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L.A. Phil encourages micro-donations via texting

August 2, 2010 | 12:58 pm


Anyone who has attended the Hollywood Bowl this summer has probably noticed the Los Angeles Philharmonic's jumbo-screen advertisements encouraging people to donate to the orchestra via text message. 

The ads -- which started running in June at the Bowl -- are part of a test campaign by the orchestra to try out a new wireless donation service, said a spokeswoman for the L.A. Philharmonic. 

Depending on the night, you can donate $5 or $10 to the orchestra by texting a special keyword to the number provided on the ad. The service, which is hosted by mGive, adds the donation amount to your monthly wireless bill. At the end of the day, the L.A. Philharmonic said it receives 70% of the amount donated while the remaining 30% goes toward covering the cost of the service and other expenses.

Mobile donating, as it is often called, has become a common fundraising practice for charity and humanitarian projects, such as the earthquake relief effort in Haiti. But now cultural institutions are catching on to the trend, providing the non-profit groups with yet another avenue for raising dollars in the tough economic climate. 

Other performing-arts organizations that have launched campaigns for wireless donations include the New York Philharmonic, which has been doing it for about a year, and the Intiman Theatre in Seattle.

So far, the L.A. Philharmonic has only run the ads for donations-via-texting at the Bowl and has not promoted it elsewhere. The orchestra spokeswoman said that it are in the process of gauging user interest between the $5 and $10 donation options, so it's too soon to tell how successful this is.

-- David Ng

Photo: Hollywood Bowl. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times


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