I legitimately have no idea how to start this and I refreshed the page a few different times over the course of 10 minutes to make sure I was seeing the right number.

I make a free Reddit app for iOS called Apollo for Reddit, and yesterday you might have saw I posted a little fundraiser here in the Apple subreddit basically stating all the proceeds for the day from Apollo (it's a free app but has some in-app purchases for some cool extra Pro/Ultra features) will go to the my local SPCA animal shelter in Nova Scotia. It's definitely the hardest time of the year for them right now, because cats give birth in tremendous numbers in these warm months (dubbed Kitten Season) which creates a massive influx of orphaned and abandoned kitties, and shelters are seriously strained and need all the help they can get.

I was hoping to do some good for the shelter, but legitimately in my wildest dreams I did not expect so many people to come out and give support, I'm truly unable to form cohesive thoughts right now. They are legitimately such great people at that shelter, just for one example we recently had a cat in the community who was found badly abused and they looked after her, helped her with her bad leg (it ended up requiring an amputation) and now Phoebe got adopted into a loving home. Like that's just one example.

I also got my two cats Ruby and Hugo from there. Here's Ruby spinning in circles in delight when I told her: https://i.imgur.com/QWyckgy.gifv and here's Hugo somewhat annoyed I woke him up to tell him but undoubtedly stoked inside: https://i.imgur.com/S5ztw0T.gifv

Here's a tally of the donations. It came mostly from proceeds for the day but also was helped immensely by people commenting ($0.10 per comment on the AMA as well as the r/Apple thread) and retweeting, as well as awesome PayPal and crypto donations. It's easiest to show the breakdown/proof with a pic:

Pic: https://i.imgur.com/YLjn7da.png

I'm working with them to get the money over to them. I was legitimately not expecting to hit anywhere near this much, so I thought my credit cards would do but I don't have a limit high enough to pay this much in one go, so I sent over $16,000, which is all my cards could handle, and I promise I'll get the rest over as soon as I can figure that out (SPCA said it was totally okay, and Apple doesn't pay until the following month, so it's not as if I have the money right now). Proof of $16K (we're over half way there): https://i.imgur.com/Jyeg7QK.png

(And before anyone asks, as much as I wish it was, this is extraordinarily far far far far more than Apollo makes on a normal day obviously.)

Like this is absolutely nuts, I actually can't believe or wrap my head around that we raised this much money. We actually broke records. Like seriously, here's the most recent (2017) document I could find on their donors. Walmart donated $2,000 - $5,000 (which is amazing). Not that it's a competition (every donor is a hero), but we did 5-10x more than WALMART for reference! How are we that awesome. I talked to them this morning and they said they were crying.

You have made my week, month, year, everything with this generosity. If you got Apollo Pro or Ultra yesterday I genuinely hope you love it and I'll continue to work my tail off to create the best Reddit app possible for all of you. Thank you so much again.

I tried to answer as many questions as I humanly could (my wrists legitimately ache right now) but in the spirit of the subreddit if you have any further questions I'll happily answer them haha!

- Christian

EDIT: Dipping out for a little bit but I'll be back after!

EDIT2: I'm back!

Comments: 456 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

squid50s1514 karma

Are you planning on doing this incredible fundraiser every year?

Edit: Shoutout to the awesome mod who pinned this post.

iamthatis1200 karma

I definitely would love to, it's been like the two most gratifying things of my life.

(EDIT: The other/second being when we raised $5000 in a similar event last year!)

WoobyWiott226 karma

What's the other most gratifying thing?

dougfry144 karma

Guessing last year's fundraiser that yielded $5k

iamthatis86 karma

bingo bango

iamthatis13 karma

Oh sorry haha, we raised $5,000 last year in a similar event which would be the other thing. :P

CCCmonster496 karma

I hope this is enough money for the Sarah McLachlan commercials to stop

iamthatis250 karma

Those get me every dang time. 99% of the reason I cancelled my cable subscription.

supercharged0708357 karma

Is the $25,231 after Apple’s 30% take or before? If it is before, then that means Apple will take $7,569 out of that amount. If it is after, then you actually raised $36,044 but Apple took $10,813 from a charity.

iamthatis474 karma

That's after Apple's cut unfortunately (but fortunate in the sense that the full amount of 25K is going to the charity). It's a 70/30 split with developers. It's the same with Google/Android for what it's worth.

