Charity Miles is a new app for iPhones and Androids that tracks mileage and donates to charities accordingly. Users, who can download the app for free, earn 10 cents a mile for charities biking and 25 cents if they are running or walking. Funded initially with $1 million from corporate sponsors, the app's creators hope that this is just the beginning and as it gains popularity they'll be able to secure more money.
After selecting from a list of charities, users simply have to start their workout in order to start earning money for the organization of their choosing. The app contains exercise-oriented features as well, allowing them to use GPS technology, time themselves, and track mileage and impact.
Charity Miles hopes to use social networking to attract consumers. In order for the money to go to charity, users must post about it on Facebook or Twitter. While this requirement may certainly help from a brand awareness standpoint, Joann Pan of Mashable points out that "first-time users within the Apple App Store and Google Play have commented that they do not like the auto-share aspect of the app." That's a valid point, but it's too soon to tell how much of a deterring factor it really is.
The current list of charities includes Achilles International, Autism Speaks, Feeding America, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Habitat for Humanity, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Pencils of Promise and The World Food Programme. The apps creators hope that as time goes on, they'll not only attract more sponsors but also be able to donate to a larger pool of charities.
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