Mobile phones have become a Mecca for charitable efforts. They’re It’s easy to reach people on because they’re carrying them constantly, and they’re also a way to give something in exchange for a donation. Since developers don’t have to create more than one program, they’re assured they can only pay a set cost to meet any demand.
On the consumer side, it’s great because it’s an easy way to get involved. There isn’t a time donation required, and it’s not something you have to drag your credit card out to get involved. There is a variety of “‘careware’” options, and a variety of reasons they’re out there.
Bringing a citizen into the cause:
Some apps exist only to provide a little amusement and bring a person into the fold. One of those apps is the Movember Moustache. It was created to promote Movember—the practice of men shaving on Oct. 31st and growing mustaches out until the end of the month. Movember raises money for prostate cancer research.
The app itself is fairly simple: it displays different types of mustaches and lets you hold up each one in the mirror to decide which style suits you best. Since Movember takes a very stylized approach to mustache growing, the app legitimately serves a need. It’s a perfect testament to the type of app that doesn’t directly let consumers donate, but still draws people into the cause.
Sometimes apps are a little more…purposeful. They’re incredibly clear in what they’re asking from users, and they don’t pull any punches. Giveatron is a great example. It’s basically a portal for donations for all sorts of different nonprofits. Individuals can search for a cause and then donate through Paypal. Giveatron will automatically send the giver an email that has an official tax receipt.
The app is created by Benevity, a site dedicated to helping businesses give back. Benevity will help corporations incorporate donations into employee payroll if they choose, or into their regular business operations. It’s a for-profit service with a sole aim of helping non-profits.
An even exchange:
Other apps believe in giving a little and getting a little back. Peg Solitaire is an addicting game that mimics the classic marble solitaire game. It has 10 different boards, more than 90 starting positions and keeps track of all your game’s statistics and high scores.
The $1.59 it takes to buy Peg Solitaire goes straight to charities for autistic children. The developer also offers a free version, but for such a small price, it seems worth it to get the charityware version.
More and more nonprofits are building apps and games for mobile phones because that’s where they can connect with users. It’s a great platform that doesn’t require a too much funding, and it’s almost guaranteed to be a hit with users.