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Saanich company launches online game that aids ancient forests

Saanich News, September 11, 2011

Saanich company launches online game that aids ancient forests
You can try out the new online game to help benefit the AFA while having some fun at www.wordraiser.com

A Saanich-based company has set out to revolutionize non-profit fundraising, and they’ve turned to Facebook to do it.

On Sept. 8, Donate2Play Media launched its first social media game, a collaboration with local protectors of old growth forests, the Ancient Forest Alliance. The anagram game for Facebook, Wordraiser, combines images, facts and a petition related to the organization’s work, while prompting players for small donations to continue playing.

“Over beers we stumbled upon a concept where we use online gaming to generate funds,” said Adrian Pereira, one third of the team behind Donate2Play, along with his wife Kelly Pereira and friend Tomas Ernst. “It hadn’t actually been done before where we take a charity’s brand and make a game around the brand, integrating donating into the actual game.”

Donate2Play intends to continue covering the initial start up costs of developing games as they did for the Ancient Forest Alliance, while splitting revenue with non-profits in what Pereira describes as a no-risk business model.
“Essentially, Donate2Play is about trying to free (Ancient Forest Alliance) up from the headaches of traditional fundraising, so they can go out and do the work that they do really well, which is discovering new old growth forests,” Ernst said.

While the concept was in development, Ernst went on a nature walk with Ken Wu and TJ Watt, founders of the Ancient Forest Alliance.

“This is an non-profit that’s already thinking outside the box,” Ernst said. “They’re already forming alliances with typically untraditional partners for a non-profit.”

While players unscramble words in Wordfinder, they’ll be shown images of some of B.C.’s biggest trees, but if they lose, they’ll be subject to viewing images of some of B.C.’s biggest stumps, photographed by Watt for the tricky and challenging anagrams, he said.

“People have been quite generous so far, but it’s nice any time you can create a new and innovative avenue to bring in funds, especially if it involves entertainment,” Watt added.

Donate2Play hopes to tailor games to organizations globally across the non-profit sector. The company can be found at www.donate2play.com. Visit www.ancientforestalliance.org for more information on the Ancient Forest Alliance.

Link to original article: http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/saanichnews/news/129632158.html


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