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Answer market surveys, help charity

A new app for iOS and Android donates 10 cents to charity for every market research question answered.

A new app for iOS and Android donates 10 cents to charity for every market research question answered.

(Credit: AskU)

How do you get people to respond to market surveys? You can incentivise them with a prize ("Win a free iPad!") or offer a negligible cash amount for every survey completed, like Pureprofile, but for those who are unmoved by personal acquisition, perhaps AskU has hit upon an answer.

Created by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in collaboration with The Australian Charities Fund (ACF), the app for iOS and Android lets you turn your spare time into money for charity by completing market surveys. Here's how it works: the app charges organisations 20 cents per question; half of that, 10 cents, goes directly to charity.

The first charity to benefit from AskU has been microfinancing charity Opportunity International Australia, which has received a AU$10,000 cheque since the app was launched on 19 September. The next charity will be The Smith Family's Learning for Life program to help disadvantaged children gain access to education, followed by Mission Australia and cancer charity Redkite.

"AskU is an exciting game changer for the charity sector," said ACF CEO Jenny Geddes. "Real shared value between the business and community sectors is difficult to achieve, but I believe this app will truly achieve it. Being digital, mobile and social, AskU has the potential to reach and engage more people who can help make a difference. We know Australians are big users of technology and already very generous; so what's exciting is that we aren't asking for money — just spare time."

It's a clever idea. There's plenty of time spent fiddling around with phones on trains or in waiting rooms. All it takes is a few minutes per survey. Websites such as Pureprofile don't generate a lot of income for a single user, but when you put the money together from every single user, it can add up.

"It's a win-win situation," said PwC CEO Luke Sawyer. "The bigger and more diverse the AskU community, the more people who benefit from the funds raised and the stronger the market research database."

AskU can be downloaded for free from iTunes here and from Google Play here.