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Beth Kanter

Beth Kanter

Posted: December 5, 2010 03:42 PM

Why is it so Hard to Make a Donation on My iPhone, Mr. Jobs?


Back in June, I wrote about how unfriendly Apple's iPhone donation app policy was when I came across this editorial by Jake Shapiro, the CEO of PRX, (the company behind the popular This American Life iPhone and Public Radio Player apps), arguing that Apple's policy of barring solicitation of donations by nonprofit groups is a cop-out and blocks a major revenue stream for public radio (and other nonprofits) -- whose content enhances the value of Apple's devices.

His analysis looked at Apple's flimsy excuses for their policy of prohibiting donations. He examines possible solutions to the problem -- like in-app donations -- that unfortunately would mean that Apple would take a 30 percent cut. Finally, he examines Apple's lack of generosity as a failure of being a good corporate citizen.

In August, when PayPal added a donation feature that allowed users to make charitable contributions from within the services' iPhone app, it appeared that Apple might have listened. Unfortunately, in late October, Apple made them pull the plug with no warning and little explanation. You can read about it in this post over at GizModo.

In June, Jake Shapiro suggested that given Apple's hardball stance with tech partners, nonprofits and public media would have a slim chance of reversing the decision. Maybe if enough of us about social change, nonprofits, and making charitable donations and want the ease of doing it through our iPhones asked Steve Jobs to let us iGive on our iPhones, he might reverse this unfriendly-to-nonprofits policy.

I love my iPhone, but I don't want to support a company that is so nonprofit-unfriendly. Since none of these in-app donation challenges apply to the Android , as soon as my contract is up, I'm getting an Android. But, since I have a few more months on my contract, I'm sending Steve Jobs a message now by signing this online petition.

If you think Apple should change its nonprofit unfriendly policy about in-app donations on the iPhone, please sign the petition and share with your friends.

 
 
 

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