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Instead: An App For Giving on the Go

Micah Davis is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met, no doubt about it. Micah is a member of the talented team at Oven Bits, a creative shop that specializes in mobile web and app development. And by the way, Micah has a great heart, too. Recently, Oven Bits released Instead, an iPhone app that encourages people to make micro-donations to charity instead of buying a coffee, a meal at a restaurant, or something similar.

Let’s say you decide to brew your own coffee instead of stopping in at Starbucks one morning. That might save you $4, so you fire up Instead and choose to give that $4 to ALARM or Blood Water Mission or American Cancer Society (there’s a big ol’ list of charities and churches to choose from). How great is that? It’s a means of using technology to help us consider our consumption habits and practice generosity on the go.

Micah was kind enough to answer a few questions about Instead, so read on:

ECHO HUB: Where did the idea for Instead come from?

MICAH DAVIS: Instead was birthed out of a passion to help people better understand how giving can be associated with our lifestyles. During the recent recession, tough times forced many people to reduce their consumption habits in order to continue to give to the non-profits and charities that they’re passionate about.

ECHO HUB: What can you tell us about your team’s processing for designing and building the app?

DAVIS: Instead was designed with the goals of enabling micro-donations to be made fun, meaningful and able to be given in under 60seconds on a mobile phone. Most people told us that they felt the desire to give tiny donations at or around the “point of decision.” (ie – at a coffee shop, when deciding which restaurant to go to, etc…) From that, we decided to make it a mobile-centric platform. This challenged us to design an native iOS app, Android app, mobile webview for smartphones and lastly, a desktop website.

ECHO HUB: Have you heard any feedback on the impact Instead is having on people and organizations?

DAVIS: In a short amount of time, we’ve been thrilled by the responses received! People have been tweeting and emailing us about brown-bagging their lunches in order to give $3 to a charity. Others have written about drinking only water for a week in order to support their church with $10. We believe that small giving is a big thing. Encouraging folks to live within or below their means, in order to help give back, is what Instead is all about.

I love it. If you have an iOS device, go get Instead in the App Store. If you’re the Android type, rumor has it that a version of the app is on its way to the Android Market soon.