Apps for Altruism

Charity is often touted in mainstream media as something reserved for billionaire celebrities. Countless stories of immense amounts donated by the likes of Bill Gates and Matt Damon populate the airwaves and in turn cultivate this idea that philanthropy is something reserved for the ultra-wealthy. Absolutely not. Charity can and should be the duty of each and every one of us. Only by standing together will we ultimately see society move forward. In light of this, there are a number of ways charity can be integrated into your daily routine without taking a major toll on your pocketbook. In fact, you may not notice the toll at all. Below are some everyday apps you can use to do your part in making this world a better place:


This ingenious application makes altruism easier than ever. With the idea of “microdonations, macro impact,” this app displays your normal everyday choices (like a regular cup of coffee) and directly illustrates what that same amount of money can do for someone else. For instance, you know the three dollars you spend on your daily coffee? That could give a South Sudanese child clean water for a year. Pretty powerful stuff.

Charity Miles

One of my favorite philanthropic apps out there, Charity Miles actually lets you donate without denting your bank account in the slightest. Forget having to forgo your daily consumption habits. Just add a few miles to your routine instead. This app measures the distance of your running route and donates money for the distance traveled. If you’re a runner, every mile yields 25 cents for a trusted cause of your choice. If you’re a bicyclist, the donation is ten cents per mile. The app currently has an immense $1 million corporate sponsorship that is only increasing as it grows in popularity.

One Today

A product of the inventive minds at Google, One Today strives to increase nonprofit exposure. By generating a series of not for profits every day on an intuitive interface, this app presents to users causes they otherwise would never see, and then users (if they like the cause) can donate a dollar to the organization of their choice. One Today makes it very easy to share causes with friends and family, and even lets you match your friends’ donations. Oh yeah, did I mention all donations are tax deductible and grouped together for simple year-end tax planning?

There is no reason charity should be confined to the pocketbooks of the massively wealthy. No one expects you to change the world with a single donation, but you can change a life. Donate proportionally and make the difference others deserve.