CPB, PRX “haven’t gotten any traction” on Apple’s iPhone nonprofit app ban

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Nonprofits remain upset with Apple’s ongoing ban on making donations on the iPhone through charity apps. Donors are directed out of a nonprofit’s app and to its own website, making the process of contributing more cumbersome.

CPB and the Public Radio Exchange met about three years ago with Eddy Cue, the Apple exec in charge of iTunes, which handles the App Store. “We heard there were really serious internal discussions about this at Apple after that, but we haven’t gotten any traction,” Jake Shapiro, executive director of PRX, told the New York Times in a story Wednesday (Dec. 8).

“One of Apple’s major objections,” he said, “has been that if donations were to go through its payment mechanism, it would have to be in the business of managing and distributing funds and verifying charities as well.” PRX has developed iPhone apps for pubradio stations and programs. Shapiro told the paper that the apps had the potential to become a “core revenue source” for the organizations.

An online petition protesting the ban has nearly 2,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.

Current reported in March that public broadcasters who have tried raising funds from mobile givers via texting have met with very limited success. Doc Searls, executive director of Berkman Center’s ProjectVRM, told Current that this whole hardware category is “very young” and dominated by Apple and its App Store. “We’re going to see lots of other devices, hardware makers, service providers and applications flowing into the marketplace over the next several years,” Searls said.

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