Top Apps for Giving Back

According to The Life You Can Save, an outreach organization, meeting needs in poverty-stricken regions costs less than in developed countries. Even in our local neighborhoods, a small donation goes a long way. Some of us are so busy that time constraints prevent us from giving. Now, thanks to mobile technology, we can easily give on-the-go. In some cases, we don’t even need to donate money. Here are five apps that make giving simple, affordable, and fast.
1. DONATE A PHOTO – Free for iOS and Android
Helps – Worldwide causes
Sponsor – Johnson & Johnson

How It Works – J&J has compiled a database of over 110,000 worthy nonprofits and schools. When you submit a photograph, the company donates $1 to the cause you wish to support. Your photo can help provide medicine for a baby, housing for a family, or clean water for a village. Each cause remains on the app until its goal is attained. By sharing a photo, you increase awareness of causes that need assistance. Your picture may also inspire others to donate. You can submit one photo each day, which becomes part of the app’s photo gallery. Images are never used for commercial purposes.

2. SHARE THE MEAL – Free for iOS and Android

Helps – Syrian refugee children

Sponsor – United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP)

How It Works – WFP is raising money to feed children who’ve fled the Syrian civil war. It costs only 50 cents to feed a child for one day. You can make a donation through the app, which indicates where your meal will be delivered. Food is served in schools and may consist of fortified biscuits, cereal, and vegetables. For each meal you provide, you learn about a child who receives assistance. WFP ensures that funds reach children efficiently, with 90 percent directly supporting the work. Money is supplied through a United Nations grant, business donations, and patron contributions. Plans are underway to expand the program to other countries in 2016.

3. CHECK-IN FOR GOOD – Free for iOS and Android

Helps – Worldwide causes

Sponsor – A grass-roots team of people with the desire to connect consumers with causes. The group uses a crowdfunding platform to aid both businesses and charities.

How It Works – A charity enrolls in the program and sets up a fundraising campaign to target their goal. Then the nonprofit asks companies to make a small donation whenever a customer visits their business.

The app identifies donation hot-spots in your area. It could be a restaurant, coffee shop, or sporting event. When you go to the location, you log your attendance on the app. The business makes a donation to a cause, and you receive a promotional offer, inviting you to return to the business. You also have the option of sharing your supportive action on social media. A direct link enables you to learn more about the charity and supporting business.

4. STAND – Free for iOS and Android

Helps – Social causes

vivienne-harr-make-a-standSponsor – Vivienne Harr, an 8-year-old girl who raised money to abolish child slavery by selling lemonade. Customers were encouraged to donate whatever they could afford. In 2013, one year after Vivienne began the initiative, STAND was established as a social purpose corporation. As of June 2015, the company had raised $2.25 million.

How It Works – The app displays humanitarian campaigns. Anyone can create a campaign, termed a “STAND.” Money is remitted to each nonprofit on a monthly basis. The public charity GuideStar assesses each nonprofit, ensuring it functions ethically. Currently, there are 36 different campaign categories, such as literacy, animal welfare, and the environment. App users are divided into two classifications. A STANDer creates a campaign for any social cause. A giver donates to campaigns.

As a giver, choose a category on the app, and you’ll see corresponding STANDS supporting it. Tap on the STAND logo, and select “Give to a STAND.” Then you can choose a STAND to make a contribution. Tap the “Give” button, and you’re directed to a donation screen where you can indicate the amount, and enter your credit card information.

As a STANDer, tap on the STAND logo and select “Create a Stand.” Then you can choose a nonprofit to support, and upload a photo for your STAND. Setting up a STAND requires a donation of $100. If this amount is beyond your means, you can request the financial assistance of friends and family.

NOTE – Another way to support STAND is to purchase Vivienne’s lemonade. It’s now sold in grocery stores across the West Coast. “Make a Stand Lemon-Aid” is certified organic, Fair-Trade, and non-GMO. It contains less sugar than most lemonades and comes in four flavors, original recipe, cranberry twist, tropical mango, and ginger squeeze. For every bottle purchased, 5 percent is donated to six organizations working to end child slavery.

5. GIVE 2 CHARITY – Free for iOS and Android

Helps – Humanitarian and environmental causes

Sponsor – Placed, a mobile ad company providing funds to technology businesses

How It Works – After installing the app, you grant permission to have it track the time you spend carrying or using your phone daily. The time you accrue is allotted points, which are converted into monetary awards. For example, if you amass 1,500 points, you’re awarded $2. If you rack up 3,000 points, you earn $5. You then donate the money to a nonprofit of your choice from a list of participating charities. The app requires activation of your GPS so it can track your location. Data is used in surveys and is protected from exploitation. You can opt out at any time by uninstalling the app.

The Placed company tallies all money allocated and makes a donation to each charity at the end of the month. You can earn extra points by referring friends to the app and by answering survey questions. The list of charities includes Sandy Hook Promise, The Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Humane Society.


A tap on your app is all it takes to help those in need. Consider uploading:

  • Donate A Photo
  • Share The Meal
  • Check-In For Good
  • Stand
  • Give 2 Charity

Isn’t mobile technology wonderful? With your generous heart of gold, so are you!