It's really a shame they don't have a mechanism for charities to make it a higher split. They match employee charitable contributions 1:1 so they're normally great for charity stuff, hopefully they change that down the road.

EL31415341 karma

You should reach out to Apple, ask if they may wave their fee for that day, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Edit : or ask them to forward the fee as a donation directly to the shelter.

iamthatis115 karma


TBoneTheOriginal140 karma

Would probably be too hard to enforce. Unfortunately, you would have a bunch of shady bastards disguising things as charities to keep the 30%.

iamthatis54 karma

Yeah I commented elsewhere but I was thinking basically they could never leave it up to an honor system, but they could have a system in the App Store portal for developers where they could designate in advance a charity and a date where they'd like the funds donated and the funds would never reach the developer's account, Apple would forward them right to the charity and there'd never be the opportunity for bad people to be shady.

aSchizophrenicCat16 karma

I’m assuming the crypto payments were able to circumvent that 70/30 split though, right?

You plan on adding wallet addresses to your tip jar, or allow crypto payments for Ultra?

bl4x322 karma

If you wanted to do that, you could just directly donate to the shelter. Afaik there is no way to pay for an App on an Apple Device without using their payment service - which will always go through them.

iamthatis6 karma

Yeah, this is accurate. You can pay for physical things (like the Amazon app for instance) but digital goods (like an app unlock) have to be through the iTunes payment system.

iamthatis10 karma

I dunno about circumvent, the 30% is just kind of a fact of life I've accepted, and it's great to be able to do it through app sales because it motivates people a lot more to donate even if it's "just" 70% because they get something tangible out of it.

But the PayPal and crypto stuff was definitely awesome if people did want to do the full amount specifically, or if they didn't have an iOS device, already bought Apollo Pro, etc.

Apple doesn't allow wallet addresses in whatnot to be listed in the app.

Fatel2819 karma

There's also Android sales no? He also donated 10c per comment

go-fireworks78 karma

Apollo is only available for iOS

iamthatis36 karma

Not out of any lack of love for Android or anything for what it's worth haha, I'd love to take a swing at an Android app one day, it'd just be a lot of work to rebuild it for another platform and I just don't have the time. :( But there's a lot of great Reddit apps for Android at least!

tomatoesarenotgood288 karma

I'm so sad I didnt see your post yesterday! I would've loved to have helped out the shelter. All of my critters are rescues/strays (except for 1 dog), but rescuing and adopting out strays is so important. Congrats on the sheer amount of money raised, and here's to the shelter for all that they do! Is there any way I'd still be able to donate?

iamthatis256 karma

Thank you so much for being such an awesome person! There absolutely is, you can donate directly to them still and I'm sure they'd love it! http://www.novascotiaspca.ca/

tomatoesarenotgood88 karma

Friend, you're the awesome person for setting all of this up! Just got done donating!

iamthatis19 karma

Hey, they're the ones that do the hard work, I'm just a funnel.

JBOTlx46 karma

I’m from NS. My 16 year old cat passed away on Thursday and she’s a product is the NS SPCA. I missed the app fundraiser, but I’d love to tack on a donation in her name. Thanks so much for your hard work and for giving back :)

iamthatis5 karma

Really sorry to hear that. 16 years is a phenomenal life you gave her though, I hope you're really proud of that. Thanks for being awesome and all the best.

haykam821147 karma

Does this mean we get a cat icon?

iamthatis156 karma

I was thinking of cooking something up actually. :)

homietheclown124 karma

Noooo...don't cook up a cat.

iamthatis93 karma


Darkwolfie117111 karma

Every 10¢ helps huh?

iamthatis159 karma

Literally. You can get a big bag of cat food for a cheap price, so a few comments at 10c is literally a few meals for a cat that needs food. People were awesome for commenting.

