These Mobile Apps Help You To Do Good

Charity mobile apps have been overall disruptive to the philanthropic world, with a few important data points in the form of visuals up top:

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On that chart, you can see that mobile is languishing in the “prefer to give” category, although it has had significant growth in the last five years as a philanthropic platform. Note this:

Consumers have been giving to charity in record numbers in recent years, and more people than ever are donating by mobile device. In 2015, Americans gave $373.25 billion to charity, according to public charity National Philanthropic Trust, a 4% increase from 2014. Donations made on mobile devices increased to 17% from 13% in 2014, according to Blackbaud, a company that provides software and services to 35,000 nonprofits worldwide.                                                                                                       - Marketwatch

Then look at some emergent donation concepts and how tied to mobile they are:


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As the mobile landscape continues to rise up as a donation platform, who’s out there doing it right?


1. Charity Miles

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While many of these apps dip into user funds for donations, Charity Miles allows users to generate money for causes through support from the app’s corporate sponsors, which include JNJ, -0.08%  , Chobani, and CVS Health. Choose an organization (the ASPCA and Wounded Warrior project are examples) and the GPS-enabled app will put money toward it for every mile you run, walk or bike. The donations are small (10 cents per mile for bikers and 25 cents per mile for runners) but the app allows athletic users to make a difference without thinking about it.


2. ShareTheMeal

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ShareTheMeal fights global hunger through the United Nations World Food Program. The concept is simple: users just tap the app on their phone and give 50 cents to feed one child for one day. When people chose to donate through the app, thousands of undernourished people will also get a meal. The app is available globally and has received several awards for its design and innovation. Google named ShareTheMeal one of the Best Apps of 2015.

3. CoinUp


Leena Patidar, the founder and CEO of this app, has even said: “If charities are not enlisting themselves in a mobile environment they’re really going to miss out on donations… This is a very simple way to make a difference.”

Coin Up collects digital spare change and puts it toward causes users care about. Users simply need to connect a debit or credit card and choose a charity by location, field of work, or name. After that, each transaction made on the connected card is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the spare change is thrown into a fund for charity; a $4.50 latte would be rounded to $5.00, for example, leaving $0.50 for the cause the user selected.

Users can set a limit for donations each month, starting at $5. Coin Up takes a small fee for operating costs from the money they pass along to charities.

Patidar says the app is to encourage users to donate incrementally throughout the year and to give nonprofits a better way to reach Gen Y donors.

4. JustGive

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For the sake of convenience and easy access to hundreds of different types of charities, JustGive is one of the leading charity-inspired apps out there. Free to download, this app will let you browse its hundreds of listed charities so you can make a donation to causes you care about. The “give on the go” ease is pretty elite.


5. One Today


Created by Google, this app allows users to make small donations to causes they care about and immediately see the impact it makes. With a motto of “Give a little, change a lot,” it encourages small donations and calls on users to challenge friends to match them. You can browse by cause: $4 gives a child with pneumonia a course of antibiotics, $1 provides four meals for starving children in Syria, and $10 enables a patient to ride to and from treatment for cancer. This app lets users browse causes they care about and see exactly how their contribution will make an impact. One Today is available on Android and iOS devices, and donations are tax deductible.

What are some other philanthropy-driven mobile apps that you’ve seen?

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