So rather than having a second beer tonight what would you think about donating that $5 bucks to a charity instead? Or how about going without that third Starbucks latte for a good cause?
A Texas-based non-profit behind the micro-donation app Instead, is encouraging millions of iPhone users "to live within or below their means in order to give to the charity of their choice." And they want you to Tweet about it when you do.
I found Instead to be a simple but incredibly well designed app that infuses "social" into charitable giving, while making the process easy to manage. Dial up the consumable luxury you intend to give up and then add a specific dollar amount to it. The next step is choosing a non-profit from Instead's huge list of charities. I liked the idea of seeing Trending non-profit organizations at the top of a scrollable, alphabetized list.
The app even includes a Suggest button that lets each user inform the Instead team about the kind of charities they're passionate about supporting. When I dug into their Twitter stream, it became obvious that a non-profit like The Move Project, had already been adopted into the app's list of charities as a result of user input.
Another notable item here is donation transparency. The app makes it clear that 95% of all donations that go to Instead, Inc. are redistributed to each non-profit with 5% being set aside for the company to cover only mission critical operating costs.
If this mobile give more and take less brand of social philanthropy catches on, it's possible that Instead could quickly become the Kickstarter of charitable giving overnight with enough dedicated iPhone fingers leading the charge.
But is our gadget crazed, consumer driven culture ready and willing to set aside a small part of their own appetites in order to feed the needs of others? We're about to find out.
I'm convinced the idea of brown-bagging a few lunches in order to give the excess cash from eating out to a meaningful charity has the potential of being the next big thing in the hands of iOS users looking to make a difference.
If you can't already tell — I really like this app. I'm betting my next two grande lattes that you will too.