If you’ve ever found yourself hate-reading a politician or group’s tweets and want an alternative beyond silently shaking your fist skyward or sending a mean @ reply, iKeedo is the perfect way to channel your rage into constructive philanthropy.
Aikido, a form of Japanese self-defense, centers on the idea that you harness an opponent’s strength against him. The developers of iKeedo, a social giving app, kept this in mind when they came up with their unique charity-pledging format — people who use iKeedo make donations to charities based on the social media behavior of ideologically opposed organizations. So, for example, for iKeedo’s first campaign, every time the National Rifle Organization tweets, users will donate money to an anti-gun charity of their choice.
When you pledge to iKeedo, you can set the amount of money you want to donate per tweet, and then put a cap on the amount of money you want to donate. So you could donate a dollar to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence every time the NRA tweets, until you’ve given $20. Your money is sent using PayPal, and iKeedo does not take a cut, so the full pledge goes where you want it. The organization just uses tweets right now, but Facebook and Instagram may get rolled into the mix in the future.
The creators of iKeedo were inspired by how causes can gain momentum on social media. Co-founder David Hernandez says the company is focused on building the platform right now and “gamifying charity giving.” They haven’t received a response from the NRA about the debut campaign, but perhaps they will in the future; iKeedo has no plans to end the campaign. “Unfortunately, the dialogue and debate around gun violence is evergreen: This is a subject matter with no finish line in sight. Even as new laws are considered and passed, the debate will continue,” Hernadez notes. “We are literally just coming out of soft launch, so our immediate success is measured by positive feedback and participation. Our ultimate success will be measured by the net new donations we’re able to generate on behalf of worthy causes like The Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.”
As a liberal with a heart bloodier than that shower scene in Carrie, I find iKeedo’s ideological tilt right-on — and of course, it’s a very satisfying way to donate money as a means of funneling outrage into something productive. But, of course-erer, there is one element of iKeedo that won’t be for everyone: It’s defiantly partisan. The whole “us versus them” tension is what the app feeds off.
In an ideal world, iKeedo would be a colossal failure, derided by affable politicians as they rubbed feet across the aisle and ushered in a brave new world of non-sectarian, steadfastly tolerant politicking, Sarah Palin and Richard Blumenthal cross-stitching a friendship quilt to celebrate their many compromises, Fox News shuttered, Tea Party members and godless socialized medicine supporters picnicking on the sweet bread of understanding.
But that’s not how the world works, and even though iKeedo’s brazen “use your political enemy’s tweets to fuel your desire to donate to charities that align with your political affiliation” thing doesn’t exactly ameliorate ideological tensions, it could be a powerful way to entice people into donating to organizations that they care about. There’s something especially satisfying about donating to a cause you care about while feeling like you’re screwing over the people that oppose that cause.