iPhone apps allow giving, just not charity
Annie Lynsen of Smallact on the “Apple hates (nonprofit) innovation” kerfuffle:
This past week, it was revealed that Apple would no longer allow charities to take donations through iPhone apps. Their rationale is that they can’t verify the donations are actually going to the charity they claim to be going to, and while that seems logical on the face of things, it presents a major roadblock for nonprofits seeking to build their donor bases. So if your app’s primary purpose is to solicit donations, you may want to rethink your strategy, and consider creating something that encourages volunteering, activism, or awareness-building instead.
In that last sentence, you can replace “app” with nearly any other activity and it still is good advice.
From my reading of things, Apple allows you to solicit giving (“Give the maker of this app 5 dollars”), it just doesn’t allow you to solicit charity (“Give the maker of this app 5 tax-deductible dollars so that they can give it to a nonprofit who will give it to the poor minus administrative overhead.”). I don’t particularly blame Apple, since verifying 501(c)3s is a pain… or at least PayPal seems to think so since they make me fax our IRS determination letter about every 6 months.
Update (12/3/2010): Looks like Apple is being more of a jerk than I originally thought.