How to Use Your iPhone to Help Others

22 days ago

Last week, I created an iPhone app out of my blog in ten minutes at a cost of $50 using a service call AppMkr.  It made wonder when we'll start to see more iPhone apps from and to benefit nonprofits.  

Almost a year ago, Britt Bravo compiled an iPhone Apps for Nonprofits list.  She looked far and wide, but the list was small.  It included one of my favorites, The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Guide to help you make, "sustainable seafood choices."


Britt also mentions that The Extraordinaries was just about to launch its iPhone application to help people find 20-minute volunteer opportunities. Put another way, an iPhone application to put thumbs to good use.  This application can now be downloaded here.  

Another iPhone application is Give Work, a collaborative effort by CrowdFlower, a professional crowdsourcing service provider, and Samasource, a non-profit organization that trains youths and refugees to use computers, and by extension to find sustainable employment.  The application creates an opportunity for Kenyan refugees by matching iPhone users' volunteer work with that of the refugees, who do the same tasks and are paid double.

The Extraordinaries has also been doing a good job of tracking nonprofit iPhone apps over at their blog.  You'll find reviews of iPhone apps from the Olympics, National Center for Missing Children, the San Jose Museum, and others.


One of the more exciting iPhone apps to appear in the last month or so is CauseWorld that uses a new form of "embedded" giving that I dubbed "Foot Traffic Philanthropy." I had a lot of fun playing with the app over the holidays and making generous donations to a handful of charities. Meanwhile, FourSquare, a location-based app, is experimenting with leveraging donations with its leaderboard.

Recently, Heather Mansfield at the Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog, mentioned that Causeworld and the Extraordinaires were two of three iPhone apps that every nonprofit should know about. The third app was called "Charity Finder" that lets users donate to nonprofits via a simple interface.  While Heather describes the app as experimental, she envisions that it is only a matter of time before we'll see Network for Good or another charity listings service as an iPhone app.

In the meantime, we'll certainly see more and more nonprofits release branded content in native iPhone format.  That is, versions of their web site content on a iPhone.  A couple of examples:

What iPhone apps have you come across from nonprofits or charities or that help raise money?

Beth Kanter, BlogHer CE for Nonprofits, writes Beth's Blog.







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