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Ever the worker bees, this weekend The Giving Lab team turned down a healthy dose of vitamin D to speak at Yahoo’s Hack Europe London event. A big thanks to Yahoo for getting us involved and to the 350 hackers (and Titan the robot…) who made it a cracking weekend!


Our job was to encourage hackers to consider the greater good and to develop products with a social impact, and of course to evangelise The Giving Lab APIs amongst the developer community. This was surprisingly easy and we received a number of excellent ideas and a lot of enthusiasm for The Giving Lab. We’re looking forward to inviting these guys to our next hackathon!

These are some of the inspiring ideas we came across.

The Swear Jar

Developed by three students from Dundee University, the Swear Jar is an incredibly unique app. Just like the real-world version, you put money in a jar every time you say a bad word.

Image The app lets you create a blacklist of words and against each word you select an amount to put in your virtual jar. The Swear Jar then uses Google’s voice API to monitor your phone calls, auto-detecting the language you use. Each time it picks up a blacklisted word, money is donated to charity. It’s surprisingly accurate, and can understand a Glaswegian speaking with a mouth full of crisps. A fantastic idea from an inspiring team, The Swear Jar would make some of The Giving Lab team much poorer!

Yacine Rezgui

Yacine had flown in from Nice and was full to the brim with ideas to encourage giving amongst under 40 givers. He wants to see donations built into everyday transactions to lower the mental barriers to giving. For example, working with shops or point of sale providers to round up whatever you’re buying to the nearest £0.10, £0.50 or £1.00. So when you buy a latte priced at £2.79, you can choose to round that up to £3.00, with the extra £0.21 going to charity. This type of ‘micro-donating’ is an interesting idea that could really change the way people think about giving.


TV Backstage

Nerijus Malinauskas is the co-founder of TV Backstage, a multi-screen app that lets you interact with TV shows in real time. Nerijus sees a huge potential in using multi-screen technology to encourage giving. For example, imagine watching a charity advert on TV and being prompted to donate via your smartphone. Or watching a TV show and seeing contextually related charities appear on your smartphone. With the right user experience, the contextual and frictionless ability to donate could be a great way to engage new audiences at the moment they feel compelled to donate.


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