A non-profit in Anchorage is the first organization in Alaska that can receive donations by text message.
Bean’s Cafe and the Children’s Lunchbox are now able to receive cash through mobile giving. Ken Miller is the development director for Beans and the Children’s lunchbox. He says millions were raised in a short time by text giving to the Haiti relief fund. He says at that time mobile giving was under the purview of large organizations.
“And then smaller nonprofits began to utilize the service, it’s very economical to get in to. And what it gives the opportunity for the nonprofit to do is get small donations from a different group than maybe their most common individual they’ve been getting donations from in the past. It’s a much younger crowd that’s comfortable with text donation and mobile giving,” Miller said.
It’s a simple process. You text a key word to a number.
“And the key word for Beans café is Beans B-E-A-N-S and I would text that word to 50555. If I wanted to make a donation to the Children’s Lunchbox, I would very simply text in K-I-D-D-O, which stands for kiddo, to 50555,” Miller said.
Once you’ve done that, a message asks you to confirm your $10 donation. If you do, the donation gets added to your mobile carrier bill. Miller says they’ll get all but about 30 cents of each donation and a person can donate up to three times. He says no other non-profits in the state have used this fundraising method yet, but he thinks it would help out others beyond Beans. The transactions are handled by an Outside company.
Miller stresses a ten dollar donation goes a long way when it only costs Beans about a dollar twenty to provide a full meal.
“You have an opportunity to serve seven, eight individuals a hot meal and provide services, whether it’s social services, whether it’s transportation services, whether it’s just shelter during the day and night to an individual in the community that’s in need,” Miller said.
Bean’s Cafe serves between four and five hundred meals each day. You can also help out the Children’s Lunchbox program this weekend by donating food at the Spenard Farmer’s Market on Saturday.
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