Culture Ethics

10 apps to help keep those New Year’s resolutions, and do some good

Charity Miles logo, photo courtesy of iTunes.
New Year's resolutions can be hard to keep.

Photo courtesy of Brt via Shutterstock

Still trying to keep up with those New Year’s resolutions? Fear not: As your vows to lose weight or give more to charity get harder to keep, there are nearly a dozen apps that can help you stick to your plan — and do some good.

(RNS) Still trying to keep up with those New Year’s resolutions? Fear not: As your vows to lose weight or give more to charity get harder to keep, there are nearly a dozen apps that can help you stick to your plan — and do some good.

In general, American consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their mobile devices, according to a Flurry report, and apps dominate people’s time and attention. Charities have been quick to jump on this trend with their own apps, and now some apps can marry your New Year’s resolutions with donations to charity.

Habitat for Humanity has worked closely with the app Charity Miles. Ruth Davila, director of cause marketing and workplace giving at Habitat for Humanity International, said the house-building charity has found these apps to be beneficial.

“These types of apps continue to increase in popularity, and we have found they are a useful and easy way to engage our donors and build donations. Within the first two years of this partnership, we saw an increase of 53 percent in Charity Miles donations received through the app,” Davila said.

Here are 10 apps, all available for iPhones, to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions and help your community.

Charity Miles logo, photo courtesy of iTunes.

Charity Miles logo, photo courtesy of iTunes

New Year’s resolution: Get in shape

App nameCharity Miles

What it does: For every mile you’ve run, biked or walked that’s tracked by the Charity Miles app, you’ll earn money for the charity of your choice.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Habitat for Humanity

App name: Charity footprints

What it does: Set a walking, running or biking goal and ask others to pledge donations for meeting this goal. Track workouts with the app; when you finish the goal, the money is automatically donated to the charity of your choice.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Boy Scouts of America, Christian Community Action, Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, Interfaith Youth Core, Hillel and more.

New Year’s resolution: Break a bad habit or start a good one

App name: 21habit

What it does: Set a goal to break or start a habit, such as to quit smoking or to practice your guitar every day. The app will remind you each day and ask whether it is completed. If you fail, it donates $1 to one of several charities.

Cost: 99 cents for the app and $21 for “committed mode”

Faith-based charities that participate: Habitat for Humanity

I Can Go Without logo, courtesy of iTunes

I Can Go Without logo, courtesy of iTunes

New Year’s resolution: Give up that extra latte

App name: I can go without

What it does: Pick something you can go without, such as a latte or ice cream. Then pick a charity and donate that amount you would’ve spent to the charity of your choice.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: An entire category of more than 100 religious organizations, including Interfaith Youth Core, Hillel and World Help. 

New Year’s resolution: Shop smarter

App name: egood

What it does: Find companies in your area that donate to charities, or look up certain charities and find businesses in your area that donate to them.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Heart for Africa

Goodshop app logo, courtesy of iTunes

Goodshop app logo, courtesy of iTunes

App name: Goodshop

What it does: Every time you shop with this app, a percentage of the purchase goes to the cause of your choice.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Habitat for Humanity, KLife, various churches

New Year’s resolution: Get rid of old junk

App name: ThriftSNAP

What it does: Take a photo of your old things, sell it on ThriftSNAP and automatically donate the money to a charity.

ThriftSNAP app logo, courtesy of iTunes

ThriftSNAP app logo, courtesy of iTunes

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Biblical Life Ministries, Lifeline Christian Mission

New Year’s resolution: Stop hoarding loose change

App name: Spare Change

Spare Change app logo, courtesy of iTunes

Spare Change app logo, courtesy of iTunes

What it does: Tempted to toss some spare change to a homeless person but you aren’t sure how the person will spend the money? Click the pledge button to donate to a local homeless charity. After 5 clicks, the app will automatically collect your money and donate.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: The Coalition on Human Needs works with religious organizations to end homelessness.

New Year’s resolution: Volunteer more

App name: Reward Volunteers

What it does: It’s like a social media account for volunteers, allowing you to upload pictures and share stories of your good work. The more hours logged, the more reach points you rack up that enter you and the organization for prizes. You can also find and/or promote organizations.

Reward Volunteers app logo, photo courtesy of iTunes

Reward Volunteers app logo, photo courtesy of iTunes

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith Power and Light and more

New Year’s resolution: Accomplish a new goal

App name: stickK

What it does: Set a new goal for yourself, such as losing weight, watching less TV or learning how to tango. Set a deadline and put a certain amount of money on the line. If you accomplish your goal, you get all your money back. But if you don’t, you’ll forfeit your money to charity.

Cost: Free

Faith-based charities that participate: Feed the Children

KRE/MG END ADAMS

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