Anyone who wants to make a donation to the Holyoke Community College Foundation can now do so as easily as sending a text.
"The message is quite simple," said Joanna Brown, director of Alumni Relations. "Just text HCCF to 50555."
The standard donation is $10, but texters can give up to three times per message for a total of $30. "One nice thing is that it allows people to call back, so you could donate as frequently as you want," said Brown.
The mobile donation effort went live today (Friday, February 3) and is available through all major cell phone carriers and even prepaid plans. The launch officially kicked off yesterday (Thursday, February 2) when Brown gathered the Student Senate and HCC President William Messner to film a short video explaining how it works.
The text-to-give campaign was made possible through mobile software vendor mGive, which selected HCC as its first community college client. Brown made a connection to mGive through alumnus Greg Schneider, '90, the CEO and owner of 3BL.com, a marketing and public relations firm.
Brown said she began to research mobile giving software after she donated to a relief effort for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti by sending a text message through her cell phone. "I thought, this is really easy," she said. "Why can't we do this?"
Donations, which are tax deductible, go to the HCC Foundation, HCC's charitable fund, which is used to pay for classroom and laboratory equipment state funds, tuition and fees don't cover. Donations are tax deductible and will be billed to the donor's cell phone account.
Not surprising, mGive says the majority of people who donate through their cell phones are in the 18-35-year-old age bracket, exactly the target audience Brown wants to reach. "I'm hoping it will attract young alums and recent graduates," she said.
Brown said her goal is to get at least 1,000 text contributions by June 30th, the end of the fiscal year.
Photos: (Left) Student Senate President Marcus Rodriguez points to a cell phone mockup advertising the the text-to-give message and number. (Right) Director of Alumni Relations Joanna Brown instructs student senators before the filming of a video about the text-to-give campaign.