Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Donating by Text Message

The terrible aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti continues to dominate nonprofit news.  One interesting new twist is the sudden (at least it seems sudden to me) rise in donations by text message.  A recent New York Times article reports that, of the $35 million the Red Cross collected for Haiti disaster relief, $5 million had come through text messaging. 

This news leads a law professor to wonder about charitable solicitation licenses.  Surely the Red Cross is licensed throughout the United States, but the same might not be true of smaller international relief organizations.  Would receiving a significant number of text messages from a given jurisdiction require the organization to file for a license?  I sense a Nonprofit Law exam question coming on.


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