dontsuckmydick62 karma

I hope you're ready for 38 million comments on next year's AMA.

iamthatis28 karma

I'm not sure what this post is but apparently it has the most comments, 500 thousand: https://www.reddit.com/user/RedditNintendoSwitch/comments/7yd4sz/reddit_nintendo_switch_babyh/

It'd be amazing if we could beat that. :P

kixie42105 karma

I don't use the app, but saw the original post and this update. You're doing a great and wonderful thing for your community and its pets and strays with what platform you have. Don't let that change about you. If I ever get an Apple device (however unlikely), I might have to check out your app. Thanks again from a random reddit user.

iamthatis48 karma

If you do definitely let me know what you think! I really appreciate the kind words, and I'll try to stay true to my ideals. :)

Narcil475 karma

Not to be that guy but the proof of 16k only shows 2* 5k? Am I missing something?

Amazing work anyhow.

iamthatis111 karma

Oops, not that guy at all, old image before I managed to get another 6K by my bank, updated thanks!

Lyndawn66 karma

Thank you for making their lives and the world a little better. Are you planning to do this to other animal shelters, too?

iamthatis52 karma

I'd love to help out whatever helps out animals period haha.

ALV7N64 karma

Aw man I totally forgot to buy Apollo ultra yesterday for this dangit, looks like I’ll have to buy it AND donate huehuehuehue

iamthatis30 karma

There are worse things. :P

TheAverageSJW63 karma

Hey christian, I just wanted to congratulate you on this. Also why is your name purple everywhere and not just on r/apolloapp?

iamthatis36 karma

Haha, 90% for impersonation reasons, in that some people were creating similar usernames and trying to pass off as me, so a distinct username color helps to be like "only trust this color". 10% because it looks cool.

Marconius23 karma

I just downloded Apollo to give it a go, and as a blind user interacting with your app using the VoiceOver screen reader built into iOS. It is a very unpleasant experience attempting to navigate subs, posts, and comment threads, making me swipe multiple times just to get through all the non-concatenated elements making up a single comment, or the same attempting to navigate through the basic pages with all the Posts. If you made this interface much simpler and more accessible, such as just a view with only Post titles without the extra elements or info so a VO user could quickly swipe through all the front page or subreddit posts, plus made a simpler view for the comment threads, I'd be much more inclined to use it. You've put a lot of work into overall experience customization, but I really hope you do another pass at overall app accessibility with VoiceOver enabled. Any plans to look into this?

iamthatis39 karma

You're 10000% right and I'm really sorry, iOS 13 added a lot of changes to accessibility things that I'm super excited to explore and I promise you I'll do better soon on this front, it's very high on my list of priorities. Apologies again.

aarocks9419 karma


I want to start off by saying CONGRADULATIONS, this is astounding, I saw this post and just started crying, it’s amazing how many wonderful animals are going to be saved directly and indirectly through your initiative.

Unfortunately I’m not in an economic position right now to donate (I’m regrettably swamped with debt, though I have donated to my local shelters before). I don’t know if you have any dogs, but both my dogs are rescues and if you want to check out (you being the general you, everyone should check them out) an AWESOME organization called Rescue Dog Rocks NYC, they take on animals (not only dogs but mainly I’ve seen dogs) that have suffered the worst forms of abuse, mental and physical abuse that often requires huge amounts of surgery, physical therapy and love. They truly do amazing work, and for anyone in the NYC area I can not recommend their work enough. I’ve worked as a foster with them in the past and have donated as well.

I’m not sure if it’s okay to “plug” another charity on your post here, but I just wanted to share that there are so many groups out there doing such wonderful things no matter where you live. If you want to get involved I’m sure your local shelters and/or groups could always use the extra hand or even a tiny donation. Everything helps.

I apologize for the long post, but I just want to show people there are organizations all over that do wonderful wonderful work. I hope I’m not detracting from what you’ve done, because truly you are a hero for doing this. So many animals are eternally grateful. I wish you the best with Apollo and will download it as soon as I clear up my finances.

Again, congratulations, you’re the man.

iamthatis17 karma

Thank you so much, I'm honored it had that effect on you haha, it really does feel amazing and I don't even think I've fully processed it yet.

