Charity smartphone apps iphone screenshot
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Posted by Linda

Here we continue our serious of blog posts on mobile apps by charities. Three more are reviewd here - one for Children in Need, one for the Dog's Trust and one for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

BBC Children in Need - iPudsey

Asks for donations? Yes
Links to website donate form? Yes
Responsive giving forms? Yes
Text to donate? No
Has other monetisation? Yes
Has native iPad version? No

This is a fun-based app that is low on the awareness raising content but is cleverly attempting to integrate enjoyment with monetisation.

The basic idea is you find a source photo. Apply an animated mouth of your choosing on top of it.

You can for free record your own voice to play over the moving mouth animation. But the clever thing they have tried is to use a selection of celebrity supporters, who have pre-recorded funny messages that you have to pay 69p to use.

The app then encourages social sharing of your created videos to introduce a viral marketing aspect which is a nice idea to get it seeded around.

We don't know the results, of course, but we wonder how successful it may or may not have been.

Dog's Trust - iMutt

Asks for donations? Yes
Links to website donate form? Yes
Responsive giving forms? No
Text to donate? No
Has other monetisation? No
Has native iPad version? No

We were impressed with this from the offset. It appeared you had to follow the story of a dog - iMutt.

You get to name your iMutt what every you want. We called ours 'Mutty'.

On the first screen we can hear the sound of a dog home and are told we didn't treat Mutty well enough, and that is why he his here.

We then realises this had happened as we hadn't fed Mutty in the game so we started again and fed him.

It then told us he'd gone to the vet and it appeared we wouldn't be able to do anything more with the app until the following day. We did find this a bit frustrating after such a short time using the app.

The next day we got a notification to say Mutty was back from the vets. It then told us off as we didn't check on on Mutty quick enough.

Overall it acts as a good awareness raiser on the importance of keeping your dog well looked after and stimulated.

There are a number of links on the home screen and a small negative is that it was a bit of a weird user experience to have a link to a story so far, which had no content as the story hadn't started yet. But as soon as you start to use the app it

One other thing we noticed was that when you click the Twitter share you don't get a pre-populated message or hyperlink which we would have thought loses out on potential of more shares.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer - iBreastCheck

Asks for donations? Yes
Links to website donate form? Yes
Responsive giving forms? Yes
Text to donate? Yes
Has other monetisation? No
Has native iPad version? No

Breakthrough Breast Cancer are one of the largest breast cancer charities along with Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care.

Their work is focused on using money raised by its supporters to fund research into how to cure or prevent different kinds of breast cancers.

When you first open the app you are presented with three options. These are to:

  • Watch a video on how to check your self for breast cancer symptoms
  • View a slideshow of illustrations of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer with explanatory captions
  • Read a short price of written text which explains why it is so important to check yourself

The breast check video really shows in detail how a woman should check her breasts and there is also a commentary from member of the charity's staff.

The slideshow of illustrations is informative and they get across difficult subject matter well. The section ends with a call to action to 'help us' to encourage donations or further support.

At the end of the section that tells you why it is so vital to check yourself it has a button to set up a reminder to check yourself on a regular basis.

Across the bottom of the app is a tab called 'Risk'. When you go into this section there is a short quiz that captures data about your age range and asks various questions about your lifestyle. Lifestyle questions include the amount of alcohol you have and how much you exercise. When you get your report at the end,

The answers are not really tailored to your responses, but offer general advice / facts about the subject the original question related to.

At the end of the report it asks you to sign up for Breakthrough's email newsletter. We think this is good as the charity tries to encourage support or sign up at multiple points in the app.

Lastly we will look at the section that encourages you to support the cancer charity.

There are a lot of options in this section including ways to give a £3 or £5 text donation as well as information on their fundraising events and campaigning. They also give a lot of transparent information about data protection when using the app or signing up to support the charity which is good for instilling confidence in the supporter.

A well rounded app.

Catch up on the other parts to this blog series:

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