TheNextWeb had a neat article on a new social app that suggests micro-donations to charity instead of small personal purchases like grabbing coffee. The app is for the iOS and it is called “Instead”. Developed by a non-profit, Ovenbits, it aims to put your daily purchases into context – instead of paying $4 for that next cup of coffee, how about donating that money instead? The app apparently has a list of potential personal purchases that can be substituted and should you decide to donate money, has a list of non-profit possibilities that you can donate to right through the app.
It is a pretty cool way of capitalizing on mobile media devices and social media to encourage giving. Since users always have their mobile devices on them, it can serve as a constant reminder of what we spend money on and what else it could be used for. Perhaps it will educate people on how far their money really goes and encourage more to get into the giving mood. Of course, one drawback described on the website is that Ovenbits takes 5% of the donation to cover transaction costs. At least they are upfront about it and they are a non-profit themselves. Overall, it is a refreshing reminder of how much good media could be doing!