Location-based mobile apps allow users to share their excursions with their friends and earn rewards for checking in at certain places.
Part of a growing trend, these check-in focused mobile apps have merged their corporate sponsorships with charity partnerships to give users the opportunity to do good through everyday outings. For example, by shopping a specific store or dining at a specific restaurant -- and checking in on your mobile phone -- you can earn rewards from the business that correlate to donation dollars to any of the partner charities.
CauseWorld is one of the popular applications in the space. Since its December 2009 release, Mashable reports users have participated enough to get 332,000 meals donated, 39,000 books given away, among many other charity milestones.
CauseWorld, available as a free download for both iPhones and Android devices, was shopkick's trial application to test the waters in the company's "mobile meets retail" efforts, but has become a surprise success story. It shows the promising future the "charity checkin" has in the rapidly growing location-based application arena.
According to Mashable, other major players in the location-based app market -- Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt -- have all tried various methods of including charity components in their applications.
The new Facebook mobile technology has also integrated similar check-in functions as part of their expansion of "Facebook Places." The charity check-in hasn't been left out of the equation.
The app also offers a check-in for charity option that allows customers to donate money to a charity as a reward for visiting the business.