Best charity donation apps - our top 5 for mobile giving

Top 5 Charity Donation Apps

In this post we explore the best mobile apps for charity donations. There are some really creative apps out there, all focused on getting donations to charities.

If you are a charity wanting to take donations on your website you should also read about the charity fundraising websites with low fees.

Charity donation and fundraising websites

Find a great charity fundraising website and understand how to take charity donations on your website. 

Our favourite mobile giving apps

We think the charity mobile apps outlined below are great because they are using mobile technology to change giving behaviours. Some are new, and others have stood the test of time.

Below we look at what makes them successful and what we can learn about rethinking online fundraising and donations.

Share the Meal

ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme. When you download the app you can tap to donate as little as $0.50 to provide a meal for a child.

This app has recently launched and is focusing its efforts on donating to children at Za’atari refugee camp in North Jordan. It also encourages giving by comparing your giving with how many meals your friends have given.


Why it works

  • It’s targeting a current issue

  • It makes a physical connection: between a regular daily activity and donating

  • It makes an emotional connection: your abundance of food with the lack of food that millions are faced with.

Want to know more?

World Food Programme launches Share the Meal

Share your meal with Syrian Refugees

Snap Donate

Can donating be as simple as taking a quick snap of your favourite charity logo on your clever phone? SnapDonate enables you to make quick one-off donations to your choice of charity even if you have no cash or are not in an internet zone.

Snap Donate is a charity themselves and do not take any fees from the transaction. If the brand is not identified you can still use the in-app search tool to send donations to over 13000 charities. For more info on how to get involved as a charity or make a donation read more here.


Why it works

  • Donate on the go.

  • Physical connection between a brand logo and donations

  • Allows you to donate to various charities

Want to know more?

Snap Donate shaking the digital charity bucket

Snap Donate allows the public to donate to charities by snapping a picture of their logo

SnapDonate – charity logo-scanning app allows instant donations

Donate a photo

The Donate a photo app capitalises on all those hundreds of photos we take by turning them into cash for good causes. At no cost to you. For every photo that you share through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson gives $1 to a good cause.

The app uploads your photos to become part of the Donate a Photo gallery. But don’t worry, they will never be used to sell any products or for any other commercial purposes besides for the promotion of Donate a Photo.

This week over 16000 photos were donated! The initiative has been going for a good few years and manages to bring together CSR, charities and public donors in one sweet spot.


Why it works

  • Capitalising on an action we all do with our phones

  • Costs nothing for the supporter but gives giving satisfaction

  • Well known charities and specific causes are supported

  • Allows you to choose which cause to support

Want to know more?

Download Donate a Photo

Emma Roberts helps to launch a Donate a Photo campaign

Donate a Photo launches new app

Charity Miles

This nifty little app helps you raise money while being active, so it can help in more ways than one for those trying to keep fit.

All you need to do is download the app and for every mile you walk, run or cycle Charity Miles donates money to your chosen charity, so long as you share your workout on social media.


Why it works

  • Encourages good health

  • Costs nothing for the supporter but gives giving satisfaction.

  • Well-known charities and specific causes are supported.

Want to know more?

Donate to charities with every mile you walk or run

Fitness App Lets Charities Cash in on Your Exercise Routine


A similar idea to Share the Meal, Instead connects your consumption with causes that need your need. Instead of having another coffee out, donate cash to a water project in Africa.

The app sets challenges for you suggesting ideas that could decrease your consumption, for example by brewing a coffee instead of buying. Then, every time you decide to brew instead of buy, you log it in the app and donate a prespecified amount.

Your giving can be multiplied by challenging your friends or co-workers to find innovative ways to reduce costs and give the surplus.


Why it works

  • Connects your consumption to others lack

  • Turns mindless consumption into strategic giving

  • Creates challenges that encourage communal giving

Want to know more?

Donate your Coffee to a good cause

More donation apps!

If you are still hungry for more, here are a few more innovative charity donation apps:

One Today

Google sponsored so this one has some real backing. The idea is basically to allow people to give small amounts easily. Not exactly innovative.


This is quite a neat link up with corporate sponsors. You can give $1 for free and it is sponsored by the company. The process takes 20 seconds so essentially you are donating 20 seconds of your attention, presumably to see an advertisement from the sponsor.


Only available in the US and seems to be yet another app linking up donors with nonprofits. They’ve attracted a long list of nonprofits but it’s not clear how much money has been raised.


Buengo lets you raise money for charities and good causes while decluttering your home. Simply take a picture of something you no longer need, post it for sale in the app and choose which cause you'd like to donate the proceeds to. When someone buys the item, they pay in the app and the proceeds are donated directly to your chosen cause. Charities can also post virtual items for supporters to purchase, such as sleeping bags for a homeless charity or a school uniform for a child in need. The app also has a "Good News Feed", where users are encouraged to post about good things happening in their local community and how money raised is being spent. Buengo already has 50 charities signed up to fundraise, and users can even crowdfund for their own good causes. 

Should all small charities build a mobile app?

In the UK, mobile internet usage has officially toppled desk based usage. 33% of people use their mobiles to connect vs 19% on tablets and 30% on laptops. And laptop use is on a steady decrease. This is a massive opportunity for charity apps to become part of day to day life for many more people. 

But does this mean all small charities should build themselves a mobile app? Definitely not! The number of breakthrough apps not owned by Facebook, Google or Apple is at an all-time low, mobile app downloads are decreasing overall and the quality of mobile optimised websites mean that for most charities a mobile app is simply not necessary. And in addition, building your own mobile app is a huge undertaking that is often a massive waste of time and resources. Advances in charity web design technology over recent years means that a great mobile optimised website is the better choice for most small charities. 

27 November 2015