On May 20 I wrote about how for the first time in the United States it was possible for nonprofits to use cell phones to raise money, $5 at a time.
For the last three months the Brooklyn, New York-based nonprofit charity called Keep a Child Alive, has been using cell phone fundraising to generate nearly $40,000 from some 7,800 people.
Keep a Child Alive provides antiretroviral drugs to children and adults with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Antiretroviral drugs are what keep people with HIV/AIDS like Magic Johnson from dying. In Africa there are 2.3 million children with HIV/AIDS, and many times that many adults (read ‘parents’).
Keep a Child Alive cell phone fundraising approach is to use a film produced for the charity called Alicia in Africa, featuring the impossibly lovely and talented R and B artist Alicia Keys, who is the organization’s official ambassador.
In effect, they ask you to pay $5 for the pleasure of watching the film by texting “Alive” to 90999. As I write this, the counter on the website says the movie has been viewed 1,236,019 times.
The movie is also available as a DVD for $15.99. The website also offers the option of donating directly to Keep a Child Alive.
The trailer for the films can be viewed on the Keep a Child Alive website and the film itself can be seen at a microsite aliciainafrica.com.
In effect, Keep a Child Alive produced a promotional film for its cause and its ambassador and is using the Internet to distribute it, raise money and spread the word about the cause.
The execution is very good across the board and Alicia Keys is all but irresistible.