In the spirit of real-time response, many aid organizations turned to prompting Twitter and Facebook followers to send texts that would instantly pledge a small donation—$10 in most cases—to help in the relief effort.
Organizations such as the American Red Cross, Global Giving and Save the Children provided followers with information about the loss of lives and property, along with their pleas for donations. Meanwhile, Twitter and Google’s online Person Finder tool gave aid organizations a method to gather information about the disaster and correct any misinformation on the Web.
“If people want to give a gift, we’ve made it easy for them to help,” says Jackie Mitchell, director of marketing and communications for the Greater Chicago Red Cross. Other agencies, including Global Giving and Save the Children, also promoted text-to-donate initiatives via Twitter.