Red Cross and Universal Record Database team up to break text donation record

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Today at Mashable’s Media Summit, the American Red Cross and the Universal Record Database (URDB) — an open platform for world records — wrangled the conference’s audience to break a world record of their own, and do some good in the process.

URDB co-founder Dan Rollman asked audience members to text “redcross” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross, in an attempt to break a previous URDB record entitled “Most people in one location to make charitable donation via text message.” The previous record received 39 participants and raised $390 for Haiti earthquake relief. Today, over 200 audience members volunteered, which ended up raising over $2,000 in the span of a few minutes.

Rollman fell in love with tracking records when he first encountered the Guinness Book of World Records at the age of 9. While at Burning Man (much later in life), he came up with the idea of running his own world record resource — thinking that everyone in the world can be the best at something.

URDB allows anyone to submit their own world record attempts; it started out with silly and fun entries (check out the dramatic history of the “Most Giraffe Tattoos on a Shoulder” entry), but as today’s broken record shows, it can also be used for more serious records as well.

San Francisco, Calif.-based URDB recently landed a first round of funding for an undisclosed amount, which included an investment from Chris Sacca.


We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.