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Charity Miles – Every Mile Matters

01/28/2013

 

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The past several years have been difficult for charities in general. Cash-strapped individuals cut charitable giving first.

Corporations are much the same. Usually there are funds available but they are more difficult to pry from the company coffers.

Last June, Gene Gurkoff and two partners, launched Charity Miles – a uniquely positive app for connecting those with something to give (say running 4 miles), with corporate sponsors with charities. Simple.

“A lot of charities aren’t good at promoting corporate partners,” Gurkoff said. “It’s just not their main mission to encourage people to buy something. Their mission is the cause itself. So it’s hard for the company to justify spending their marketing dollars.”

Gurkoff said companies are also wary of sponsoring a particular cause, perhaps sending the message that they are supporting one initiative over another.

The Charity Miles app (Android and iPhone) allows an active person to choose which one of multiple  charities he or she wants to support, ranging from Habitat For Humanity, Wounded Warrior to the UN World Food Programme.

The athlete then sets their iPhone on GPS to allow them to be tracked and they participate in the activity. Walkers and runners get 25 cents a mile, while bikers get 10 cents a mile that will go to their specified charity. When they are done with their activity, they agree to be “sponsored” and their miles will be covered by a sponsor of Charity Miles. A message can then be automated or edited to express to those on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook what the athlete accomplished along with a sponsor message.

The last sentence above is the brilliance of Charity Miles. Participants are motivated and encouraged to share their activities on social media. This simple element adds to the viral component which is good for the corporate sponsors and the charities! Awesome.

Currently Charity Miles has nearly 80,000 likes on Facebook, a robust Tumblr site and over 4,400 followers on Twitter. And it’s giving needed donations to a range of charities.

At the intersection of giving and social community lies Charity Miles. Looks like it is a great place to be.

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