Charities are turning their attention to iPhone apps as a means of encouraging donations. Figures show that 1.2 billion people worldwide own a smartphone, and so naturally charities should embrace this new technology within their campaigns. The initial hype surrounding the release of an exciting new app should not be underestimated. One of the apps mentioned below, the controversial iHobo, rose to the top of the iTunes download chart in just one week.
Tom Ewart of Publicis suggests the importance of grabbing attention with advertising campaigns “without falling back on the traditional route of creating a high-impact, attention-grabbing TV or poster ad.” Below are some of the most innovative app ideas around at the moment:
1. My Life as a Refugee – The UN refugee agency created this app to demonstrate the hardships of being a refugee. The user becomes a character, immersed in a virtual world and faces decisions which ultimately decide their fate.
2. iHobo – Created by the charity Depaul UK, which aims to raise awareness about homeless teenagers. The app provides an insight into their lives, giving the user the chance to make contact with a virtual victim. Notifications are sent from the homeless character when he needs attention. These are normally situations about basic human needs, such as where to sleep at night. Donations are made at the end of a three day period.
3. Do Some Good – Created by Orange Mobile, this app promotes the idea of micro-volunteering, where users can complete tasks to benefit their community in a way which is not difficult or time consuming. This could be as simple as filling out a short survey.
4. Charity Miles – An American app developed to encourage users to exercise to raise money for charity. Users simply choose their preferred charity, press start and start walking, biking or running. Bikers earn 10 cents per mile; walkers and runners 25 cents, which corporate sponsors then pay to charity.
5. The Flame – This is a graphic novel raising money for Ethiopiaid, celebrating the success of a small town in Ethiopia from which Olympian runners came from. Every app sold gives 25% to the charity.
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