Lollapalooza Sized Relief

As noted at LiveScience, the ability to contribute to Haitian relief via text messaging is blowing the doors off previous donations:

Text-message donations, also called SMS donations, are becoming increasing[ly] popular with charities because of their convenience for donors and the ability to spread the word quickly via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

This is a nifty way to skirt procrastination (make it super-easy to donate) while leveraging social norms (friends donating publicly and nudging you to do the same push the donation into the future), and loss aversion (bundle the donation into the existing mobile phone bill).

Charles Munger (close associate of Warren Buffet and behavioral economics afficionado) referred to the coupling of psychological principles the “lollapalooza” effect, and if you look at the results it’s easy to see why: The White House reports that as of today, the third day into the Haitian disaster, Americans have raised more than $8 million for the Red Cross through text message donations of $10 each.

(Note: this entry originally appeared at

About the author


View all posts