Apple needs to get moving on a donation app before the brand gets tarnished

I’ve decided it’s time to add my two cents worth on the ongoing battle to convince Apple to allow people to donate to charity directly through apps on the iPhone.

The saga has been rumbling on for a while now and if it’s ever going to have a happy ending it’s going to be critical to keep the pressure on and not allow the story simply to simply fade away.

For those unfamiliar with the tale so far, for the past few months pressure has been mounting on the technology company to allow people to donate to charity directly through an iPhone app rather than having to go through a website.

Having an app could make giving quicker and easier – key ingredients for successful fundraising.

Almost very step of the way, Apple has refused to provide comment on why it is refusing to allow this.

Many have speculated that this is because Apple takes 30 per cent cut of all money spent directly through apps, and this would also have to be the case for donations made through apps.

Some argue that this wouldn’t matter – that 70 per cent of a donation is better than no donation at all.

But the reality is that if a global giant like Apple started taking almost a third of donations made to charity, there would be uproar that might tarnish the brand for a long time.

There isn’t an expectation for it to be free. Most trusted methods of giving, such as websites like Just Giving, take a cut of each donation to cover their costs.

It’s just that it is normally around the 5 per cent mark rather than a frightening 30.

My hope, although I’m pretty sure it is in vain, is that somewhere behind the scenes a policy team at Apple HQ is working out a feasible way of doing this.

It won’t be easy though. Setting something up which allows donations to be processed differently to other purchases could open up a can of worms for the company.

So, although I think this is something Apple needs to get moving on, it may not be as straightforward to put into place as it may seem.

There’s a massive slice of brand value at stake here, and a company like Apple is not going to risk throwing away its shiny image for the sake of pacifying a few thousand people who are frustrated about the absence of an app.