I was wondering why we couldnt do this in the States a couple days ago. Well lo and behold.
From RCR News Cingular wireless to use text messaging to attract tsunami-relief.
Starting Thursday Cingular Wireless will send text messages to all of its 46 million customers, giving them a chance to make $1 or $2 donations to the Asian tsunami disaster relief effort, charges that will appear on their monthly bills.
Cingular's offering mirrors that of a variety of other European and Asian carriers, which have set up similar text-messaging donation schemes. The move also marks a further evolution of the U.S. text-messaging market, which has traditionally trailed that of the more advanced European and Asian wireless markets.
Cingular's text messaging campaign follows the carrier's plan to match its employees' tsunami relief donations up to $1 million. Other corporations have announced similar matching programs.
Under Cingular's text-messaging program, it will send a text message free to each of its subscribers. The text message will allow subscribers to make a donation of either 99 cents or $1.99 to one of three organizations: the American Red Cross, UNICEF or Save the Children. Subscribers can make their selections by replying to the message, and the donations will be charged to their monthly bills.
The donation system uses Cingular's premium text-messaging technology, which allows the carrier to bill for select text messages above the standard 10-cent transmission fee. Text messaging services have slowly been gaining prominence in the United States during the past several years.