Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post from Ryutaro Mizuno, Director of Marketing, U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Most people recognize the iconic orange collection boxes synonymous with Trick-or-Treat UNICEF, a 61-year-old campaign that has raised more than $164 million to aid children around the world. Well, this Halloween, they’re going mobile. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF collection boxes now feature Microsoft Tags so that folks wishing to donate can do so directly through their mobile phones.

How does it work?

To get started with Tag, you first need to download the free Tag app to your phone. Either type http://gettag.mobi on your phone’s browser or go to your app store and search under “Microsoft Tag.” The app is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, J2ME and Symbian phones. After downloading the app, open it, touch Scan, and then hover your camera over the Tag. Your phone will instantly scan the Tag and take you to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s mobile donation site (Windows Phone and BlackBerry users will be prompted to take a picture of the Tag rather than scan).

To make your donation, just enter your phone number. You will receive a text message confirming that you want to make your donation – reply “Yes” and $10 will automatically be billed to your phone bill. You can scan and donate multiple times. Below is a photo of the recognizable UNICEF box with the Microsoft Tag on the side:

UNICEF - TAG

Donating Made Easy

Scanning Tags to donate is a great way to connect folks with UNICEF, particularly when they are interested in supporting the organization, but aren’t carrying any cash. Tags give you another option for connecting with them in the moment. Or, if you are the one handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, it’s a convenient way to show your support for UNICEF without digging through the couch cushions.

To learn more about Scan to Donate and other ways UNICEF is using Microsoft Tag, visit www.trickortreatforunicef.org. Charitable giving can both be inspired and within easy reach with mobile giving technology.

For more on this story, read today’s post on the Next at Microsoft Blog.