I read recently that Apple do not allow the inclusion of donate buttons into apps and @JohnCarnell has even set up a campaign to lobby them to change this using the hashtag #AppleDonateFail on Twitter.
This was an idea that I had considered for @MarieCurieUK due to the popularity of the SMS donation method during the Haiti appeal. Giving people the option of donating small amounts instantaneously through their mobile device is absolutely the way forward. It is at that real-time moment when you are emotionally affected by the event or news story that you are most likely to donate, and by making the method easy you increase the chances dramatically.
My vision was for an iPhone app that used the current functionality of in-app purchase to allow the user to donate through their iTunes account. A simple rotating interface would allow them to choose their donation amount and then by simply entering their iTunes password the money would be paid. There could be an app for each charity or one universal app that charities join to allow people to donate. You would then simply choose your nominated charity, amount and then donate.
I understand Apples concerns regarding the verification of each charity, but it can’t be that difficult and seeing as everyone agrees that mobile is the place to be we need simple methods of allowing people to make these types of micro-donations without the hassle of having to type in their card details.