February 21, 2012– Mobile giving is quickly becoming a critical tool for charities to raise much-needed funds, especially when disaster strikes. In order to give donors the most trustworthy and safe option for quick “text to give” donations, the Mobile Giving Foundation has joined forces with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to create the BBB Mobile Giving Foundation, a co-branded effort to grow the mobile giving channel, strengthen mobile giving industry standards and accountability, assure donor confidence, and reinforce nonprofit acceptance of the mobile giving medium.
“For 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has led the way for businesses to create and maintain the most trustworthy relationships with the public,” said Carrie A. Hurt, CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “This partnership extends that mission to one of the most exciting and forward-thinking advances in technology, which is providing a critical new means for donors to safely and securely support the important work of charities.”
“The BBB Wise Giving Alliance has the highest accountability standards of any charity review organization,” notes MGF founder Jim Manis. “We chose to partner with them in order to assure donors that their mobile giving donations were going to highly accountable charities that have been thoroughly evaluated against those rigorous standards.”
“The Mobile Giving Foundation pioneered the concept of mobile giving,” said Art Taylor, President of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, “and has consistently been the industry leader in both technology and in understanding the vital importance of donor security and privacy. This partnership will strengthen both organizations, which is a win for donors and a win for charities.”
Mobile giving has also proven to be an entryway to philanthropy for younger consumers, with many making their first charitable donation via their cell phone following one of the recent disasters. The partnership will help engage budding young philanthropists while offering charities a safe and reliable platform to assist in their fundraising efforts.
Most cellular carriers participate in MGF and welcomed the news. “We’re pleased to see the creation of this alliance,” said Marquett Smith, vice president of corporate communications for Verizon Wireless. “It provides consumers additional information as they make giving decisions.” Verizon Wireless was one of the original companies to join with MGF in providing mobile giving options to consumers. Other companies currently offering the service are AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, US Cellular, Cricket Communications, Cincinnati Bell and C Spire. All make the service available at no charge to donors or charities.
The partnership is good news to the charity community, as well. "With dynamic enhancements in technology providing more and easier charitable giving options than ever before, donors need to know they can give with confidence," says John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, the nation's largest voluntary health charity. "As a charity that utilizes the Mobile Giving Foundation and meets the BBB Wise Giving Alliance standards, we applaud this step forward. It only makes sense that both organizations should collaborate to create a more trusted and safe mobile giving environment."
The partnership takes effect immediately. Over the next 18-24 months, the Alliance staff will work closely with MGF to evaluate its clients and to help those that are not yet in compliance with the Alliance’s twenty standards. National charities will be evaluated by the Alliance and local charities will be evaluated by one of the 106 local BBBs across the United States.
New charities will also be able to participate in the BBB Mobile Giving Alliance by following the acceptance procedures for both organizations. In addition, charities currently meeting all Alliance standards will be eligible for the MGF platform immediately.