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NFPs Rally Against iPhone Donation Ban

16 December 2010 at 10:55 am
Staff Reporter
An online petition slamming technology giant, Apple for banning donations via Apps on iPhones is gaining momentum.

Staff Reporter | 16 December 2010 at 10:55 am


NFPs Rally Against iPhone Donation Ban
16 December 2010 at 10:55 am

An online petition by the Not for Profit world slamming technology giant, Apple for banning donations via Apps on iPhones is gaining international momentum.


Prolific blogger, Beth Kanter, whose blog focuses on how Not for Profits can use Social Media, has started an online petition with Care2 to bring the issue to the attention to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Kanter has also declared to her 366,666 twitter followers that she will be switching from using an iPhone to an Andriod phone over the fallout.

The online petition has passed the 7,000 signature mark and is set to easily reach the target of 10,000 signatures.

Apple does not allow donations to be made through applications on the iPhone or iPad, instead directing users to an organisation's website. One reason given by Apple is that it doesn’t want to be responsible for distributing the money to the correct organisations.

Jake Shapiro, executive director of the US based Not for Profit, Public Radio Exchange told the New York Times, that one of Apple’s major objections has been that if donations were to go through its payment mechanism, it would have to be in the business of managing and distributing funds and verifying charities as well.

At the moment, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of purchases made from the Apple Store – however it would not be able to do this from 'in-App' donations.

Make Poverty History has an App that generates money for the campaign through sales and Australian children’s charity Save the Children has released Earthquake Response – a disaster response game aimed at raising awareness of humanitarian disasters. No donations can be made to the organisations behind either App and 30% of the sale price goes straight to Apple.

Last year, PayPal added a feature to its iPhone App that allowed users to make charitable donations. PayPal partnered with MissionFish – an organisation that help NFPs to raise funds online – to create the donation feature. The simple process allowed users to chose any of the 18,000 organisations in the MissionFish database, select the amount to donate and hit submit.

After 2 months of it running, Apple forced PayPal to pull the plug on this new feature.

The NonProfit Quarterly says the decision to ban donations in Apps has the potential to further damage Apple’s image, already suffering due to its scant philanthropic track record, lack of charity pricing options, and poor social responsibility.

Signing the online petition, Ben Smith says as a Not for Profit fundraiser and community-oriented techie, its important to give technologies the power to help people engage with social causes. He says Apps are the new frontier for getting people engaged in their community.

Another signatory, Emily Vaughan says people can buy plenty of other things on their iPhones. Apple should do the socially and corporately responsible thing and let people contribute to more than consumerism on their iPhones.

Sign the petition here:

View Beth Kanter’s blog here:

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