FourSquare Check-in Charity Makes App Feel Good

By Matt Van Hoven 

Early this morning I checked in on FourSquare from the Austin Convention Center, the Hilton and Brush Square Park. Normally this inane activity wouldn’t be worth telling you about &#151 except that by doing so I earned $.75 for Save the Children. The charity campaign is a joint venture between StudioGood, Microsoft (Bing and Windows Phone) and PayPal.

The project is simple: Bing, Windows Phone and PayPal donate whenever people check-in in Austin+50k meters. The campaign pays out for Tweets as well, but at a much lower rate, says StudioGood’s Chris Noble. Obviously that’s due to frequency &#151 each check-in on FourSquare is worth $.25.

The sum-total of all this activity is being tracked via So far (it’s early day 2), the 30,000 check-ins have raised about $8,000 for Save the Children &#151 though it’s doubtful FourSquare users realize the impact they’re making.


We asked a few conference goers if they knew about the campaign, and they didn’t. Of the three, two were FourSquare users but hadn’t been checking in too often. The third wasn’t a user at all, but said he’d download the app and start checking due to the campaign.

The effort is a win for all parties involved: the brands get social goodness, FourSquare gets a boost in active users and StudioGood gets to sleep guilt free at night. The company is paid by the brands up front, and then 100% of proceeds earned from the campaign go to the charity. Win, win, more win.

There are other executions in store as well. PepsiRefresh, Weber Shandwick and HUGE ran a similar campaign as did Electrolux and Kelly Rippa. With media buys on Facebook and SocialVibe, spreading the word is like driving a solar-powered train across the desert.

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