Obopay and Benevity Partner to Form Rapid Response Japanese Earthquake Relief

Text donations help victims of the Japanese disaster get large donations to charities providing the most active assistance
Mar 16, 2011 12:10 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) REDWOOD CITY and CALGARY - MARCH 16, 2010 - Obopay, Inc. (http://www.obopay.com/) , the mobile money solutions pioneer, and Benevity Social Ventures, Inc. (www.benevity.org), a leader in mobile and online donation processing software, today announced a text-to-donate relief effort to speed funds to the ravaged regions of northern Japan.  This innovative solution combines Obopay’s instant mobile payment technology with expansive donation management, tax receipting and corporate matching functionality provided through Benevity.  The text-based donation initiative is reminiscent of the 2009 Haitian relief effort, which saw more than five million people use their mobile phones to donate money.

There are two key differences to this program, however.  Consumers can make donations up to hundreds of dollars, as opposed to the $5 to $10 limits allowed through other text-to-donate programs; and the donations reach the relief organizations rapidly—as opposed to the normal 90 to 120 days typical of carrier-based programs.  Donors can make charitable contributions from their mobile devices by texting the keyword “Japan” to the shortcode 48510.  Users are then directed to a mobile payment site to complete their donation and can receive an electronic tax receipt.

The donated funds will be deployed to three charities that are among the most involved on the ground: Doctors Without Borders; Save the Children, and Americares. A similar keyword/shortcode approach can be used for mobile fundraising efforts directed to any other 501(c)(3) organization providing relief.
“There is so much devastation there and we recognize the need to get funds to Japan and in the hands of charities that can put them to work as fast as possible to save lives, as well as start the recovery and rebuilding process,” said Carol Realini, Executive Chairman for Obopay.  “Normal means of donating take too long to get funds on the ground.”

 “We are increasingly a global community and it is times like these when we all need to step up”, added Bryan de Lottinville, CEO of Benevity.  “We are glad that we can help provide a way to enable cost-effective donations to help in these relief efforts, and a service that makes sure consumers have an impact with their giving, regardless of the amount they can donate.”   


About Benevity
Benevity is a software company that helps businesses realize a better return on their increasing investments in social good programs, including cause marketing, community investment, employee giving & volunteering programs. Benevity has developed North America’s first embeddable micro-donation platform, enabling socially responsible businesses to engage their customers, employees and corporate partners in optional charitable giving on their terms. Benevity lets companies integrate user-directed, tax receiptable donations and corporate matching programs into their existing transaction environments, using their own brands and systems.  The Benevity platform also powers Benevity’s products, such as Spark! workplace giving and the Givatron, the first charity-of-choice donation application for Android-based mobile devices. To find out more, visit us at www.benevity.org and view our short video at www.benevity.org/goodness3.0.

About Obopay
Founded in 2005, Obopay, Inc (www.obopay.com) offers partner branded mobile money technology and services that transform any mobile phone into a convenient and easy way to send and receive money, get paid or pay small businesses, top-up accounts, buy via mobile, and pay bills. Obopay's mobile money services address the needs of consumers and businesses around the world by providing a service that delivers value, empowers lives, and improves commerce for merchants. Obopay believes the power is in the ecosystem and has established partnerships that include Nokia, MasterCard, AT&T, Verizon, Essar, Union Bank of India, Yes Bank in India, and Societe Generale. The company's offering enables partner-branded mobile money services that financial services, mobile partners and merchants can implement quickly at low deployment cost. Obopay is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, with offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, India.

Benevity PR Contact:
Bryan de Lottinville
Chief Executive Officer
Email: bryan@benevity.org
403.237.7875 x201

Obopay PR Contact:
Analisa Baker or Gary Thompson
Clarity Communications for Obopay
Web site: www.claritycommunications.us
Twitter:  twitter.com/Perfect_Clarity
Email: obopay@claritycomunications.us
Direct: +1-415-963-4082 x103