The new Screen Donor app allows smartphone users to “donate” their blank screens to charities and non-profit organizations.
Want your phone to promote something more altruistic than Apple’s design branding? Now, thanks to the new Screen Donor app, smartphone users can “donate” their blank screens to be used as ad spaces for charities and non-profit organizations.
This practical yet functional invention comes from (no surprise) Scandinavia, by way of a collaboration with Doctors of the World in Sweden, who provide “emergency and long-term medical care to vulnerable populations.” The cash-strapped organization runs a valuable national clinic and outreach services to marginalized populations within Sweden. It should be noted that in recent years Sweden has stepped up and generously taken in refugees fleeing war zones like Syria, Iraq, and Ethiopia, which has been a strain on their much-lauded social safety nets.
The app is being used as a budget-conscious and creative alternative to a massive television campaign, and is a partnership with design teams JMW and IVEO in Stockholm. Once downloaded, app users can have their default screens replaced with the DWS’s logo, and a message (in Swedish) that translates to “Hello! With us, everyone has a right to health care.” Johannes Mosskin, director of Doctors of the World in Sweden, recently described the campaign’s goals:
“We need more people to know about us and fundraising in order to keep our clinic open. But we don’t have the money or the muscles to launch a large ad campaign. But with Screen Donor we can potentially create thousands of ads on phones all over Sweden. The only thing the user needs to sacrifice is their battery time. A small price to pay for helping people get access to healthcare.”
While we’re somewhat skeptical regarding how popular this app will be with Swedes—let alone the larger, non-Nordic language speaking populations—we applaud the effort to turn smartphones into a tool for something other than mindless distraction. The Swedes have done so much for us, isn't it time you did something for them?