Mobile Giving Takes One Step Forward

Mobile Giving Takes One Step Forward

Sticking with their “Do no evil” mantra, Google has created the first mobile app that make philanthropy easy and, most importantly, social.

One Today is an Android-only app that let’s you donate a dollar (only a dollar per day) to either the featured nonprofit or an organization in their Google for Nonprofits program.

Google One Today home page

Let’s say you want to donate more than $1. That’s where it goes social. If you want to make a bigger impact then you have to convince them to match your donation (at $1 each) and spread the word. Of course, there’s a variety of ways to let your social media circles know you donated and that’s part of the fun.

As donations roll in the social donors see the impact pooling their resources can have.

Looking at your impact isn’t just a number of how much you donated – but it also tells you what your donation does. At the time of using the application, $93 were donated to Em”powering” the Def in Sierra Leone which totaled in over three days of solar power. I found myself checking back often to see how the charity was doing.

We love the idea behind this app because it not only lowers the barrier of entry for new donors, it keeps them engaged and coming back. Text to give fundraising has its place, but for most nonprofits it’s prohibitively expensive and you most of the time you never see those people again. It’s a one time hit for $1-$5-$10 and that’s the end of the relationship.

google one today screens

This platform has the opportunity for a longer tail that integrates communication, fundraising, and storytelling for long-term success. The only bummer is it’s still invite-only, but you can request an invite after installing the app.



One Today

Features a different organization every day. The full list of Google for Nonprofits organizations are available to receive donations.

FREE – invite only, though.


Solving Mobile Giving

<getting on soapbox>

You can’t talk about mobile giving without mentioning the gorilla, Apple.

Talking about mobile giving in general it’s been difficult to donate through your phone unless it was for disaster relief. With this app Google just made the Android ecosystem much easier to navigate.

Unfortunately for iPhone users, it’s much the same as when Beth Kanter posted about ditching her iPhone in 2010. You can donate through the browser, but that’s usually a lot of pinching and typing on a small screen. Lots of friction when you want that process to be as easy as possible. I’ve read vague promises of a new Paypal app (unlike the one that got pulled for having in-app transactions), but haven’t seen anything pop up yet. Don’t hold your breath.

We are a mobile culture. We depend on our phones and being connected more than ever. It’s time that includes philanthropy. It’s inevitable that this functionality will be widely available in the future—as soon as the rest of the manufacturers like Apple catch up.

If you’d also like Apple to get with the times on nonprofit giving, fill out their feedback form and let them know.

</soapbox rant over>


What’s your thoughts on mobile giving? What do you think is the tipping point for when it can’t be ignored?


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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.