Absolutely not a problem, been in bad economic situations myself, it happens. It's just awesome you're being such a great dog parent and raising awareness for a great cause. Thanks for being you, and I could not agree more, there's definitely no lack of amazing charity organizations out there, so if there's one locally you can get involved with people definitely should!

Not a problem at all, and thank you for the kind words.

Oh and for what it's worth Apollo's free to use! There's just an optional Pro and Ultra version you can unlock it you want some extras. :)

aarocks944 karma

Thanks so much for the reply! I had no idea Apollo was free, downloading it right now! Keep up the great work

iamthatis3 karma

No prob, hope you like it. :)

Dudesons316 karma

Thanks a lot for this ! Your doing great work and it shows you’re heart is in the right place, the world needs more people like you! Question : would it be possible to add a nsfw switch which automatically hides nsfw content when activated?

iamthatis46 karma

I'd love to add something like that, but that's a really touchy subject for Apple. (Example: https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/reddit-clients-pulled-from-app-store/) They don't really like having NSFW toggles in the app, but they do allow it to respect desktop settings, so if you toggle that off on your account preferences on Reddit.com Apollo will respect it.

chronisaurous6 karma

Really? They are against having something that enables you to turn NSFW content off?

iamthatis6 karma

Well I mean the implication is that users would expect the switch to work in the other direction, no? Or would it just explode and disappear after being toggled? :P

TheDarkDeciever3 karma

Could you potentially give it a false name, something the vaguely works, so you can get around it? Maybe call it Safe Mode or something?

iamthatis7 karma

I dunno if false would be the right word, but I've heard some people say Apple's recommended a more neutral word like you said, Sensitive/Safe Mode and it might be something they'd find agreeable. I'll investigate!

herk9914 karma

Thanks for helping the animals!

iamthatis10 karma

It's easy they too cute. :P

Koehamster8 karma

I love seeing good causes get funds! Happy for you and the animals. There are enough animals suffering in the world, its good to see some good stuff happening every once in a while :)

iamthatis3 karma

Right? Some animals just don't get the life they deserve, and it's really great that charities/organizations exist for the sole purpose of changing that. :)

IEatTehUranium6 karma

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this, but please be aware that a lot of that money could be taken back due to chargebacks over the next 90-180 days. If anything was donated with a stolen credit card, without authorization, etc - cardholders can call in and reverse the charges. Then you're out the money for the donations.

I have worked in merchant fraud (on the anti-fraud side) and am happy to answer any questions about this. I would consider waiting a few months before making the donations, just to make sure you actually get to keep money you received.

Have you considered this?

iamthatis4 karma

I don't believe chargebacks work on the App Store, or at least that Apple handles them on their end if they do. The purchases go through Apple's iTunes payment system, I don't directly take credit cards, so hopefully that should help the lion's share. That only leaves PayPal so hopefully people are honest there.

Massively appreciate the concern though.

IEatTehUranium2 karma

Ask apple about their policy for chargebacks. It's likely that they require you to pay for chargebacks; very few platforms eat the cost.

If you're not careful, you could very easily be out thousands of dollars.

iamthatis3 karma

Noted, I'll keep an eye on it, thanks!

outlooker7076 karma

We're gonna need some proof that that they received the money.

iamthatis6 karma

Good to be a skeptic. I posted proof above of the partial evidence, I also made (through a similar event) a large donation last year which allowed me to work closer with them this year, so they're thankfully familiar enough with me and trust me enough from donations in the past to vouch for me. :P

iamthatis2 karma

Is this sufficient? I did a news story with the SPCA themselves. https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/halifax-app-developer-donates-27-000-to-spca-1.4520508

jessizu5 karma

Just became a foster for the Greater Charlotte SPCA and my first girl is named Pheobe too!!... she darling!!! Thank you for all of the amazing work in getting these amazing animals loved and into forever homes

iamthatis3 karma

Dog or cat? Thank you for being so amazing, fostering is such an incredible thing to do and I wish I had the fortitude for it.

