Mobile GlobalGiving

One of our core values is to never settle, so we’re constantly finding new ways to add value to your experience as a nonprofit partner of GlobalGiving. Today we’re excited to announce the soft-launch of mobile giving options for each of your projects on our site! This means that each of your projects has its own specific keyword that people can text to donate $10 to your project. The $10-per-text is charged to the donor’s phone bill and the donation shows up immediately in our project entry system where you manage your donations. (Please feel free to try it out now, and we’ll be doing a full-fledged launch to donors on Oct. 25.)

Why is mobile giving such a big deal?
In the last 3 years, more than 4.4 million Americans have made mobile donations through our partner mGive, resulting in over $50 million for nonprofits. Starting today, we’re making it possible for any project on GlobalGiving to receive text message donations from US donors.

Please read through this entire post to find out more about mobile giving through GlobalGiving! Here are the three main points we’ll cover:

  • You now have mobile giving capabilities for each of your projects (at no extra cost)!
  • Your text-to-give call-to action is: “Text GIVE <space> [PROJ. ID] to 80088 to give $10 to GlobalGiving’s  [PROJECT NAME] project”
  • You must include the carrier compliance terms anytime you invite people to text-to-give.

_______________The GlobalGiving Mobile Giving  Manual________________

What’s the mobile giving call-to-action for my projects?
Every GlobalGiving project has its own project ID number. You can find it on your project page above the project title. You’ll use that Project ID number to create you own text-to-give code.

Find your project ID just above the title of your project.

Once you’ve found the Project ID, you can enter it into the the magic formula for your mobile giving call-to-action:

“Text GIVE <space> [PROJ. ID] to 80088 to give $10 to GlobalGiving’s [PROJECT NAME] project. [DISCLAIMER.]”
or, for example:
“Text GIVE  7481 to 80088 to give $10 to GlobalGiving’s The Underdog Fund Project.  [DISCLAIMER]”

Some key points here:

  • [PROJ.ID] is your unique project ID number
  • There is a space between the word GIVE and your PROJ.ID.
  • You must include “GlobalGiving’s” as a part of the call-to-action because the charge will be listed on their phone bill as a donation to GlobalGiving. (It’s the law!)
  • [DISCLAIMER] indicates the required carrier compliance language.  You must include carrier compliance disclaimers whenever you talk about mobile giving. Look below to find out what the proper disclaimer is for your communication medium.

DID YOU CATCH THAT? You must include the [DISCLAIMER] – the proper carrier compliance language whenever you talk about mobile giving.

What is Carrier Compliance?
GlobalGiving, mGive, and the U.S. wireless carriers are committed to ensuring the future of the mobile fundraising platform. To that end, the carriers have implemented rules and regulations to address privacy and transparency to all wireless subscribers regarding mobile donations. These mandatory notices are required in all mobile calls-to-action across all marketing mediums in the form of disclaimers and terms and conditions. mGive provides the required terms and conditions, but it is GlobalGiving’s responsibility to disclose the required information within the disclaimer with all mobile calls-to-action in market.

Therefore, EVERY TIME you make a “call-to-action” (inviting people to text-to-give) YOU MUST include the correct legal disclaimers verbatim visibly on the same page. Find the type of medium you’ll be using to broadcast your call-to-action below, and then find the proper disclaimer to include:

For posts on Facebook or Twitter:
i.e. “Text GIVE  7481 to 80088 to give $10 to GlobalGiving’s The Underdog Fund project. Terms:

For other online messaging:
Note that your donation will be made to the GlobalGiving Foundation – The Underdog Fund. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. You must reply YES to confirmation message. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Text STOP to 80088 to STOP. Text HELP to 80088 for HELP. Message and data rates may apply.  Msg&Data rates may apply. Full Terms: Privacy Policy:

  • This disclaimer must be in at least 12 pt font and not blend in with the background. It must be viewable on the same page without scrolling.
  • “HELP” and “STOP” language must be in bold
  • The privacy policy and hyperlinks must be active for web promotions


For messaging in print:
$10.00 donation to GlobalGiving’s [PROJECT NAME] project. Note that your donation will be made to the GlobalGiving Foundation – [PROJECT NAME]. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate.  Msg&Data rates may apply. Text STOP to 80088 to STOP. Text HELP to 80088 for HELP. Full Terms: Privacy policy:

  • This disclaimer must be in at least 12 pt font and not blend in with the background. IT must be viewable on the same page without scrolling.
  • “HELP” and “STOP” language must be in bold
  • The privacy policy and hyperlinks must be active for web promotions


For verbal-only calls-to-action at events:
Strive to have a visual call-to-action with the full disclaimer visible during the event, but if it’s verbal only, please include: “Message and data rates may apply. Full terms at”

Got that? Ok. Now that we’re clear with the carrier compliance issue, we’ll move on to some other frequently asked questions.


What happens when a donor sends a text?
The best way for you to figure out how mobile giving works is to try it out yourself! If you’re in the United States, test it on your own project. If you’re not, please read the steps below to see how it works.

Step 1:
Donor texts:
GIVE 7481 to 80088
Auto Response: To confirm your $10 donation to GlobalGiving reply with the word YES. Info? Visit: or txt HELP. Msg & Data Rates May Apply

Step 1: Text “Give Proj.ID” to 80088 and get response

Step 2:
Donor must respond with: Yes
Auto Response: Thanks! $10 charged to your phone bill. Txt GIVE up to 3x for GG donations. Info? Visit or txt HELP.STOP to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
Auto Response: Reply with YES for GlobalGiving Alerts to find out how your donation is used! Up to 4 msg/mo. Info? Txt HELP, to end txt STOP. Msg & data rates may apply.

