Response to Yonge Street Tragedy Demonstrates Depth of Canadians’ Compassion

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How wireless technology empowers Canadians to respond to causes they care about with mobile giving

May 10, 2018 – The scale and reach of mobile technology continues to grow every year.  Nearly 31 million Canadians subscribe to a mobile service, and some 30% of Canadian households rely exclusively on wireless services.  People use their mobile devices to juggle important day-to-day tasks, plan their work schedules, manage their personal lives and, in some cases, make charitable donations.

In response to the tragic van attack on Yonge Street in late April, the City of Toronto partnered with the Toronto Foundation to create the #TorontoStrong Fund to coordinate donations from around the world and ensure fundraising is conducted in a responsible, accountable and truly impactful manner for those who need it most.  Money donated will go to supporting victims and their families, and those affected by the trauma, through organizations including Victim Services Toronto and other supporting organizations who can address the related short and long-term needs.

Canadians are generous people, and donations poured in through many channels. One cannot refute our individual and collective capacity for compassion in times like these. The recent circumstances depict nothing but our sense of a larger Canadian community, and of the strength behind our empathy for others, to such a degree that it spurs action among so many – as can be measured by the outpour of support from across the county.

While established traditional channels provided significant support, donations initiated through text message, charged to mobile users’ cellphone bills, made an important contribution as well. More than 600 mobile users donated by text message in a period of less than 72 hours. Through the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada’s platform, Canadian wireless subscribers can make a donation by texting a charity-specific keyword to a mobile giving-enabled common short code.

The campaign launched to support the #TorontoStrongFund campaign prompted subscribers by text message to select their preferences for language and donation amount. Once subscribers confirmed the amount, the charge would simply appear on their next bill. The Mobile Giving Foundation Canada collects and consolidates donations across wireless service providers – with 100% of donated funds flowing through to the designated charity.

While wireless technology offered an additional way for Canadians to give, it was only one channel among many. However, it was decidedly the preferred channel for more than 600 mobile subscribers. These individuals may not have given otherwise.  Mobile giving at its core aims to ensure all have the ability to give ubiquitously and to respond immediately to a call for action – and for the #TorontoStrongFund, it gave Canadians, no matter where they were or what they were doing, an opportunity to come together behind the people of Toronto. 

The Mobile Giving Foundation Canada is a registered charity whose purpose is to enable the wireless channel to benefit other registered charities in Canada. In any given year, MGFC works with upwards of 200 different charities, providing each with access to the mobile giving channel, and reconciling for their benefit the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated through SMS each year. If you would like more information, please visit or contact [email protected].  And it’s not too late to support the #TorontoStrongFund – you can still make a contribution of $5, $10, $20 or $25 by texting TORONTO to 80100, or by visiting