The holidays are a popular time for altruistic pursuits. Donating to charity is an easy way to give back, and your contributions are tax deductible too (just in time for the end of the year.) And apps are making it even easier - and a little fun too. The following apps make it simple to donate, whether you're shopping, playing games or going for a run.
Have you always enjoyed competing with your friends? Whether you challenge them to run a marathon or play game of chess, you can now do good while you’re at it. You choose the challenge, and whoever loses has to make a preset micro-donation (e.g. $2) to a charity. There’s a range of charities to choose from, such as Breastcancer.org. The app integrates with Facebook, and has its own news feed and other social networking features.
Charity Miles allows you to earn sponsorships for charities as you walk, run or bike. The app developers currently have a pool of one million dollars and hope to find more sponsors going forward. First you need to enable the GPS on your smartphone. Your phone will then track the distance you travel; bikers earn 10 cents/mile; walkers and runners 25 cents/mile.
If you want to give donations to multiple charities, Givatron makes it easy to donate to any charity registered in North America directly from an Android phone. Donations are made via PayPal, which doesn’t charge any fees for payment processing on gifts. Once your donation is complete, you’ll automatically be sent an official tax receipt via email. You can make anonymous donations within the app too.
Looking to donate to a specific cause? Raise the Village is a unique app dedicated to helping Kapir Atiira, a struggling village in Uganda, rebuild. The app is a game in which you build a virtual village. Within the app, you can buy florin (currency) use it to buy supplies for your village; at the same time, you’ll be helping the real Ugandan community. You can see real-time photos of the village, meet the villagers in videos, and even watch as they receive donations funded by proceeds from the app. Whether you are virtually delivering mosquito repellent or growing crops, you will be making a difference.
Socialvest combines shopping with giving. Every time you purchase a product at one of your favorite stores, you’ll be giving back 1-35% of your total purchase to a U.S. non-profit organization of your choice. Current partnering retailers include Amazon, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Saks, Best Buy and more. To make things even easier, the app comes with a barcode scanner that allows you to compare prices and find out which store will donate the biggest "giveback."