The use of iPhone Apps that benefit the nonprofit sector is going to explode in 2010. Hundreds of iPhone Apps created by nonprofits and nonprofit service providers are quietly preparing for an early 2010 launch. That said, there are three iPhone Apps currently live and available for download that give us a good picture of how iPhone Apps can be utilized by nonprofits, activists, and donors:

1) Geolocation Activism :: CauseWorld

CauseWorld empower users earn “karma points” when they walk into stores and check in with their cell phone. No purchase is required at any store, and karma points can be redeemed to benefit  nine predefined good causes. CauseWorld will appeal to the online activists… those folks that love to recruit you to join Causes on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s unclear how much $$ = 1 Karma. It’s a creative mobile adaptation of cause marketing that speaks to the power and possibilities of geolocation for social good. My guess is we will see many more such Apps and gelocation services launch in 2010.

2) Fundraising :: Charity Finder

CharityFinder allows users to donate to over 1,800 nonprofits via simple nonprofit profiles that have a “Support”
button which links to the nonprofit’s website. The App is is very much first generation and needs improvement, but they earn kudos for being the first to attempt such an App. CharityFinder gives us a peak at what could be in App Philanthropy. Imagine an App that uses the GuideStar database, allows donations with one tap, and then emails you a receipt and year-end tax report. That’s an App that will change philanthropy as we know it. The question is who is going to build it?

3) Volunteerism :: The Extraordinaries

The Extraordinaries allows people to complete micro-tasks for nonprofits and causes that  they’re passionate about. Users of the App can photograph and upload mobile photos of animal abuse for Big Cat Rescue, report pollution for Heal the Bay, or record messages of encouragement for children living in
poverty around the world for Christel
. This App has received quite a bit of buzz over the last few months and will likely expand in 2010. My guess is the micro-tasks will begin to include calls to action via text messages to contacts on your cell phone and calls to “Share” on Facebook or Twitter. Lots of possibilities!

Related Link:
Webinar: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Successfully Utilize Group Texting, Mobile Websites, and Smartphones Apps