In December 2010, Apple put the kibosh on charitable donations via iPhone applications. The decision rankled many non-profits, and the company declined to elaborate, although it was assumed that Apple officials didn’t want to be saddled with the responsibility of vetting which of the organizations were legitimate and which were phony.
But there is still plenty of opportunity for iPhone users to conduct their charitable homework on their mobile devices. And when you come across a cause that you feel is worthwhile, it’s just an extra click or two to connect directly to a website in order to make a donation. So do you good deed for the day and check out these iPhone apps. A little help from a lot of people can change the world.
The free MobileCause App2Give app is a good starting point for those who know they want to get involved, but are not exactly sure how to go about it. It is divided into three major categories, including cause, education and faith. If, for example, you would like to find a charity administered by the Baptist church, you can do so by scrolling through the faith category. Charities can be shared via email, posted on Facebook, and so on.
Similarly, the Causes app (free) allows users to educate themselves on a wide variety of topics, including gay rights, human trafficking and hunger but aggregating articles on those specific topics.
The free Donation Connect app skirts Apple’s ban on donations via iPhone apps by allowing users to send donations by text, phone and website. If you want to contribute to tsunami recovery efforts in Japan with a donation to the Red Cross, for example, the app will accommodate you by providing you with a 1-800 number or by redirecting you to the Red Cross website.
There are plenty of apps specific to different charities and non-profits. As an example we will cite Real Miracles (free), both because its parent organization, Children’s Miracle Network, has a stellar reputation and because the app is well designed. You can watch video, look at photos and read news articles, all of which help to explain what the Children’s Miracle Network is all about.
Donations do not always come in the form of money. The free Donate Lives app was born out a New York Times column about organ donation. The app is broken down by state. Choose yours and you are directed to a geographically-appropriate website where you can register as an organ donor.
And for those who don’t have a lot of money to spare, and don’t anticipate giving up internal organs anytime soon, there is the free VolunteerMatch app. It serves to connect individuals with thousands of volunteer opportunities appropriate for a broad range of talents and interests. For example, do you love books? Then why not volunteer to read to school children at your local library. Do you have a nephew with autism? Then volunteer at a mud run that serves to raise funds for research on the disorder.