One of the founders of Facebook is working on a new startup that’s trying to create a social network with a focus on charities called Jumo, which just went into beta today:
Jumo aims to help you discover what causes matter to you by allowing you to follow specific charities as well as keep tabs on what your friends are following. Seems simple enough.
On Jumo each cause/charity has its own relevant news stream, sort of like what would happen if the Facebook app, “Causes,” coincidentally started by Sean Parker and former Zuckerberg roommate Joe Green, had its own social network that allowed you to actually “friend” charities.
Here’s an informative piece on the technologies, economics, and pitfalls of using text message based charitable donations:
Texted donations currently are limited to $5 and $10 increments and capped by mobile phone companies at five a month from a single phone.
But that’s not the only downside. There are huge costs to setting up a short code number and then you have to spend even more money on spreading the word about it:
Thus far, nonprofits have also had to share the five-digit codes, called short codes, which means relying on donors to remember a particular key word like “Haiti” or “aid” to ensure that gifts go to the intended charity. Mr. Eberhard said short codes were expensive, about $12,000 each, and so companies can offer only a few to their clients
Perhaps most important, many nonprofits simply cannot afford the kind of promotional campaign needed to publicize mobile giving efforts, nor do they benefit from the kind of exposure that a round-the-clock, disaster-driven news event provides.