Global online game seeks charity partners to share in $1bn

It costs users $10 to join Jaro.com, launched today, with the good causes and prize pot taking a share of the proceeds

Jaro.com
Jaro.com

A global online game set up to raise $1bn (£653m) that will be split between good causes and one winner is looking for charities to take part.

Described as a "gamified crowdfunding social platform", Jaro.com was launched today with 13 charities registered to take part, including ActionAid, Cool Earth, Merlin and the WSPA.

The game will run for a year or until the $1bn target is reached. It is planned to take place annually.

Jaro costs each player $10 (£6.50) plus a 50 cents administration fee to cover its costs. Its developers said this meant 100 per cent of the $10 would go to the charity and the prize pot.

Players decide how to split the cost between the good causes and the prize pot. The charities involved are split into eight cause categories, including poverty, the environment and animals.

The game is a knockout competition in which players rearrange the numbers one to nine in a grid and try to guess how their opponent has arranged his or hers. The player with the closest guess to their opponent’s grid is the winner and goes through to the next round, until an overall winner is found.

Anthony Farah, chief executive of Jaro, told Third Sector that charities could nominate themselves to be part of the game, and players could also suggest charities. He said there was no set limit on the number of charities that could join and no fee for charities to sign up.

"There is no precise limit on the number of charities that can join," said Farah. "We started with some of the most recognised to help with the launch. For other charities we will be guided by the community of players and the Institute of Fundraising."

At the end of the month, the money in each cause category would be split evenly between the charities, he said.

Farah said it was too early to say how much each charity would make from the game, but the statistics area of the website would show how much had been donated to each cause area. "It is a pretty easy model to help the charities with planning," Farah said.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: "We know it is tough for charities at the moment with the combined impact of the difficult economic situation, public spending cuts and an increase in demand for their services.

"Innovative approaches such as Jaro are therefore important for delivering new sources of income to help them maintain and develop their vital services."

Jaro was created by the Sydney-based digital agency Vivant – it was founded by Farah, who is also its chief executive.

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