On Thursday, April 1, National 4-H Council kicked off the 4-H Give2Vote Challenge, a fundraiser to benefit state 4-H programs using mobile and online technology. Reported to be the first national youth development organization to test mobile giving, National 4-H Council aims to rally 4-H’s legion of more than 88,000 Facebook “fans” in a friendly giving competition to support their state.

The month-long campaign is not limited to Facebook however; anyone who wishes to support the 6 million 4-H members across the U.S. can text CLOVER to 50555 to donate $10. What makes the challenge unique is that the state 4-H program receiving the most donations by mobile phone or by giving online at 4-H.org will receive a bonus $5,000. Each donation counts as one vote.

The $5,000 bonus, generously provided by campaign sponsor JCPenney, is an added incentive to encourage states to spread the word. Participating wireless carriers include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and Nextel. The state donation designation will be determined by the area code of the mobile subscriber.

“New mobile technologies have allowed us to break exciting new ground and offer an easy way for people to support the 4-H movement,” says Donald T. Floyd, Jr, president and CEO of National 4-H Council. “Donations received via text provide an innovative new stream of funding to 4-H programs, creating even more opportunities for youth.”

4-H has been proven to have a positive impact on youth. According to longitudinal research conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, if a child is in 4-H, he or she is:

Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school;
Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college;
41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and
25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.

In addition, The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development found that when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H perform better in science, engineering and technology subjects and are more likely to pursue science careers.

The Challenge’s mobile fundraising capability is powered by Mobile Accord/mGive. “mGive is very excited to partner with an organization that plays such an important role in developing America’s youth. We look forward to helping 4-H expand their donor base through the mobile giving channel,” says mGive Co-Founder and CEO, Tony Aiello.

With an estimated 285.6 million US Wireless subscribers and 152.7 billion text messages sent per month, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, 4-H is ready to take advantage of this 21st century technology to advance the 108 year old organization’s positive youth development message and mission among this growing audience.

A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. You will also receive up to 1 message per day from National 4-H Council alerts. Message and data rates may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of National 4-H Council by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at http://www.mGive.com/A. To unsubscribe text STOP to 50555, for help text HELP to 50555. Privacy policy available at http://mgive.com/PrivacyPolicy.aspx.