Recent major humanitarian crises like the Ebola Crisis and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, have seen charities partner with internet giants such as Facebook and Google to reach millions of potential donors with relief campaigns. As technology slashes the time and effort needed to realize such collaborations, the opportunities for organizations, and indeed individuals, to harness their influence for the greater good are exploding.
Here we compile 3 exciting campaigns where organizations, from an independent studio to a global tech giant, are leveraging their unique value and online networks to drive traffic and donations for worthy causes.
The Gaming App that Mobilised its Userbase in Ebola Relief
Plague Inc is a strategy video game created by independent game studio Ndemic Creations. Players create diseases with the goal of destroying the world with a deadly plague. In September and October of 2014, Plague Inc experienced a major growth surge, fueled by the international media spotlight on the Ebola crisis. Reaching a community of over 35 million players around the world, James Vaughan, Ndemic's founder, regonized the the power of this community to make a real difference.
"I do think that Plague Inc. is in a uniquely powerful position to significantly raise awareness of Ebola to well over 35 million people all over the world," Vaughan explained to Wired. Following a significant personal donation, Vaughan launched a campaign calling on Plague's community of players to make their own donations.
During the game players were presented with a pop up, giving them the opportunity to make a donation. Each player would only see this message once, but with 35 million users globally and about 4 million players each week that equated to a huge amount of potential donors. The campaign benefited major charities responding to the Ebola crisis including the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Disasters Emergency Committee. Plague Inc used ammado's portable donation tool to facilitate donations and split donations by country, so that donors were giving to the chosen charity in their country.
As well as raising a huge amount of awareness, Plague Inc estimated that its global community raised $50,000 in 7 days for charities fighting Ebola.
Online Video Gamers Uniting in a $100K Beat Cancer Charity Marathon
Armed with a collective aim of raising $100K for the American Cancer Society, a group of online video gamers embarked on a week long challenge. Kasper and Friends Quest for the Cause is an annual online video gaming charity marathon that brings together online video gaming talent to raise money for a cancer-related charity organization. 2014 marked the third year of the event, a collaboration between Twitch broadcasters and YouTubers, which has consistently raised its fundraising bar each year.
December's charity marathon lasted more than 168 hours and featured over 60 broadcasters and content producers providing non-stop entertainment and doing some silly things in an attempt to reach their fundraising target. The marathon was comprised of 3-hour live-streamed, gaming sessions where gamers undertook various challenges and offered intriguing incentives to donate; for example, taking Guitar Hero requests for a $5 donation. Some gamers even matched donations made during their shift.
Quest for the Cause attracted donations from all over the globe, which were facilitated and tracked using ammado's API. The campaign was hugely successful in the funds it raised and the social attention it generated. You can read some more and draw inspiration from their interesting use of digital and incentives for donations here.
SAP Engaging its Global Online Network in Fundraising
SAP was celebrating reaching milestone growth of its education platform openSAP, at around the same time the company had made a substantial donation to Doctors Without Borders Ebola Appeal. With a growing online community and course enrollments now standing at 500,000, the openSAP team was inspired by the idea of using SAP's corporate donation to kick-start an even greater response across its online network.
Following an internal company charity fundraiser to celebrate the growth of the platform, the openSAP team launched a campaign on its public website inviting users to make a make a donation to help Computer Aid International to bring ICT access to poor and disadvantaged communities and help Doctors Without Borders to provide medical aid in emergency situations like the Ebola Crisis.
Funds can be donated online on the openSAP website or on the openSAP Facebook page through ammado's portable giving tools until the end of January.