Google has today launched a new app that opens up a charitable side to the Play Store, but unfortunately, it will (for now) only support US based charities. In Google’s words, this app will allow users to “do a little, change a lot”.
Even better for the US charities involved, there’s no fee for non-profits to register with One Today, and they will receive the entire donation (net of a 1.9% credit card service fee). The process seems to be that you make a pledge to support a given cause (a different cause is shown each day), and the amounts pledged (you can only pledge $1) are later paid using your Google Wallet payment methods.
There is also a way for you to share the cause of the day with your friends, which allows you to donate more than the standard $1 — you can choose to match, dollar for dollar, each pledge made by your friends. If you have five friends pledge to support a given cause, you can opt to pledge $5 in addition to your original $1.
This is actually a pretty cool idea. The real shame of it though is, like many things, this app really only works if you’re in the US. Australian charities and not-for-profits, like our own Ausdroid Community Foundation, couldn’t participate in this program. We spoke to Google Australia this afternoon and their representative told us:
One Today is currently for the U.S. Participating nonprofits must be 501(c)(3) organizations, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. We have nothing to announce on broader availability at this time.
The app itself — like many early release Google apps and services — requires an invitation at the moment, but it’ll no doubt open up in a while.
Our hope, in posting this story, is that Google will expand this service beyond just the US to allow non-profits around the world to benefit from it.