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Charity case study - iHobo

Why iHobo?

  • iHobo was the world's first charity iPhone app
    It was amazingly successful and is still being downloaded and talked about one year on
  • Depaul wanted to raise awareness for the cause and for their brand
    It needed to be controversial to succeed; if people weren't talking about it, it wasn't working
  • The push alert technology allowed Depaul to educate people about the 24hr nature of homelessness
    It was described as a 'Tamagotchi with a conscience'
  • Depaul got round Apple's no donation rule with a 'one click text to donate' mechanism
    Though fundraising was not the principle objective, the campaign has raised £10,000 from 4,000 new donors

Lessons learnt:

  • Plan for success as well as failure!
    Depaul's server crashed in the first week due to unexpected demand
  • Build what you want out of the app into the planning stage
    Do you want to capture people's contact details?  If so, what level of detail do you need?

iHobo 2! New iteration planned for launch this year:

  • Will be interactive, with some gaming functionality
  • Will be integrated with Facebook and other social media sites
  • Users will be able to join Facebook groups to interact with it even if they don't have a phone
  • Increased personalistion will help Depaul's contact database for ongoing activity
  • Users will be able to score points - giving their actions some context

Adobe Reader Download iHobo presentation as a PDF

Courtesy of Tim Harford, Head of Donor Care and Community Fundraising, Depaul UK.