Screenshots of the apps featured in this blog
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Posted by Linda

Hi again - we are back with part 4 of our review of charity smartphone apps. As we said in our last blog, many people flocked to this channel - and we know more charities are working on new apps - so this series of blogs might go on for an interesting while!

Save the Children - Woolify

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

This is a cute, simple and well-executed app from the well known charity, Save the Children.

It is a fun based app that lets you add a photo of a face to a selection of funny Christmas jumper photos.

This is all to create buzz and noise around their popular Christmas jumper seasonal fundraising appeal where they ask supporters to donate and all wear a Christmas or cheesy jumper on the same day.

Using the app is easy and you can 'Woolify' as many times as you like - each time you create a new photo it appears on a Christmas tree like a bauble that sway when you tilt the phone. You can select the different woolified photos and share by text message, email or Twitter.

Amnesty International - AiCandle

Asks for donations? No (Asks you to campaign instead)
Links to website donate form? No
Responsive giving forms? N/A
Text to donate? No
Has other monetisation? No
Has native iPad version? No

When you open the AiCandle app you get a quick description of what Amnesty International does, and then an unlit candle with the invitation to 'Use your voice'.

When you speak into the microphone the candle lights. This is a nice touch as much of Amnesty's supporter asks are to use their voices in campaign actions to progress change and justice all over the world.

Below this are 4 navigational icons that read:

  • AiCandle
  • News
  • Activism
  • More...

The AiCandle button takes you back to the main screen, while under the news tab there is a nice and fast loading feed of news from the organisation. There is always a picture which livens up the colour on the page and it has a well placed share option to spread the word about the news story by email or on Facebook. You can also cycle through the news with arrow buttons once you are in the article so you don't have to go up a level and back in, which is a nice user touch.

When you hit the 'Activism' button you are present with a feed of the latest campaign actions you can take part in to support a number of causes all related to justice and human rights.

In order to take the actions you have to have an account with Amnesty which you use to log in and take part in the campaigns.

In the 'More...' section you can learn more about the charity and how AiCandle came about. In addition you can learn more about their campaigns in more detail that also have some video content.

There is also a privacy policy and a very useful and easy navigate directory of all of their international offices.

Marie Curie

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

It’s not immediately obvious how this app works or what you are supposed to do when you open the app.

You are presented with 3 options:

  • Start collecting
  • Collection summary
  • About

When you select ‘ About’ it becomes clear that the app is supposed to act as a virtual collection tin, that can use your phone’s contact list to ask the people you choose to send a text message donation of either £2 or £5 which will be deducted from their bill.

We immediately thought this was a pretty clever idea, but it would have been nice to have this information a level up - or it explained better somehow without having to stumble into the ‘About’ page. Even that could have been better titled ‘About this app’.

Once you’ve made a start with your collections you can track your progress under the ‘Collection summary’ option, which is a great way to keep you motivated and feel good about your fundraising.

It’s worth noting at this point that you have to let the app have access (through your smartphones security settings) to your contacts list to get the most out of it.

When you click ‘Start collecting’ You can then use an option to select contacts which let’s you select as many or little as you like and a field to put your name in.

It then merges the name you enter into that field into a text message that reads:

“Linda is collecting for Marie Curie to help provide vital end of life care for terminally ill patients … Please reply 5 to donate £5 or 2 to donate £2.”

You can also see this message in the gallery on this page!

So, all in all we really liked this app - it was a unique idea we hadn’t seen done before and a very clear ask to the supporter without lots of other content to distract or take focus away from it’s core fundraising aspect.

Stay tuned for part 5

There's a lot more apps we've discovered and we're going to keep going through them to make this as comprehensive as follows. Apparently there is a new app about to land from a very big, and very well known charity, so we might even post an extra special blog about that.

Thanks for reading this and we hope you found it interesting. If we ever appear critical it is only meant to be in the most constructive sense. We approach using each app as a user and just report on the experience as we go along. This helps us understand too, what makes a great app and what doesn’t so we can help charities with advice on this too.

Catch up on the other parts to this blog series:

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