The program called App Aid provides funding to pair five worthy charities with talented, commercial, mobile app developers to create mobile apps that may change the world and the communities they serve.
The teams will each develop a prototype app, create a basic business case, and pitch their app ideas to the public for further ‘crowd funding’. Vodafone Foundation and Vodafone will contribute energy, inspiration, mentoring, and hard cash - $120,000 to the cause.
Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow was part of the launch panel of experts and had some sage advice, “Follow the passion, not the money!” or words to that effect. In a typical business-like manner, he advised the five selected charities to identify - Who is your audience; who is the market; who are you writing the app for; - that sets the language, tone, and purpose.
He added, “Then identify the real issues, problems to solve and make the app something your community can engage with and use. Success will come from thinking differently, engaging your community, being entertaining, and easy to use – there are 23 million people out there, some 2 million apps and nearly as many causes”.
Mark Slater representing last year’s winner St John’s Ambulances reinforced Morrow’s message “Look at your core business. What do you do? With whom do you interact? What problems do you need to solve? Do not focus on fundraising!” St John’s Ambulance successful app was a $4.99 ‘First Aid on a smartphone’.
The five charities selected and their altruistic developers are:
- Beyondblue and Two Bulls
- McGrath Foundation and Garoo Games
- Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Wave Digital
- Starlight Children’s Foundation and Leafcutter Creative Digital
- Taronga Foundation and Crazy Dog Apps
Crowd sourcing expert Rick Chen, Co-founder, and Director of Pozible is advising the groups on raising capital needed to bring the apps to market. Rick was very bullish “The internet is for everything so use it to build your own communities and engage, engage and engage – all will flow from that.”
Adam Beaupeurt, head of Digital Strategy at DT Digital was very determined “Don’t write a line of code before you are crystal clear on what you want achieve. Look for a new and meaningful app – don’t try and be too clever or entertaining – concentrate on the purpose.”
iTWire will cover Vodafone Foundations App Aid program – it’s a very worthy cause.
Established in 2002 it has invested millions of dollars in charitable endeavours including:
Young People Connected program provides disadvantaged and at-risk youth with grants, as well as Vodafone phones and services, so that they can be connected to the support provided by Barnardos, Mission Australia, Youth off the Streets and MMAD.
Vodafone’s 4,000 employees to take a day of paid charity leave to volunteer in the community. Vodafone staff has also raised funds for Variety the Children’s Charity, to help with the purchase of a ‘Sunshine Coach’ for sick, disadvantaged and special needs children.
World of Difference program has provided more $2.8 million in funding to allow 42 successful applicants to take paid charity leave for a year. Recent applicants have supported charities covering missing persons, refugee communities, women coming out of prison and victims of natural disasters.