Feeling Socially Conscious? Build Social Causes Apps to Do It for You.
Itching to satiate the good Samaritan inside of you, but not sure where to start? Looking for corporates to back your cause, but you are not exactly a celebrity either, right? Take a cue from a fresh batch of millennials who have realized the power of crowdfunding to support a myriad of causes by developing social causes apps that exist to make more than just profits.
A recent surge in social causes apps is not only working toward creating an environment of charity and social responsibility but is also doing a great service to those looking to sort through a tsunami of relief organizations and community-led efforts in order to systematically and safely make reliable donations. But before you get working on the next big idea, it is best to weigh-in your options and do your own bit of digging around on the issues and the kind of people that you wish to target in order for your app to become the next big thing!
Social causes apps raise money for charitable causes by zeroing in on people’s everyday activities. Hence, design social causes apps that engage users actively. But make sure your app does not empty their wallets at the same time. A successful social app looks to fuel regular routines into causes that its users care about.
Read further through the post to get inspired by some of the best social causes apps that are an epitome of confluences observed between mobile application development technology and the changing social mores.
Charit Miles (Free)
This one is for those users for whom donating money to big charities goes a little (read a lot) over the budget. Charity Miles, a brainchild of Gene Gurkoff, may just be the perfect app for a majority of people. When Gene was studying law at Harvard, he started running marathons to support Parkinson’s disease, which his grandfather was also diagnosed with at the time. This inspired him to put the concept right into our phones through an app that immediately got a clout of subscribers as sponsors for these “charity runs” that not just happen annually but for as many times as they wanted them to happen through the year.
Basically, you get to decide when to run and for what cause.
Charity Miles works by donating to a charity of the user’s choice through every mile run, walked, or biked through. Brilliant stuff, eh?
The phone’s GPS helps track speed; runners and walkers stand to earn twice as much, 25 cents per mile, as compared to cyclers. The app partners with over 30 of the world’s top charities for this purpose and generates its own capital through corporate advertisement. The charities that partner basically stand to gain through crowdfunding; Members have already raised over US $2 million for charities.
If Charity Miles was about spending calories to support a cause, this one works just the opposite. Users need to “eat to be able to give.”
With Feedie, you will no longer feel guilty about sharing that picture of a waffle with mountains of ice cream on it that you ate last Sunday, because, what if you could feed a needy child with that post of yours?
Feedie is simple, smart, and driven by charity. All one needs to do is, choose to dine at a restaurant that’s signed up, post a picture of your meal, tag the restaurant, and voila! The photograph ends up as a meal for a child somewhere in South Africa. Restaurants that decide to team up, are required to pay $500 a year (tax-deductible donation) to join the scheme that also helps them gain publicity.
Topaz Page-Green, a South African model-turned-philanthropist, the spark behind this app, is encouraging a legion of foodies to leverage their love for food into a great social cause. Besides, cashing in on the eating-out business seems like a good idea today, as the world reportedly spends as much as US $1.7 billion each day on eating out.
Top-flight restaurants in New York have already signed up with the app that is also being backed by Hollywood stars, like Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Okay, this may have sounded like an aberration, considering the “celebrity factor” involved, but hey, it nevertheless makes for a kickass idea to get some inspiration from!
Volunteer Match (Free; $39/month for premium users)
Volunteer Match is a force to reckon with in the world of social causes apps.
The app and its sister website encourage community engagement for people and organizations that are looking to contribute to social causes. The idea was conceived by Charlie Mulligan and Aaron Godert in 2010 after reading a report that stated that volunteering gives as much happiness as one would get if their salary was doubled. Hence, VolunteerMatch operates under the slogan, “More, Happy Volunteers.”
Their story too started from a garage in Pennsylvania, following in the footsteps of the likes of Steve Jobs.
Today, more than 400,000 nonprofit partners work with this initiative that has grown from operating on the web to operating through mobile apps.
The founders’ objective is to provide listing platforms, like LinkedIn or Twitter, etc., to increase volunteering worldwide by developing software and a social network that will help nonprofits, communities, and volunteers manage and promote their efforts.
Volunteers and nonprofits can sign up for free, but the app charges a monthly $39 for the analytics services that it offers to nonprofits, businesses, and schools. The founders hope to raise $4 to $6 million in the near future.