Buy a tree – on your cell phone!

We all know charities are going digital. But not all digital campaigns are created equal. Enter the seasoned team from Food & Trees for Africa(FTFA)with something really fresh – a mobisite that not only asks for donations, but in true “pay-it-forward” fashion, gives a lot to its donor community.

Get this – on mytrees.mobi (check it out on your mobile phone) you can: Calculate your personal carbon footprint; buy a tree for yourself or a loved one…the ultimate gift; test your GreenIQ and stand a change to win fabulous green prizes and read about the exciting and important work done by FTFA
Says FTFA founder and champion of this new digital initiative, Jeunesse Park, “It is important for us to use greener technology where we can. That is why we chose the team from amaNeutral and technology partner, Silverstone CIS, to set up the mobisite for new ways to engage South Africans looking for a meaningful opportunity to get involved in the battle against escalating climate change. We look forward to helping many South Africans calculate and offset their carbon footprint on mytrees.mobi”.

Natural disasters have escalated globally to around 2000 per year, an average of six a day. High profile examples, like the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, get a lot of news coverage. What about the ongoing need of less headline-grabbing issues like meaningful ways to address climate change.

This is exactly where FTFA has earned its stripes over the last 21 years. Planting more than 4 million trees is just part of it. Educating local communities and addressing food scarcity are as important and continue to change both lives and the landscapes.

To be really sustainable most charities worldwide are trying to move beyond corporate and government funding efforts through engaging individuals and communities directly, transparently and in a win-win way.

That is why FTFA decided to use the omni-present cell phone to help to make sure charity truly begins at home. Cell phones are a true democracy. Everyone has one and they are easy to use.

“Mobile competitions and donations are an exciting and obvious use for this type of real-time and self-help application”, elaborates Raymond Buckle, CEO of SilverstoneCIS. “They are safe, fast, completely private and best of all, I can tell my friends on Facebook and Twitter.”

As always an incentive helps and this time it was self-acknowledged social entrepreneur, Conrad Harley, owner of Tricky Concepts, who bought a tree for Mother’s Day. “It was so easy! My wife was blown away and after all, what is the best gift ever? It’s the one where people less fortunate and the environment will benefit, a true gift that keeps on giving,” quips a beaming Conrad.

Jeunesse has the last word, “Charity is becoming a social enterprise. At FTFA we are moving on all fronts to create a lasting benefit for the environment and we hope that millions of South Africans will join this worthwhile green journey.”

So vote with your fingers and we will see you on mytrees.mobi or sms “trees” to 34747 to get a link to the mobisite.