Featured Startup Pitch: Spin for Good was built to enable charities to tap into the big money in online gaming
Elevator Pitch: Spin for Good combines social online gaming and charitable giving in a simple and meaningful way. Users play online games with actual money on the line—so, the stakes and the excitement are real—and winnings go straight to the charity of their choice.
With the help of Steve Levitt, the mind behind the Freakonomics books, we’ve created a way for people to play popular online games on behalf of the charities they care about. Players make a donation to enter an online tournament from $1 up to $20. These entry fees fund the prize pool, so the money at stake is real. For example, in a $5 tournament, players can win $50, or even $500, for a cause they care about. One hundred percent of the prize pool is given to charity, so it’s a cost-effective way for charities to raise funds, and users know their money is truly being used for good.
For the past ten years, Steve Levitt and I have brought our experience in economics to several projects in the non-profit space. Over-and-over, we find that it is very costly for nonprofit organizations to raise money, partially because they rely so heavily on direct mail and other traditional fundraising methods. We have been searching for creative solutions to make the fundraising process more cost-effective. Spin for Good formed from this desire to help the organizations we care about and the opportunity we saw in the rising popularity of online gaming—already a billion dollar industry. Spin for Good facilitates fundraising at essentially no cost to charitable organizations, and it also improves the social gaming experience.
Spin for Good partners with a variety of charities, each fully-vetted and dedicated to a great cause. Our charity partners promote Spin for Good through social media and email, encouraging donors to play our games and win money for them, with the chance to turn a small donation into a much larger one.
We also market to avid online gamers who already spend real money on their gameplay. At Spin for Good, these users can get a similar gaming experience, but they’ll know that the time and money they spend on gameplay is going straight to a good cause. Our site provides the excitement of real stakes gambling, but the outcome is always good: A player’s loss is still a donation to a charity in need.
There are two factors that drive the market for Spin for Good. First, online gaming is a billion dollar industry, fueled by people who pay money to access features within games—things that have no value outside of the game. We offer a similar experience, but with the benefit of raising money for your favorite charity, giving gameplay a guilt-free purpose for users and a positive feeling that continues long after the end of the game.
Second, a charity’s fundraising is considered cost-effective if it takes less than $35 to raise $100. Spin for Good drastically reduces these costs. Unlike direct mail and other more traditional fundraising methods, Spin for Good requires no upfront investment from our charity partners, and it increases their online presence.
How We’re Different From the Competition
Spin for Good is unique in two fundamental ways. First, online gamers can play guilt-free. Whereas regular online gaming is often seen as a time-and-money drain, Spin for Good allows users to spend time and money on games they enjoy, knowing it’s going to a cause they care about.
Second, amongst the smaller set of games with a philanthropic bent, Spin for Good stands out because it gives winners the chance to choose which charity gets the prize money. This gives the player a more compelling and personal reason to participate, and it increases the stakes of the game, amplifying excitement.
Currently, 100 percent of donations go to our partner charities (after PayPal processing fees). Eventually, we will charge a small fee to cover the cost of game development, user acquisition, operating costs, etc., but we are committed to our primary goal of making Spin for Good a truly cost-effective fundraising tool for charities doing excellent work.
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Year Founded: 2013