Reinventing Charitable Engagement
CharityWars is an experiment in using competitive gameplay to make the process of supporting, sharing and discovering charitable causes more exciting and personally meaningful for all Americans.
Our Guiding Principles
Gamification for Good
- Americans care, and we give. But we are also love a good challenge. To fight for your side. To be tested. To win. To be the best at something. Our Generosity, and our Competitive Spirit are two parts of the American experience that are often separate. A core focus of CharityWars.org is to bring together these two elements, in ways that can help both Causes and Champions.
- CharityWars.org is a tool for our Champions to support their favorite Causes. BUT we also want it the site to be an example for Non-Profits on the importance of gamification and gameplay in educating, engaging and exciting their supporters. We want Not-for-Profit causes go beyond a focus on donations and mailed contribution requests, and embrace new digital tools for creating support and excitement for their missions. To start focusing on ways to empower their supporters to share in their mission. To identify and engage their most active Champions EVEN IF it wont lead to new donations.
- We want to make raising funds for your favorite Charity or Cause to be a challenge, a game, a measure of your skills and commitment. We want fundraising to be something that you look forward to when you come home from a long day of work, or something you can do during your commute, not something that you "deal with" when you go through your mail. We want to help inspire the next generation of political and charitable fundraising and champion making.
- Charitable giving is already good. We want to make it awesome.
Champions not Donors
- We believe that every individual can make a meaningful difference for their Social, Environmental or Political Cause by leveraging their social networks, their creativity, the skills and not just their credit card. In the age of global social networking, when Brands and Causes are created or forgotten overnight, building real relationships with supporters should be the primary focus of member outreach efforts by Charities and Causes.
- We are a nation of volunteers and joiners. We love fighting for the underdog, and helping others discover what we are passionate about. Unfortunately many Causes still concentrate on the "end game" of getting a donation, or focus on courting their biggest donors and fundraisers; instead of the connecting to the passion, the creativity, the social media presence, and the networking power of their supporters.
- CharityWars.org is designed as an evolving experiment in how Charities and Causes can build stronger emotional relationships with their Supporters through competitive gameplay. Part of this goal is to keep improving our website and our core gameplay and creating varied avenues for supporting your Cause. So that every Champion, independent of their means, can work for their Cause through their gameplay skills, social networks, and knowledge.
- Our larger goal is to keep creating gamified tools that give Champions of every Cause a voice, a direction, and a way to support their Cause through meaningful action independent of their means, as well as have a greater agency in the political process. And we want to encourage Causes and Charities to embrace gamification tools to connect with, educate and empower their potential supporters into lifelong Champions.
Game Together, Talk Together
- A core goal of this project is to shift the focus away from separating ourselves through our Politics and instead to connect through our Shared Values. Unfortunately Politics often come down to picking a side: and one side is “Right” and the other “Wrong”. Values are more complicated. There are more choices. More combinations. And more flexibility. If you give your money to the local dog shelter, while your neighbor gives money to the local museum; neither side has to think the other "Wrong". Your priorities may be different, but you can still understand and respect each others Values. You might even join in to help.
- We believe that there are more things that unite us, than divide us, as Americans. For this reason CharityWars strives to be Fiercely Non-Partisan. We want our site to be a space for every American of every political affiliation: Right, Left, Middle, Independent, or Un-Involved. And we have structured the guidelines for nominating new Causes for the Playoffs accordingly.
- So let us compete, let us game, let us challenge our opponents, but let us do it together for Causes that we can all respect. We want to challenge all Champions to find common Causes, to discover worthy opponents, and to share their passion, values and priorities with each other. Let us come together for the game, and then stay for the conversation. Who knows what might happen...
100% User Driven
- We believe that working with the creativity and passion of the crowd is the direction for causes and political candidates that want to be relevant in the new millennium. Our defining principle at CharityWars.org is to be a user-driven tool, that empowers its users to create and shape as much of the content of the platform as possible.
- Our users decide which Causes get to participate, propose which events get added, create and expand our Adventures and Quizzes, and decide which games and contests get built to improve the platform. Everything is being built adjustable, everything can be put to the vote, and we want our champions to decide on the most relevant causes, events and contest styles for them.
- We believe in maintaining our independence. We are 100% Self-Funded and User Supported. CharityWars.org has been built with contributions from our team, and is not beholden to any investors, accelerators or advertisers. We are not Silicon Valley based or built, and we are proud of it. We want only our Mission and our Commitment to our users to shape the direction of this company, and not our investors ROI plan. And we believe that if we put our users first, and build with them, we will succeed as a Social-Enterprise company.
Minimized Costs, Maximized Giving
- We believe that organisations now have the tools to do more for less, like never before. There are free and low cost tools to organize teams, collaborate on projects, share ideas, and crowdsource solutions. And this could be a game changer of how Causes operate and pursue their missions.
- We are a built as a lean startup. (There aren't many options when you start with a ZERO budget.) Our team does most of its work and collaboration virtually, and we get to save money on a central office location. We dont buy, we share. We outsource the skills that we dont have, and make partnerships. We are based in Wyoming, because it's a state that believes in maintaining the lowest administrative costs in the US. (And it's gorgeous.)
- Our goal is to maintain minimal staff, minimal legal costs, and minimal upkeep costs, even as we expand, so that any financial support we recieve will always be used to help Causes, create new games, and build tools for everyone to use.