Apps of Kindness
New mobile apps encourage do-gooding on the go
Tech / 28 Apr 2011
On the heels of Kickstarter came niche fundraising platforms like GiveForward and Pifworld, and now even video games are focused on saving the (real) world. New to the do-good scene are charitable mobile apps, which make it easy for users to lend a helping hand—whenever and wherever the mood strikes them.
: WeFeedBack is a persuasive app that puts the developed world’s daily food expenditure in perspective. Enter the cost of a favorite food item into the calculator and it returns a startling figure: the number of hungry children that the same amount of money could feed. The math involved is simple; the food’s cost is multiplied by four, based on the World Food Programme’s estimate that it takes just 25 cents a day to feed one child. (One $9 panini, for example, is worth full meals for 36 kids). With its single-click option to “Feed Them Now” and engrossing global feedback tracker, the campaign has already collected the funds to feed more than 120,000 children.
Do Some Good
: For a truly mobile volunteer experience, would-be good Samaritans with limited time on their hands can click into Do Some Good. This new app from the UK’s Orange network connects users to short-term charity assignments, suggestions for which were crowdsourced last fall during a “Mobile Volunteering” campaign. Tasks require a maximum time commitment of 5 minutes, and can range from answering survey questions to snapping photos of a local park. An engaging alternative to text-to-give entreaties, the app allows users to contribute proactively in their downtime—appealing to Gen Y's multitasking instincts. So far it’s only available across the pond, but expect a US spin-off to pop up soon.
: One year after the release of iHobo (the controversial, top-ranking app that allowed users to “adopt” a virtual homeless person), digital developers at twentysix mobile have debuted a less provocative addition to their charity app catalog: iMutt. Still in place is the element of virtual care (think Tamagotchi with infinitely better graphics). But the hobo of yore has been replaced with a rescue dog, a virtual mutt that needs walking, feeding, grooming, and love. The app is co-sponsored by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, with the intent to raise awareness of the serious responsibility that is canine care. Fingers crossed that these “impossibly cute” virtual pets won’t inspire impromptu puppy-stalking instead.
©The Intelligence Group