Step 2: Reply with “Yes” and recieve “thank-you” message. After that, donors receive an invitation to sign up for mobile updates. (They must reply “Yes” to confirm.)

There are two VERY IMPORTANT things to note here:

  • Donors must first text the keyword to 80088, and then they must reply with YES to confirm their donation. Both steps must happen for the donation to go through.
  • The final auto-response message invites donors to sign up for future messaging. (They can also reply YES to this if they choose to do so.) This will be helpful if we want to send them to the GlobalGiving website to see project updates, for example.

How do we get the word out about our new mobile giving option?
We recommend spending some time thinking about how text-to-give will work best for your audiences. Here are two ideas:

  • At Events: Inviting supporters to make mobile donations during a live event could give you the opportunity to instantly engage or give in the moment. Potential donors may not have their laptops nearby but they will certainly have their cell phones handy.
  • In combination with other media: If you’re creating a video on YouTube, for example, you could easily add the text-to-give details at the end of the video so viewers can react quickly and easily without going to a different website.

You can tell your donors about mobile giving the same way you’d spread the word about your GlobalGiving project page(s). HOWEVER—and this is important, as we discussed earlier: whenever you spread the word about text-to-give options, you must abide by mobile giving carrier compliance laws. (See above explanation.)

Can we change the donation amount?
Donation amounts are set at $10, but most people can give up to three times to the same keyword/code, giving up to $30 to your project per billing cycle. (The number of maximum mobile donations per wireless subscriber billing cycle varies carrier.)

Are there any fees for mobile donations?
GlobalGiving will cover all the costs associated with maintaining a mobile giving account (through mGive) and distributing the money. Therefore, mobile donations are only subject to GlobalGiving’s standard 15% fee.

Normally, it would cost a nonprofit somewhere between $800 and $2000 per year to maintain a basic mobile giving account with mobile giving service providers, and then an additional fee (approximately $1.25) would be charged to each $10 donation. GlobalGiving is managing the account and covering all these expenses for our projects.  The fees associated with each transaction are covered by (and not charged on top of) GlobalGiving’s fee. We’re truly working hard to bring you more value in this partnership!

Will I see the money in my donation manager?
Yes, we’ve integrated mobile giving into your donation manager (GlobalGiving’s Project Entry System, also called PE), so you can see your mobile donations right after they happen!  The donation will simply show up as a mobile donation, but you won’t have access to the donors’ phone numbers or email addresses.

It is important to note that the mobile donations in PE are donation pledges. These pledges do not become actual, received donations until the wireless subscriber pays their phone bill in full. Common discrepancies between pledges and donations received include a bill not paid, a late payment, or the account holder disputes the charge (or donation added to the phone bill.) These situations happen at a very low rate, but it is important to note for reporting purposes.

How long does it take to receive money from mobile donations?
The distribution of funds is based upon the donor’s mobile carrier billing and payout schedule, and is then subject to GlobalGiving’s disbursement cycle. The mobile carriers require time to reconcile funds, so it could take 60-120 days, depending on the wireless carrier, to receive mobile giving funds in your account. We know that’s a lot of time. Unfortunately, we’re subject to mobile carriers’ conditions. (See the answer to the question above.)

Can I send Thank You’s or project reports to mobile donors?
Mobile donors will be automatically thanked via text message immediately after their donation. You won’t be able to send them personalized thank you emails from the Project Entry system (PE) like you could for an online donor.  Unfortunately, mobile donors may not receive project reports, either (they may simply be sent to the GlobalGiving site to view project reports but we can’t guarantee that they’ll receive specific notifications yet.) That’s why it’s important to consider when mobile giving might be the best strategy and when it might not be.

What about receipts?
Donations through our mobile giving platform are actually donations to the mGive Foundation, and not GlobalGiving. The mobile phone bill can act as a receipt, or a full mobile donation report can be viewed and printed at (or

Are there customization options?
In the future it may be possible for us to set up “vanity” keywords for projects. It may also be possible to arrange for more sophisticated back-and-forth messaging campaigns for our project leaders, but there will be additional work and fees involved. Try out the mobile giving platform as it is for now, and stay tuned for more information about customized mobile campaigns.

Phew.  That was a lot of info.
We know. It’s a lot to take in. You deserve a coffee break. Fortunately, we’re having a webinar about mobile giving to help explain the details on October 25, 2011. Please attend the webinar at 9am or 3pm ET on that day, or look for the recap recording here on the Tools and Trainings Blog later.

In the meantime, just try to remember these three points:

  1. You now have free mobile giving capabilities for each of your projects!
  2. Your text-to-give call-to action is: “Text GIVE <space> [PROJ.ID] to 80088 to give $10 to GlobalGiving’s [PROJECT NAME] project”
  3. You must include the verbatim carrier compliance disclaimer anytime you invite people to text-to-give.

I have feedback!
Do you love it?  Do you hate it? We definitely want your feedback on how mobile giving works (or doesn’t work) for you! We’ll be listening to project leaders and to donors to find out how we can improve the mobile giving experience.  Please tell us how it’s going and how we can help you! We’d especially love to hear any feedback that you have prior to our public launch on October 25. Please ask questions or leave feedback below (that helps everyone learn!) or you ca email Britt at with your thoughts.


Alison Carlman

As Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications, Alison has the privilege of telling GlobalGiving's story and the stories of our inspiring nonprofit partners. Follow her on twitter @acarlman.

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