Mobile giving through text messages has become common since Haiti Earthquake when it took in $43 million. However, the donation size per person is usually limited: $30 or less, and so it doesn’t suit for the annual or major fund-raising efforts of NPOs.
Text-to-pledge approach tries to break this limitation of mobile giving. The method is simple. Instead of requesting gala attendees to write a check at the table, the hosting NPOs ask them to make a pledge by texting a keyword followed by a dollar amount to a short code, for example, “JUSTICE 500” to “27138”. In many cases, these pledges then show up in real time on a giant scree at the event, along with a thermometer graphic that moves as more people donate. Guests at the event can also see who at their table has donated and how much (but this happens only if the donor opts to type in his or her name along with pledge).One NPO raised $22,500 in just half an hour over dinner through this text-to-pledge approach.
You can find more details in the Chronicle of Philanthropy article.