It is simply awe inspiring to see people from across the world offering help in so many ways to people in Japan. Many of us have used our mobile phone to text a donation as it seems the quickest way possible to send money to charities operating overseas.
But your text donation may take up to 90 days to actually be given to the relief organization and servicers may be taking a fee off the top to process the donation.
The idea that hundreds of millions in donations to a disaster area takes 90 days to arrive shocks the conscience. Companies like ATT and Verizon should be getting ALL the donated money where it is so urgently needed as fast as they can.
During the Haiti Crisis third-party servicers and phone companies waived all fees associated with texts and donations. They should make sure that the public knows if they are doing the same thing now. If not, then people should have that information when deciding how and to who they would like to donate.
A law student in San Francisco with family in Japan has started a petition on Change.org to demand that AT&T, Verizon, and other major phone service providers stop delaying much needed donations from reaching organizations doing relief work in Japan. Please add your name to the petition now.
This raises a good question for the mobile companies. Are we going to have to ask you to do the right thing every time? Companies like ATT and Verizon should permanently change how they process text donations so that people can feel confidant about their giving.
Also, it never hurts to call your mobile service provider directly and ask them how long they will take to send your donated funds and if a third party servicer will be taking part of your donation as a fee. If you don’t like their answer you may want to think of other ways of donating.
Finally, before making any donation it is always wise to check on the charity using a reputable site like Charity Navigator.