10 Free Phone Apps to Give Back this Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, many of us are filled with the giving spirit, but between things like family commitments, work, and seeing friends, you may discover it’s difficult to find the time (or the money) to give back to your community.  Check out the ten free to download phone apps listed below to find easy, little ways to help others.  Whether it’s taking your dog for a walk, snapping a picture of your meal, or answering trivia questions – all of these activities can be converted into a donation to a charity in need!

Donate a Photo
– Share a photo on the app and Johnson & Johnson will make a $1 donation to the charity of your choice from their curated list of nonprofits
– Limit of one photo per day; however, that adds up to $365 a year!
– $$$ comes from Johnson & Johnson, whom owns the app
– For Android & Apple


Charity Miles
– Launch the app, give it permission to access your GPS, then MOVE!
– Walkers & runners earn 25 cents per mile, bikers earn 10 cents per mile, which is donated to the charity of your choice from their curated list of nonprofits
– $$$ comes from corporate sponsors, aka advertisements
– For Android & Apple


Walk for A Dog
– Choose an animal shelter from the list on the app
– Take your phone with you when you walk your dog or when you walk by yourself!
– Funds from each donation period are divided among shelters based on the number of active users. Use the app at least once a week. The more active users a certain shelter has, then the more funds will be donated to that shelter.
– $$$ comes from corporate sponsors, aka advertisements
– For Android & Apple

Be My Eyes
– When a blind or low vision person needs assistance, you’ll receive a video call to help.  Users may need help from volunteers with anything from checking an expiration date, distinguishing colors, reading instructions, or navigating new surroundings.
– Busy when you receive the video call? Be My Eyes sends out multiple calls to see who is available when a request comes in.decline the video call and the person needing help will still be matched with someone.
– No $$$ involved!
– For Android & Apple

Pocket Rice
– Answer trivia questions
– 10 grains of rice are donated to Feeding America for each correct answer you give
– $$$ comes from advertisements
– For Android & Apple


– Download the app and allow it to run in the background to earn points.  You can also earn points for answering surveys and referring friends.
– Points can be converted into donations to the charity of your choice from their list
– As the app runs in the background, it collects marketing data from your locations, which companies then purchase.  The data is not connected to your personal information.  The $$$ is split between the app and your choice of charity.
– For Android & Apple

Coin Up
– The app links securely to your debit or credit card and then rounds up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar amount – the amount rounded up is the money that gets donated to the nonprofit of your choice from their list of registered groups.
– You can set monthly caps for how much spare change is donated
– For Android & Apple


Share the Meal
– When you sit down to eat (or any time of the day) tap in the app to donate 50 cents to the Nations World Food Programme.
– 50 cents feeds one hungry child for one day
– Customize:  select which country you would like your donation to go to, follow the progress of donations, and see where meals are distributed
– the app links securely to your credit or debit card
– For Android & Apple

One Today
– Choose from a number of causes, browse new projects, and get inspired by others’ generosity.  Once you choose an organization to which you would like to donate, you can use the app to make an easy $1 donation – the recommended amount.  After you donate, you’ll receive a real world photo, short story, and simple explanation of what your dollar actually makes better!
– For Android & Apple


– Matches you with nonprofits based on basic information about yourself, your hobbies, and your philanthropic interests – it’s like a dating app, but for giving!
– Donate to all your causes in one place with recurring or one-time gifts
– Organize and itemize your charitable giving for tax deductions
– For Apple Only

This post was originally written by Colleen Melone, former Adult & Teen Services Supervisor at the Crest Hill Branch.

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