My top five charity smartphone and tablet apps

In the month that Unicef has launched its pioneering Tap Project, I round up the best smart phone and tablet apps launched by the third sector.


You only have to look around you to realise that mobile usage is increasing. Smart phones, tablets and notebooks are progressively becoming the number one choice for internet usage in the UK. With 7 in 10 people in the UK owning a smart phone, many charities and non-profit organisations have entered the market for a variety of reasons including increasing donations, raising awareness, or to keep their supporters up to date with latest developments.

Here at Connect Assist, we are constantly on the lookout for the best ways to help charities support their users and increase their revenue. Harnessing smart phone and tablet technology will play a significant part in both of these critical aspects in the third sector. In this blog, I have rounded up my top five charity apps.

1.    Tap Project by Unicef

tappro     tapproj

This project launched just last week, has already gained a considerable amount of buzz on social media and in the press. The program gives users the opportunity to give a disadvantaged child a day’s clean water. In essence, the longer you don’t use your phone, the more money will be donated.

This is a free program and doesn’t require a donation; all that users have to do is to go without their phone for a period of time. To access the program you just type ‘’ into your phone’s browser, start the program and then leave your phone. Every ten minutes you don’t use your phone, one of the sponsoring companies, such as Giorgio Armani, will donate a day’s clean water.

2.    First Aid by British Red Cross 

iPhone screenshot - learn first aid with no spotlight

Worldwide, over a million people have installed this app to their smart phone and it remains one of the most popular charity apps on the market. The charity provides a program to help during emergency situations ranging from an asthma attack to a broken bone.

The app has videos and information, as well as a tab dedicated to testing users’ knowledge. There is also a child and baby alternative.

3.    Changefolio


This is a little different to other apps. Rather than being open on a user’s phone, it is connected to a person’s internet spending; online or on mobile. Users signing up for Changefolio are able to link their bank account to the program and then set how much they want to donate and when. For example, users who buy their groceries online can choose to give a percentage of their shopping value to a charity, each time they shop. All payments are made automatically whenever a linked purchase is detected on their bank statement.

Users can manage and track their donations at any time through their account dashboard. At the moment this program is only available in the US but it is a great way of recognising how much you spend and how much you can afford to give to charity.

4.    Hurricane App by American Red Cross

american hurricane app

The Hurricane app provides users with location-based weather alerts, details of open Red Cross shelters, as well as steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan.

The Red Cross also preloads many of the features onto your phone or tablet so users do not need an internet connection to access information. The app also includes a ‘toolkit’ with a flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm.

Alongside these potentially vital features is its connection with social media. By connecting the app to the users’ Facebook or Twitter accounts, it allows them to broadcast an “I’m Safe” message to their loved ones.

5.    My Life as a Refugee by Unicef


With 50,000 downloads worldwide, this app is unique as it is a game with the objective of raising awareness of the work Unicef does in war torn countries.

The game is fairly simple: users are presented with decisions to make for whichever character they’re playing as, – sometimes within a tight 30-second time limit.

The app forces players to consider the same life-changing decisions refugees face every day. Many users have reviewed this app as a wonderful way to educate children on life for less advantaged people.

To sum up, these apps demonstrate the limitless potential for apps in the third sector. In the UK alone, there are 44 million smart phone users, and apps produced with the mix of creativity and engaging content can provide essential services to users – even saving lives in some instances.

Apps can also boost charities’ fundraising efforts and help support their supporters donors by keeping them up to date with last news and developments at the touch of a button.

With increasing numbers of charities discovering the benefits of investing in app technology, I would love to find out what your favourite charity app is and how you use it! Have apps helped you in the past? Or is your charity thinking about how it could use apps to engage with its users?

Get in touch below!

2 thoughts on “My top five charity smartphone and tablet apps

  1. Pingback: The Role of Technology [Apps] | MDes - Year 4

  2. Pingback: Connect AssistMy top five charity apps this year | Connect Assist

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