Amanitg104 karma

I'm so proud of this community

iamthatis5 karma

Gabbie is that you

Jenkins_Will4 karma


I tried out the app and started to like it, but cannot really get past that you need the premium to create posts. I usually wait to spend money till two weeks after trying out a new app for self-control reasons, so we’ll see if I like it enough long-term.

I totally realize and respect that you as a developer need to make money. I get that. I just don’t think it is fair to have monetized a feature that I can have for free in the official app, especially because posting is such a central part of reddit itself, and that monetizing the features that are unique to your app would ve a superior method. Regardless, I like it so far and am giving it a try.

Do you have any specific methods as to deciding which features of your app you choose to monetize?

Thanks for making such a useful app.

iamthatis8 karma

Totally fair criticism, I'd say a few things.

  • Most people who use Reddit lurk and don't create an account. Of the small amount that do create an account, a very small percentage create posts. There's even a Wikipedia article on this phenomenon.) As a result it's really not limiting many users, more-so the power users.
  • When you say it's not fair to monetize a feature that's free in the official app, you have to understand you're comparing a guy working out of his apartment to a billion dollar company, we have different budgets and necessities in terms of making money. They can give everything away, I can't, I need to eat. I worked really hard on the UI and system for posting in Apollo and I don't think it's unfair to ask to be compensated for my work. Heck if this was 2011 I'd probably make the whole app a paid app, but instead I'm giving 95% of the features out for free.

Hope that makes sense and gives a little bit of insight into my choice there, and thanks for phrasing your question in a nice way. For what it's worth it's also completely free to post to self-help subreddits like r/depression, r/OCD, r/suicidewatch, etc.

Jenkins_Will2 karma

I guess I overestimated the amount of people who actually post. That makes sense then, and as such I do agree that if it is a fairly uncommon thing to do, to make posts, it is fair to ask for money while still calling it a free app.

Actually, I have a lot of respect for you making those subreddits free to post on. Thats pretty cool. With how popular your app is, I can imagine just that small attention to detail may have saved lives.

iamthatis3 karma

Thanks for being awesome and bringing up a disagreement in a civil way, you're a cool person.

SlightlyControversal2 karma

Speaking of needing to eat, I’m super worried about you maxing out credit cards for this! Are you somehow going to be reimbursed for this donation thrtypur company, or is this all out of pocket for you?

I’m sorry if this has already been answered, I scrolled and didn’t see anything related, and I am seriously concerned about you, dude. I’d like dogs and cats to be well fed from all this, but only if you’re well fed, too.

iamthatis3 karma

No, totally fair question! Uhh… I'm not totally sure. I'll probably put it on a line of credit or something until the payment comes in and just eat a few hundred bucks in fees. Not sure what the alternative is unfortunately.

hobo8883 karma

Had to switch to Boost when I moved to Android but always loved Apollo when I had it! I'm inspired to donate to my local shelter too, where I got my 2 lil dudes.

Great stuff man, you're awesome. Here's my cat tax.

iamthatis2 karma

You're so amazing for adopting those, they look so cute together!!

RC_COW3 karma

Is your username from the book redwall?

iamthatis5 karma

It is, good eye. :)

IssueDuJour3 karma

Great, but can we talk about how the SPCA spends money? In some places they buy ridiculous stuff and none of it is to help the animals.


iamthatis5 karma

Are you sure we're talking about the same charity? I'm talking about the (Canadian specifically) Nova Scotia SPCA, they have an A-rating on Charity Intelligence. https://www.charityintelligence.ca/charity-details/214-nova-scotia-spca

Saarlak3 karma

I downloaded the app yesterday and I'm enjoying it. I.. okay, i didn't really think out more than that. I just wanted to say that you did a really good job on it.

iamthatis3 karma

Hahaha, all good appreciate the comment, lemme know what you think, maybe post in the subreddit if you have some good feedback. :) r/apolloapp

AquaSense3 karma

You’re awesome dude.

iamthatis3 karma


AbideSam2 karma

That’s incredible

iamthatis2 karma


jXian2 karma

We've adopted two of our dogs from the Dartmouth SPCA, seeing this warms my heart :)

iamthatis3 karma

You're amazing, the dogs from that shelter are so nice.

