Recently, I came across an interesting site. Games that Give appears to be a relatively new site that allows you to play your favorite online games, like say, Sudoku, for free, and the site donates 70% of its ad revenue (say you happen to click on an ad while bursting with joy from solving that Sudoku puzzle), to charities that are part of the site. As a Sudoku addict, I could not be happier about this, but as a fundraiser, it is even more exciting.
So far, relatively few organizations have signed up for this. Users can pick the organization they "play" for. There is now a Facebook Application as well, and I imagine a mobile app is not too far off.
This site is in line with loads of other sites that have cropped up over the past few years like FreeRice.com and others where users are doing something that is useful or fun in their every day lives, and thru ad revenue, doing some good as well. There are shopping sites like this--buy an item thru the site, part of the revenue goes to charity. EBay's been in the game for a long time where you can donate part of the sale of your auction item to a charity of your choice, the list goes on and on.
The key here is that inventive folks on the web are finding ways to marry what people do on the Internet every day to a useful by product. Most of us have gotten used to seeing ads anyway, so why not have those ads do some good if we click on it?
The fundraiser's dilemma, is of course, how to keep up with all these sites, which ones to sign up for, how to even find out about them, and how to get ahead of the game.
One useful resource that all of us fundraisers can take advantage of is the Case Foundation's Gear Up for Giving initiative, going on right now. According to the Case Foundation, Gear Up for Giving: "which is presented in partnership with the Goldhirsh Foundation and See3, includes a series of Q&A sessions with social media experts and video training, along with a compilation of the best resources & tools from across the web for nonprofits and social media. The trainings and resources are free and available to any nonprofit organization or individual that has an interest in learning how to use social media tools to galvanize their networks, raise awareness for their causes and increase donations."
At the end of the 30 day initiative, "nonprofits everywhere will have an opportunity to put their learning into practice when we launch the 2009 America's Giving Challenge, enabling them to compete for donations and raise awareness for their causes."
And, just to help everyone get their week started on a thoughtful note, here is an interesting video from Network For Good care of the Wild Apricot Blog.