The phrase “there’s an app for that” originated as an Apple marketing strategy nearly ten years ago. Today the saying holds truer than ever, with mobile applications now even serving charitable functions. The advent of the “app” occurred in 2008, when a total of 550 apps were released between the Apple App Store and the Android Market. BlackBerry App World, the Nokia Ovi Store, and the Windows Phone Marketplace quickly followed suit.
For many people living in the digital age, apps offer convenience in discovering information, pursuing various forms of entertainment, and connecting with others via social platforms. Charitable organizations have collaborated with app developers to establish creative options for people to engage in causes with the same ease.
Here is a list of 13 mobile platforms developed for supporting charities and foundations from your smartphone or device, some of which are free for users:
- Make a Stand App
The Make a Stand campaign started with a lemonade stand run by a 10-year old girl passionate about ending child slavery. As a result of her commitment and entrepreneurial drive, the movement now operates as a global app that allows people to create campaigns and support causes ranging from literacy to environmental issues.
- Snap Donate
This app is for the generous-minded who like to seize opportunities to give when they see them. When a subscriber sees the logo of a charity they would like to support, they simply take a photo and submit it. The app then presents a page for that charity with donation amount options.
- Give 2 Charity
Users of this app can designate which group they would like to support, and based off of points accrued through cellphone usage, funds are allocated to the selected charity. In addition, the data collected about when and where the user carries his or her phone benefits usage surveys for service providers.
The Instead app creates opportunities for people to forego a regular part of their routine in benefit of someone else. For example, a user might pass on Starbucks one morning, brew their own coffee, and donate the savings to humanitarian projects. One way the concept appeals to users is that they can issue challenges for themselves and others to meet on a daily or weekly basis.
- I Can Go Without
Similar to Instead, I Can Go Without is a program that allows subscribers to keep track of their eating habits and generate funds for charity. Each time a user decides to make a sandwich rather than eat out, for example, the reported cost difference accumulates on an invoice, which he or she can pay all at once at any time.
Budge operates on dares or bets agreed upon by participants. Two friends, coworkers, family members, etc., determine the rules of the contest or challenge, set a dollar amount, and whoever wins sends that money to a charity of their choice. The social aspect of the app has succeeded in differentiating Budge from others apps that focus on the individual.
- Donate a Photo
Staff members at Johnson & Johnson developed this app as a way for people to be active in the world of charity without spending a dollar. Each photo a person submits receives a $1 donation toward the organization of their choosing. A maximum of one photo each day can translate into $365 a year — for simply taking pictures.
GoodShop is a shopping portal with charity in mind. In fact, half of the income it receives for referrals goes straight to the group or cause the shopper designates.
- Charity Miles
For multitasking enthusiasts, this app offers the chance to work on fitness and charity goals concurrently. Sponsors decide how much they would like to contribute per mile reported by users, and the total tallies up for each run, bike ride, or other exercise routine. Charity Miles also fosters a social aspect, creating ways for participants to interact and encourage one another.
The United Nations led the way in creating this app, which facilitates meal funding for children around the world. Speakers of as many as nine different languages can donate money and see who benefits from their generosity. In many cases, a contribution of $0.50 or less will cover an entire day’s worth of food for a child.
GoodSAM operates without funding and it connects people in times of urgent need. People use this app — much like an emergency call — to notify nearby first aid-certified professionals of injured persons. These “good Samaritans” then respond and provide assistance free of charge until paramedics arrive.
- Check-in for Good
A quickly-growing trend, the Check-in for Good app benefits essentially everyone involved. When a person goes out to eat, for example, they check in to participating vendors using the app, and the restaurant will donate to charity as well as offer the user a deal on their meal.
- Charity Tap
The Charity Tap app functions much like a video game. Users face speed challenges, and each time they tap the screen, a grain of rice is donated. Sponsors of the app fund it through advertisements that appear mid-game, and the donated rice goes to the World Food Programme.
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