Location-based, check-in type mobile applications have all been the rage recently, but intrepid developers are still coming up with interesting ways to find niche uses or audiences. The latest one we’ve heard about mashes up check-ins with corporate social responsibility – Truismo (www.truismo.com) is an app that allows users to discover socially responsible businesses around them, as well as the causes they support.
Truismo basically recommends and shows you places based on your charitable interests, whether it’s a big box store that supports a disease research non-profit, or a local green business that donates to an environmental fund. You can also participate in various “challenges” sponsored by brands, and most importantly, convert the points you earn through the service turn into donations directly to featured charities of your choice. It’s a great way to gamify the social good experience.
There are fun – yet useful – features such as one which show you a meter of “good” businesses you check-in to, based on their social impact on hot topics such as fair-trade, sustainability, and third-world development. You can even compare your “impact” meter with friends, and earn points and badges, ultimately unlocking “ambassador” status in specific categories. For example, as a New York Ambassador for Arts & Culture on Truismo, you can get perks like invites to a slew of charity events for art-related nonprofits, discounted museum and gallery tickets, and more.
This concept originated from Jon Sukarangsan, the president of Party4aCause, a New York-based volunteer-run nonprofit that assists charity organizations by throwing fundraising parties for them as a completely free service. Working in the nonprofit community and corporate sponsors, Sukarangsan recognized the importance of companies that make philanthropy and social responsibility part of their business model. “The idea for Truismo was born from the idea that the pursuit of profits doesn’t have to conflict with social missions and values,” says Sukarangsan. “If both big brands and small businesses can inspire social action and philanthropy in consumers, then it makes the world a better place for all of us.”
Sukarangsan adds that there is often too much noise out there about corporate responsibility, and which can make it difficult for individuals to know how to make a difference. Truismo essentially breaks it down and shows you how businesses support nonprofits you care about.
Truismo is currently under development, and has launched a fundraising campaign on funding platform IndieGoGo.com to raise money for development towards a beta release on the iPhone (and later an Android release). If you think this is a cool idea, drop by IndieGoGo.com and show your support.