Thank you to the some 40 participants who attended today’s lunch seminar on Innovative Fundraising Camapigns.

A special thanks to Emilia Casella from the UN World Food Programme who introduced us to a particularly interesting (and successful) fundraising campaign: Free Rice.

Through her presentation Emilia demonstrated how, by thinking differently about our challenges and the way we use technology, it is possible to really engage people and reach out to new audiences.

Free Rice is a simple yet innovative campaign that enables people play an online vocabulary game and, each time they get a correct answer, donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme (WFP). To date, more than 4.3 million people have been fed for a day thanks to the campaign, which is growing stronger by the day.

The stats are impressive. The site attracts 1.2 million unique players each month, with 9% of players returning more than 200 times!

While it’s online and fun nature has enabled the WFP to reach out to younger audiences and sensitize them to the core issues around hunger and poverty, the average player is 18-35 years old, female and with an interest in education.

It’s key success factors appear to lie in its simplicity of use and  its ability to empower individuals to make a difference. However, it has been the ability of the WFP team to think creatively about how they use the free rice application and concept and drive traffic to the WFP website that has really made the campaign a success and made it a sustainable source of funding for the WFP.

Members invited to join the GCN Free Rice group
One of the features of the Free Rice site is the ability to play as a group and Emilia has kindly set up a group for GCN members (and their friends), so why not sign up to the GCN Free Rice Group today and see how much rice we can donate before our next event – which will be an evening apero early in December, watch this space for more details coming soon.

A few photos are available through the GCN Flickr page.

Look out for our next event, an evening networking apero in December!

Glenn, Patricia, Melitta and Vincent