8 super easy ways to donate with these awesome apps

Published – SmartyPants Blog – Nov. 2018
Author – Caroline Fontein

Did you buy a coffee this morning? What if we told you for that same amount (and maybe even less if you purchased something like a flavored latte made with a dairy-free milk alternative), you could feed a starving child for a week.

Already get your workout in for the day? What about posting the obligatory photo on Instagram or Facebook? Is a FaceTime in your near future? Will you be shopping online? Are you nodding ‘yes’ yet?

At this rate, you could help protect endangered sea turtles, deliver life saving vaccines to children around the world, build a new home for families in need and make a blind man see – all before lunchtime.

Want to know the best part?

You barely even have to lift a finger (literally).

Thanks to some amazing apps, donating to a good cause, is just a tap away. Along with the convenience factor, you also have options when it comes to how and what you want to donate.

From the foodies to the workout fanatics, there’s a donation app for that.

Here at SmartyPants, we put together a list of our favorite apps and ways to donate to help you help save the world, one tap at a time.


Share The Meal App

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR: Anyone who loves helping others, eating well and sharing food pics.

HOW IT HELPS:  Described on their website as the world’s first app against global hunger, through ShareTheMeal you can help feed a hungry child for a day for only .$50.

You can elect to help feed children around the world or contribute to communities in need based on current events.
The app also gives users options when it comes to how much and how often you want to donate.

You can make a one-time donation ($.50) or donate for a week ($3.50), month ($15), three months ($45) or a year ($182.50). There’s also the option to feed more than one child at a time. Yay!

ABOUT: ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Each year they help about 80 million people in around 80 countries by distributing approximately 12.6 billion rations. Plus, ShareTheMeal focuses on sustainable food assistance that enables people and communities to provide for themselves in the future.

FEES: Your full donation counts! This app is funded by the WPF and outside donations. For donors, this means your entire contribution goes towards providing food for those in need.

TAX DEDUCTIBLE: Not necessarily. Donations made through ShareTheMeal are considered to be personal gifts. However, according to their FAQs, this depends on the local regulations in your country. So, check with your accountant if you have questions.

BONUS: If you’re someone who loves sharing food pics, you can do that here too with the app’s camera giving option. All you have to do is take a photo of your food, apply the #ShareTheMeal filter, share your meal and share on your social media. You get to show off your awesome eats and goodwill along with helping to build awareness for an amazing cause.


Charity Miles

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR Runners and walkers and cyclists. Oh my! Anyone who engages in daily exercise whether it’s at the gym or inside. Even walking your dog counts.

HOW IT HELPS: Why not let your workout game benefit more than just your health? With Charity Miles you can turn your daily walk, run or biking into an opportunity to raise money for charity. How’s that for motivation? The app partners with more than 40 charities. So you can choose to move for whichever one you feel most passionate about. You get to get moving and a sponsor donates to a charity of your choosing on your behalf.

To start donating all you have to do is select your charity and the type of workout you’re doing. Then based on how far you go, you’ll earn money for charity just by using the app.

ABOUT: Charity Miles is funded by corporate sponsors like Johnson & Johnson, Brooks Running, Blueprint for Athletes and others. These companies repurpose their advertising budgets to help the greater good, while also getting some some good exposure in the process. Companies can also elect to sponsor a charity up to a certain donation amount like what we did with SmartyPaws and the Humane Society of the United States. With your help and Charity Miles, we raised $25,000 for this incredible organization.

FEES: There are none. You’re just donating your time, and a sponsor donates on your behalf.


BONUS: CharityMiles also doubles as a fitness tracker. In addition to helping raise money for a good cause, you can also use the app to log your miles and keep track of your progress by day, month and year.

Donate a Photo

Donate a Photo Donation App

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR: Do you already love sharing photos of yourself on social media (says everybody)? Why not let your selfies support a good cause like helping a newborn breathe or creating a safe space for kids at school. As if just sharing your face wasn’t enough.

HOW IT HELPS: With Donate a Photo by Johnson & Johnson all you have to do is select a charity to support and share a photo through the app. Then, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to your cause. From there you can share it on your social media to help inspire your friends (i.e. show off all the good you’re doing). The only down side, you’re limited to one photo a day (darn).

ABOUT: Donate a Photo is paired with a variety of causes in different categories from women’s and children’s health to emergency relief. According to the app, the $1 donation helps get things like medicine for an infant or life-changing surgery for a child. In addition to this, your photos also help raise awareness so that others may be inspired to donate. All the photos shared through the app become part of the Donate a Photo gallery. The app’s FAQs indicate that these photos may be used to promote the app but that they will never be used to sell any products or for commercial use. So far, users have donated more than 3 million photos to help 198 different causes.

FEES: Since you aren’t donating money, technically, there are none. You donate a photo, and Johnson & Johnson donates a $1 to a non-profit on your behalf.


BONUS: You can share any photo. Selfies. Pet selfies. Food pics. Your newborn. Your favorite outfit. Literally anything (unless otherwise specified). So start snapping and saving the world!


CoinUp App

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR: The everyday spender, along with anyone who hates spare change (everyone).

HOW IT HELPS: Let’s make some change. And give it to charity. (See what we did there?) That’s what CoinUp can do. This app lets you round up your purchases and donate the extra change to a good cause. All you have to do is select the non-profit you want to support, spend as usual and the app rounds up your transactions and donates according to your set limits. CoinUp is paired with a number of different non-profit organizations in categories that range from anti-bullying to the environment and health care. Want to help save endangered bonobos or stop slavery and trafficking in the United States? It’s all about change (your change).

