the organization keeps up with the society’s development Today the costumers/donors are using internet, smartphone and social media and on organizations websites and social media sites they all have a button to press to donate now, see pictures below.

It even comes text messages, SMSs, to your phone to remind you that you should donate some money, se example in picture below. Is that too much pushing on the costumers? This makes donating as simple texting your friend.

Text message from UNHCR: Right now, the minority Rohingya is flying from violence in Burma. A gift from you can be the difference between life or death. Reply GE150 and you give 150 SEK. Thanks, UNHCR Sweden.

Good and bad?!

Using modern technologies to be seen have always been used through time in different ways, from TV-sent live aid concert too todays posts in social medias newsfeed. The traditional way of collecting funding’s by face-to-face methods have moved into the digital sphere to keep up with the society’s development. One example of that is the use of cash. Cash is less used and therefor people do not carry them and are therefore not able to donate change-money to collectors on the street. A purpose with development towards digital system is to make it easy. It is almost too easy. Now donation is done in a way that already is a habit for us, by mobile or by clicking on a button on a website. This shows that the organizations are picking up the customers’ behavior which I think is a smart idea. See also the earlier post on aid and development organizations marketing strategy. This means that the organizations are getting closer to their customers and are trying to understand them. In all of the above examples they are marketing direct to the private person and their marketing is acting on people’s moral, empathy, ethic and conscience. By having the tools in front of you to donate it tells you that you really should donate – it is too simple to not do it. The excuses for not make a donation are reduced. In today’s often stressed life in the western society, I think click or text-to-give suits the costumers. It takes you less than one minute to donate and it is a one-time-give so you do not commit to anything. This makes it also easier to give when it suites the donors situation.

Another relevant question is to analyses how the people in campaigns feel about being the face out; Do they even know that they are in an advertise all over the world? This is a moral question that I will not discuss here but I think it is highly important for people who make the marketing to reflect over this question and to have a strategy so people that already are in an exposed situation will not be treated even more unfair. Especially, when an advertise is spread all over the world so fast through internet.


Reading used for this article:

Arora, P., & Rangaswamy, N. (2013). Digital leisure for development: Reframing new media practice in the global south. Media, Culture & Society, 35(7) 898-905

Krause, Monika, 2014, The Good Project: Humanitarian Relief NGOs and the Fragmentation of Reason. London: University of Chicago Press Ltd.

Nicolle Wilkinson, 2013-01-07, https://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2013/jan/07/top-charities-innovative-fundraising [2017-09-27]

Van Voorst, R. and Hilhorst, D. 2017, Humanitarian action in disaster and conflict settings-Insights of an expert panel, Rotterdam: Institute of Social Science & Erasmus University

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