Tech for Good: Donate while Running (Charity Miles)

When thinking about running/biking and helping various causes, marathons are the first thing that come to mind. What if I told you that you could support the charities you are most passionate about while training for those big marathons or just by taking a relaxing walk? Pretty cool right? And all you need to do is download this awesome app dubbed Charity Miles and get moving.

”Every mile matters!” is the motto that Charity Miles actively promotes. Whether you are going for a 20km bike ride through the forest, doing your daily 5km run in the park or going on a romantic 30m walk with your significant other, you can help someone in need.

How it works

After downloading it on either Android or iOS mobile devices, the mobile app starts tracking your activity via your phone’s GPS. You are then given the option of backing up over 30 charities (WWF, ASPCA, Girl Up, RED, Save the Children, etc). After choosing a cause, there comes the hard part – the workout: if biking, you get 10 cents per mile; if walking or running (outdoors or indoors), you get 25 cents. Pretty fair mechanism, taking into consideration the traveling speed advantage bicycles offer. As you exercise, you will see ads from sponsors in the background, this being the primary monetization method that Charity Miles uses.

Using Charity Miles is actually beneficial for everyone involved: users are encouraged to have an active lifestyle (and can sleep better at night knowing they did some good), sponsors have an innovative way to position themselves as philanthropists (Johnson&Johnson’s Donate a Photo is actually one of the sponsors) and charities receive funding for their projects in the process. After you finish your run/walk/bike, the app encourages you to share your achievements on Social Media, so that more of your friends find out about this great opportunity to help others.

Charity Miles on Social Media

Charity Miles is active on all major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and they’re doing a really great job at interacting with their audience. Take a look at their Pinterest account below:


The page features many boards that are integrated with both the concept of donating for a cause, as well as the concept of an active, healthy lifestyle. At the top, you can see a couple of Charity Miles specific boards, like CM Champions, CM Motivation, CM Musings and CM Challenges. They also have boards for the charities users support such as Red for (RED), Words for Autism Speaks, Help our Heroes, Global Taste for WFP, Health Tips for PHA, Achievement for Achilles, Animals for ASPCA and many others. Another series of boards gravitate around the idea of food and fitness (Training Tips, Fitness Fuel, Amazing Races, etc).

It’s really uplifting to see technology being used to empower people, not just for making a profit. I would definitely recommend everyone to check the app out: it’s very easy to use and it’s totally free of charge. What more could you ask for?

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