Africare (Washington, DC)

1 September 2009

Africare Among First NGOs to Develop iPhone App

press release

Africare, the largest and oldest U.S. development organization focused solely on Africa, has launched an exciting new marketing campaign – Pass It On! – to highlight stories of people overcoming major issues on the African continent, issues such as unsafe drinking water, food insecurity, and the growing number of children orphaned by AIDS.

Taking an integrated approach, Pass It On! combines traditional Washington, DC, king size bus posters and back-lit Metro dioramas with "viral" social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the internet, along with one of the very first iPhone applications approved for non-profits. According to Beth Eisenberg, vice president of Business Development at iugo, the developers of Africare's application, "When a nonprofit needs support, it needs to connect to its supporters. The key is to find something that costs nothing for the supporter to embrace a cause they care about-- just their time and curiosity. The Africare iphone app… does just that!"  Among its many features, the application includes a photo gallery, video and a "Click to Donate" button, from which a person can use his or her phone bill to contribute.  To date, only three such applications have been created.

The Pass It On! campaign will use the new iPhone app to promote 16 featured individuals who are ready to tell you their story in a format that is ready to "pass on" to a friend or someone you know through video, social networks, e-mail and many hand-held devices. The stories range from the first female auto mechanic in Niger to a farmer overcoming desert conditions to grow food for his family to a group of women in Senegal who make dolls to support their health services devastated by 25 years of conflict – all through partnerships with Africare.

Trudi Rishikof, Africare Director of Communications and Marketing, noted the importance of reaching out as broadly as possible: "These are tight economic times for Americans and others around the world, but people still want to help those in need. Through this new iPhone app and the other social networks, it's easy to give $5 and perhaps skip that extra latte. Lots of people giving small amounts adds up to significant support for Africare's work, especially since 93 cents of every dollar goes directly to programs. We are grateful for every gift."

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