Check that number before texting a donation

Check that number before texting a donation
We've seen the power of text messaging when it comes to raising money. On Thursday, the Red Cross reported more than $5 million had been donated this way to its relief effort in Haiti.

Texting a donation is quick and easy. But before you hit send, make sure you're using the right number.

"So you're not giving it to maybe a scam or someone who's given you a number that's not on the money," says Bennett Weiner, CEO of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.

He points out that a text donation is not an immediate gift -- like a check or credit card transaction.

"The Charity may know how much in total has been collected but the money is only transferred later on, sometimes takes anywhere from 30 to 90 days because you have to pay your wireless bill and the money is eventually transferred but it doesn't go immediately to the charity, but it does get there."

When you donate through text message, you could be agreeing to receive future text messages from the charity.

"What I would look for on the charity's Website, is there an opt-out for that," Weiner says. "You don't want to get those messages you can later on go on their Website and opt-out of getting the follow-up messages if you don't want to receive them."

For more information

BBB Advice on Donating by Text Message for Haiti Relief Efforts