ABOUT: CoinUp was built on the words of Howard Zinn, “Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can change the world.” With the app’s user-friendly interface, you can personalize your giving through everyday spending at a budget that works for you. It’s important to note that about 15 percent of your donation will be used to cover some minimal transaction fees. But this is below the national average of about 25 percent for fundraising costs.

TAX DEDUCTIBLE: It should be, but the app recommends talking to your tax advisor. At the end of the year the app will send you a receipt of your donations.

FEES: There is a $1 one-time fee changed to new users to authenticate their bank account. In addition to this, CoinUp uses about 15 percent of your donation to cover transaction fees and operating costs.

BONUS: What were you going to do with that extra $.47 anyway?


Fotition App

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR Anyone who’s creative, slightly competitive and ready to take their photography skills to a new level of “fun-draising.”

HOW IT HELPS: With Fotition you can discover campaigns and things you care about and help raise money for those causes by partificapting in fun photo challenges. You contribute a photo, and sponsors of the app make a donation on your behalf. The donation amount varies by competition and sponsor.

For example, one recently completed challenge asked users to post a fruit face selfie in an effort to increase the number of meals being donated to children in need. Just by sharing a photo through the app, users helped generate 20,000 meals.

ABOUT: Fotition helps users empower their photos for the greater good. It’s one thing to post a photo on Instagram, but with this app you can post with purpose and help raise money for a cause you’re passionate about. Everybody wins.

FEES: There are none. You share a photo and a sponsor donates a specified amount to the cause on your behalf.


BONUS: With some challenges you may even have the opportunity to win a prize. It’s fun, easy and you can do it in a snap.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes App

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR: Are you someone who always tries to get people to see things your way. With this app, it’s guaranteed.

HOW IT HELPS: Through Be My Eyes you can volunteer and help blind and low-vision people around the world, just by doing a video call. Sighted volunteers may help with things like checking expiry dates, finding lost or dropped items, reading labels on household products, distinguishing colors and navigating new surroundings.

The app has options for either blind or low-vision users and sighted volunteers to join, and it’s available in 150 countries. If you join as a sighted volunteer, you’ll get a step-by-step guide on how to answer a call. Don’t worry if you may not always have an open schedule (who does?). When a blind or visually-impaired individual requests help, the app notifies multiple volunteers, and the first person to respond gets the call.

ABOUT: Be My Eyes launched in 2015. Since then, more than 1.5 million volunteers have signed up. As a result, users can request assistance in more than 180 languages, making it the biggest online community for blind and low-vision people and one of the largest micro-volunteering platforms in the world.

Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a visually-impaired Danish furniture craftsman, founded the app. He believed that the technology of video calls could help people like himself by utilizing a community of volunteers, instead of having to rely on family and friends. Jørgen presented his idea at a Danish startup event, and three years later the app was released for iOS. Today, there are more than 100,000 blind and low-vision individual users with the majority of calls being connected within 30 seconds.



BONUS: While the app has already reached 100,000 individuals, their goal is to help the some 35 million blind people and 220 million low-vision people worldwide. You can help them achieve this just by keeping an eye out.


One Today App

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR: Anyone who can spare a buck.

HOW IT HELPS: A little can go a long way like providing 2 hours of free education for anyone anywhere and giving clean water to a child in an underdeveloped nation for a month. Those are just some of the ways a $1 donation can help through Google’s OneToday app.

ABOUT: The app helps connect users with a different non-profit project every day. From there, you can learn about new nonprofits, make a donation and invite friends to give and match your donation.

One of the benefits of this app is that google covers all the processing fees. Therefore, 100% of your donation goes to support a good cause.

TAX DEDUCTIBLE: Yes! You’ll get a receipt at the end of the year with all your deductions.

FEES: There are none (said no one ever). Leave it to google to work out how to cover any and all operation fees so that 100% of your donation goes to help benefit the project you select.

BONUS: Because the app is constantly serving up new projects in the categories of animals, health and poverty, it’s a useful tool for staying up-to-date on what’s happening in the world outside of your IG feed.


goodshop app

WHO IT’S PERFECT FOR: Shopaholics, bargain hunters, coupon clippers and anyone with an eye for a good deal. From travel to cosmetics, clothes and pretty much anything, if you love shopping, this is the app for you.

HOW IT HELPS: You select the cause you want to support. From there all you have to do is shop online using promo codes for deals on thousands of retailers. Then, GoodShop donates a percentage of your purchase. Some of the app’s partners include Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Red Cross, the ASPCA, American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. So far, GoodShop has helped raise more than $12 million.

ABOUT: Siblings Ken and JJ Ramberg co-founded GoodShop. The site started as a charitable search engine called GoodSearch. Today, GoodShop is partnered with more than 3,000 retailers. With partners like Target, Amazon, Macy’s, Old Navy, Apple and Pottery Barn (to name a few), it’s easy to shop for what you want and give back, at the same time. Your donation comes from the GoodShop’s referral fee charged to retailers. They split the fee 50/50 so that half of it goes to the cause you select. From there, you can keep track of the money you “raise” in your user profile.


FEES: There are no fees to you. The donations come from 50 percent of a referral fee that GoodShop charges to their retail partners.

BONUS: You get access to some seriously great deals while also helping a good cause, and there’s no additional cost to you. Next time you feel like splurging, do it! You could help save children’s lives in 190 countries (UNICEF) or find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease (Project A. L. S.)

There are our eight easy ways to donate. Thanks to technology and your smartphone, with the smallest gesture, you can make a big difference. Who knew helping the planet and mankind could be this easy?

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