American Heart Association Uses Augmented Reality to Boost Its Youth Market Fundraising Program

A collaboration with Charity Dynamics and Rock Paper Reality shows augmented reality’s ability to accelerate app user numbers, fundraising, engagement and revenue

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The American Heart Association today announced a first of its kind partnership with Charity Dynamics, a provider of online marketing and fundraising solutions for nonprofits and Rock Paper Reality (RPR), an augmented reality development and consulting agency, to use augmented reality and gamification to amplify the fundraising experience for students participating in Kids Heart Challenge.

The Kids Heart Challenge program, rebranded last year, is a peer-to-peer fundraising program where students have the opportunity to learn about the heart, while at the same time, help raise money to support the mission of the American Heart Association. In order to more effectively mobilize the youth market, American Heart Association collaborated with Rock Paper Reality to create and bring to life Heart Hero’s on the Kids Heart Challenge mobile app, developed by Charity Dynamics. This is the third year RPR has teamed up with Charity Dynamics to deliver augmented reality as the driving experience in the Kid’s Heart Challenge app.

The American Heart Association led with a mobile-first and augmented reality strategy to tap into the youth market. Within the first year they saw a significant impact to student engagement both in terms of registration and donations. It was released to over 15 million kids across the United States with an adoption rate of 50% amongst registered students and 30% of online donations coming through the mobile app.

The increased student engagement through the augmented reality features has been encouraging to see,” said Paisley Payton, the national youth market strategic director for the American Heart Association. “Using gamification, students are now excited to participate and are able to learn heart healthy tips, while fundraising. Mobile devices and interacting with augmented reality features are already second nature to today’s youth – by introducing these features as part of the Kids Heart Challenge mobile app, we’re providing our students a way to fundraise that’s natural to them.”

RPR developed a series of animated 3D characters for an iOS and Android mobile interface. It encouraged kids to download the app and register for the program, in order to unlock and share AR experiences based on earning points and achieving fundraising goals in competition with other students. These included AR Face Filters, an AR coloring book, AR tattoos, and an interactive AR game. Students had dozens of items they could scan to receive an AR experience, which resulted in millions of AR scans.

The American Heart Association is using RPR’s leading edge technology to help bring the Kids Heart Challenge application to a new level of user engagement and excitement among the young, and as a tool to help drive their vision forward both from a mission and fundraising perspective. It’s energizing to see these students embrace augmented reality,” said Charity Dynamics CEO Kathy Kempff. “Augmented reality has become far more robust and now offers incredible potential and possibilities for custom development within the Boundless FundraisingTM mobile app.”

3D augmented reality content can tell a story in a way 2D media cannot, yet many brands remain confused about how best to capitalize on the opportunity and integrate the technology to drive real value,” said Patrick Johnson, CEO of RPR. “We take away that pain, helping companies navigate the AR jungle to find the best solution, across any channel and on any platform. By incorporating immersive storytelling experiences together with 3D photo-realism, RPR was able to breathe new life into the Kids Heart Challenge app and have helped them boost fundraising, recruitment, engagement and revenue. It’s particularly gratifying when working with an organization whose vision is to improve the health of kids.”

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About American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Charity Dynamics

Charity Dynamics is a strategy, fundraising and online marketing firm for nonprofit organizations. Our staff has over 175 years’ experience working directly for nonprofits, working with organizations of all sizes, including some of the biggest names in the nonprofit and foundation world. Charity Dynamics delivers what charities need to help fulfill their missions: more awareness, supporters, engagement and donations. Our solutions include strategic consulting, creative services, fundraising solutions, and innovative technologies. At Charity Dynamics, our mission is to fulfill yours. For more information, please visit

About Rock Paper Reality

Rock Paper Reality is an Augmented Reality design agency that works with companies to improve brand awareness and drive deeper communications with customers. Founded in 2017, RPR works with consumer and enterprise companies: from those just beginning to explore AR to those in need of a global rollout. Key industries include AR marketing, education, entertainment, and retail. RPR leadership has over a decade of experience working in the trenches of AR product and content development at Osterhout Design Group. The RPR team has delivered dozens of successful AR products and applications and received over a dozen technology patents in headworn and AR. RPR has offices in Silicon Valley and Copenhagen. For more information, contact us at or visit us at:, Twitter: @rockreality /LinkedIn:


Beth Handoll

Rock Paper Reality

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