In The News: Record Profits, Mobile Donations – Using SMS To Raise Funds, New Online Fundraising Service

cMarket Network posts record profits through its online auctions:

cMarket Network, an online auction fundraising service for nonprofit organizations, announced in a press release that they had surpassed $50 million raised for charitable causes through its online auctions, which included a $10 million increase in just six months.

They attribute this recent growth in record sales to a tightening economy and a growing need for nonprofits to increase their fundraising income.

Is an online auction right for your group?

Read more about online auctions, or go to cMarket’s website. To see what’s currently up for auction, visit

Unicef’s mobile donation campaign makes use of SMS to raise funds:

This year, UNICEF employed a text messaging SMS ‘Text-or-Treat for UNICEF’ campaign to raise funds for their annual Halloween fundraiser. Each SMS to Unicef resulted in a $5 donation which was added to the supporter’s mobile phone’s billing statement.

This mobile donation fundraiser added another dimension and fundraising opportunity to their regular trick-or-treat campaign. There is no word yet on how successful this fundraiser was. Go to their site for details on this fundraiser.

Where can you get more information about mobile donation campaigns?

Mobile donations are still fairly new in the US, which means there aren’t many providers yet. Unicef’s mobile fundraiser was run through and both also offer mobile donation services.

For a list of charities that accept mobile donations, visit the Mobile Giving Foundation ‘charities’ page. The Mobile Giving Foundation is responsible for certifying nonprofits wishing to participate in a mobile donation program, managing the wireless industry’s Mobile Giving Standards and Best Practices and insuring compliance with Federal and State Regulations. This organization’s website is also a great resource for more information on mobile donations.

As with any financial service, be sure to inquire about any fixed and variable fees, like application fees, monthly fees, per donation fees etc., your organization will be charged when signing up for a mobile donation fundraising campaign. Expect fees for a mobile donation campaign to be quite a bit higher than fees from a ‘donate now’ button on your website.

Virgin Money announces new online fundraising website:

Virgin Money announced their new non-profit charity donation and sponsorship website to be launched in the Spring of 2009. This announcement was made on their UK website and it wasn’t quite clear if this service will also be available for US charities. Virgin Money Giving will be a direct competitor to such popular online fundraising sites as

The organisation noted that by operating on a not-for-profit basis it would be able to give a higher percentage of sponsorship money to charity and non-profits. That means that a higher percentage of donations would go to the actual cause than can currently be paid by the popular online fundraising sites.

Fees for online fundraising services can be as high as 10% which cuts deeply into fundraising profits. Competition in this field will be welcome by non-profits everywhere!

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