Vodacom has launched a technology-enabled disaster fundraising platform, Vodacom Red Alert, which will let customers and employees to donate money to large-scale humanitarian disaster relief efforts using an SMS or USSD number.
Vodacom Red Alert will have two pillars; one for local emergencies and another for international disasters.
All SMS charges associated with a Vodacom Red Alert campaign will be waived by Vodacom. This means that 100% of all funds donated in this way, will be available to the disaster relief organisation, and thereby reach the beneficiaries.
Vodacom Foundation chairman Mthobi Tyamzashe comments: “We are very pleased to be able, through existing platforms, to facilitate partnerships between the private sector and members of the public to become a force for good.”
The recent Haiti earthquake highlighted the power of fundraising via SMS, for disaster relief programmes raising funds quickly over a short period of time.14 Vodafone companies around the world made use of an SMS-platform to raise in excess of R50-million towards the Haiti appeal.
Vodacom Red Alert fundraiser appeals, national and international, will be reserved for major natural disasters and emergencies of such scale that they cannot be dealt with by the usual fund raising coping mechanisms, and where agencies require additional funds to help them respond quickly and effectively to disasters.
In the event of a Vodacom Red Alert International disaster, Vodacom customers will be able to send an SMS with the word ‘Give’ to 38207 to donate R10.00, or they can dial *120*4483# – which will display donation options of R5.00, R10.00 or R20.00 to them to select.
In the event of a Vodacom Red Alert local disaster, Vodacom customers will be able to send an SMS with the word ‘Aid’ to 38416 to donate R10.00, or they can dial *120*243# from their Vodacom cellphone to select to donate R5.00, R10.00 or R20.00.
Funds raised through Vodacom Red Alert will be channelled to the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS), a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.