gloomis1202 karma

Thats so awesome! Im a web developer, but have been wanting to get into app development and dont know where to start for learning and making an app? Can you give some insight into the tools you used?

iamthatis5 karma

Definitely! If you already know web development you'll find it pretty easy because you're already comfortable in a text editor, and iOS programming isn't much of a jump from that. Honestly just grab some basic/beginner tutorials to get you started, and follow a tutorial on a building a super basic app like a small to do list or something, and then just build progressively more challenging projects. It's honestly not as hard as you'd think, it's just about putting the hours in to get comfortable.

boognerd2 karma

Great job, got Ultra right after you released the update mainly because you're so active on your sub. Also I love how it works for a lefty after I've changed all the gestures around. I'm holding out hope for a lefty mode or maybe a quick way to toggle between gesture mapping sets. Any thought been given to that kind of thing?

Hope to see you get some positive media coverage o for this.

iamthatis2 karma

Absolutely, have some left handed folks in my life. If you can give me some insight (maybe shoot me an email through the app so it doesn't get lost here) as to specifics you'd like to see I'd love to note 'em down!

shadowflare7892 karma

No more questions from me (although I did post one yesterday a little on the late side, if you wanna answer that), but I just want to say thank you for everything you do, as a developer, and as an animal lover. There are plenty of people on the internet who don't use their influence for half the good you do, and it's really awesome to see you using your platform in such a positive way. Keep up the awesome work!

iamthatis2 karma

Sorry I missed your question, I tried to get through as many as I could and through a combination of my wrists aching and finding it hard to figure out which ones I had commented on and which I hadn't a few slipped through the cracks. :(

Found your question though:

If you're still around answering questions: I'm a freshly-graduated Computer Science major trying (and largely failing) to break into the software industry. Part of it is demoralizing rejections, but I also just sometimes feel lost or overwhelmed when thinking about where to start. Even if I might not follow your exact path into the industry, is there any advice you might have or strategies you used when you were in a bit of a slump?

Congrats on graduating! Honestly that's normal. The smartest guy I've ever met had quite a bit of trouble getting his first job, but I'm sure the company that eventually hired him is thanking the heavens that they found him now. There's just a lot of people out there and company's hiring processes are far from perfect. Really, just keep at it.

If I was to offer some advice, try to have something tangible you can show interviewers that you created, they really like if you can open your laptop/phone/whatever and be like "hey, I made this! Cool huh?".

And honestly, once you get your foot in the door it's a lot easier from there. It's just that first step. :)

kaiser_soze_722 karma

Top notch, Christian! Those aren’t rookie numbers!

iamthatis3 karma

Right? I'm actually pretty proud of those. :P

Snuffaluffakuss1 karma


iamthatis2 karma


CowardlyCannibal1 karma

That is amazing! 🙀

I was late to the AMA but will there be an option added to disable GIF autoplay? That's the only thing I can think of that's missing for me personally.

iamthatis2 karma


daredwolf1 karma

Yay! I'm glad it raised so much!

iamthatis2 karma

It legitimately blew me away.

dwilliam161 karma

Is there any chance for an Android version so I can help next time?

iamthatis2 karma

Doesn't look like it in the near future to be honest, I'd love to but I just don't have the time.

thepatientoffret1 karma

It's a lot of money! I hope they use it well.

iamthatis2 karma

I have no doubt they will!

Fridaycuddles1 karma

Christian. You are an incredible dude.

iamthatis2 karma

Naw dogs and cats are just really cute

Xanza-13 karma

So exactly how many pets that you've stolen from people's families are you going to be able to euthanize with TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS?

iamthatis5 karma

I don't think you understand what an animal shelter is, are you confusing animal shelters with Edison electrocuting elephants or whatever? At least I don't think the ones around here break into peoples' houses to steal their animals, that'd be awkward.

iamthatis6 karma

I think you're confused, this post has nothing to do with the ASPCA, I'm talking about the SPCA. I'm Canadian. Similar name, different countries, different organizations.