Small donations with large impact and heart

At the end of 2020, there are 7.8 million Americans descending into poverty. The pandemic is still raging on and has caused rising rates of unemployment and food insecurities in our country and the world. People are having a tough time paying rent, putting food on the table or getting necessities for school supplies or clothing.

What if you could treat a neighbor to a hot meal, help a stranger pay for a utility bill, gift a child must-needed school supplies, or cover a ride to hospital for a sick person? This is the idea behind the Give for Joy app.

Tim DeMello saw the state of the needy and the difficulty of helping them directly with small donations. His brilliant idea was to create an app to help facilitate micro donations for something specific for those in need. I was honored to help design and create the prototype for the Give for Joy app to enable micro donations.

Small acts of giving can make immense impact

For example, someone needs a ride to their doctor appointment but is unable to afford it. The app would connect directly to the trip details via Lyft or Uber and a giver could pay for that ride directly. Or a girl who wants to perform at her local dance show can use the app to request a pair of ballet slippers on the app and a giver can purchase them and have them shipped directly to her home.

Simplicity and ease of use were my main goals behind the design of the app. As someone who would like to give, when they first open the app, they see a scrolling list of requests for rides, meals or some small item. No money is every given to Give for Joy app but the giver buys that item, meal or ride directly from third-parties like Amazon, Grubhub or Uber. They can tap onto a specific request and view more details, find out the reason behind the request and scroll through featured images of the person. When they click to “Give now”, a thank you screen appears with a counter of how many gifts were given so far.

Other features of the app includes a deep dive into the giving and requesting of gifts, like how many gifts were given and requested, status updates on the gift and when the requestor has received the gifts and messaging.

In the past, a major obstacle to the spread of micro-donations had been high credit card transaction fees of $0.30 per transaction. However, as technology in mobile payment methods continues to advance, credit card transaction fees have significantly decreased and will continue to do so in the future.

The foundation of Give for Joy app is microphilanthropy that incorporates charitable giving into the growing digital sphere and directly to the requestor or receiver. Givers are can track and see immediate impact from their small act of giving.

Check out more about this project in the work section.


The app allows for everyday giving and can make philanthropy more affordable and meaningful.