PayPal Mobile 2.5 iPhone App Takes Donations

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2010-08-19 Print this article Print

PayPal adds a charity donation feature to its iPhone app in PayPal Mobile 2.5, allowing contributions to organizations such as the American Cancer Society and UNICEF.

PayPal, eBay's online-payment service, has introduced PayPal Mobile 2.5, a new version of its application for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The updated version of the PayPal app allows users to donate to their favorite charities.

The 2.5 version of the application, announced on Aug. 18, allows users to donate to more than 23,000 charities in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, according to a blog post by Laura Chambers, senior director of PayPal Mobile.

"As adoption of smartphones increases, donating via the mobile is also becoming more popular," wrote Chambers. "We hope the new application will simplify the donation process and help charities reach more donors."

Organizations participating include the American Cancer Society, Save the Children, UNICEF, BBC Children in Need, and Cancer Research UK. If users would like to benefit the care of people with autism, you can also donate to the Autism Speaks charity.

PayPal's partners on the app include MissionFish, a company that helps nonprofit firms raise money through eBay, and Artez Interactive, an online fund-raising site.

A study by the Pew Research Center in July 2010 revealed that 11 percent of Americans have made a charitable donation through text messaging.

The app allows users to search for charities and share donation information on Facebook. It even lets users bump their iPhone with other users to send money. To send by text messaging, users send a text to 729725 (PAYPAL), specify the amount and the recipient's phone number or e-mail address.

Chambers expects PayPal Mobile 2.5 to appear in the iTunes App Store by the end of August.

PayPal has also released a Facebook app called FundRazr to facilitate donations through PayPal. Various online charities such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society take texting donations though a mobile donations provider called mGive. According to a Nielsen poll, 13 percent of respondents donated to help recovery from the January Haiti earthquake through text messaging.

Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company,, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents,, USA Weekend and, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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