ChipIn for Children's Charities: Initial thoughts + NEW PRIZE GIVEAWAY!

These are my initial ramblings on ChipIn for Children's Charities. Please see the previous posts if you haven't already.

I can't help but be a slight bit crestfallen about the current results of the fund-raiser: a mere $67 for Jack Vasel Memorial Fund, $142 for Sanctuary Home for Children, and a healthy $186 for Child's Play (but still 7% of my goal of $2,500). I've done everything I can to partner with these charities, and not merely support them, so they all know this project exists. Child's Play has a helpful PDF guide to raising funds for them, including how to use ChipIn to do so. This guide also delineates some terms you must comply with, such as 100% of the funds going to Child's Play. More precisely, as I have come to learn via e-mail correspondence with them, there must be the option of 100% of the funds going to Child's Play; this is why Child's Play has endorsed the Humble Bundle, which supports indie game developers and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but which gives the buyer complete freedom in deciding how much to pay and how to split the money among the recipients. As such, I got their approval to do ChipIn for Children's Charities. I had to contact the other two charities to acquire their PayPal addresses for the purposes of setting up the ChipIns, so they certainly approve, as well. I would hope they would do more to promote this effort on Twitter, for example, but so far, not much has happened.

Although this isn't a competition to see which charity can outdo the others, in light of the incentives I've provided to spread the love around (the grand prize drawing can be entered by donating to all three charities, and the giant puzzles which I am offering to make as donation incentives will only happen if all three charities break the same threshold), when one charity lags behind the others so much, one must at least consider the fact that said charity could improve its marketing. As some Twitter followers and I have recently discussed, the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund has a website which could probably stand to be improved, particularly to give visitors regular updates about the beneficiaries. As observed in the aforementioned link, it is easier to find information on the beneficiaries by searching BoardGameGeek's forums. I implore Tom Vasel to not only promote the heck out of this fund-raiser in the board game community where he is already greatly respected (perhaps make a video about it?), but to also do more to make donating more attractive to my readers! I'd hate to see the other two hit $2,500 while you stagnate, denying me the chance to make a single giant puzzle. . . . :)

In retrospect, I should probably have submitted my event to the official Child's Play event calendar to get more publicity, but I didn't think about it at the time, because I'm a newbie to the art of raising funds. It would feel uncouth to submit it now, especially since it would appear on a bunch of calendar dates and kinda sorta monopolize the calendar. Speaking of calendar dates. . .

I am aware that the World Puzzle Competition is going on currently, which may be occupying the time of many in the puzzle community. In case this timing issue is playing a role in the low amount of donations, I have postponed the deadline for four weeks, to November 16! Now you have even more time to donate to these charities and make them happy, or to simply solve the puzzles!

On the subject of solving the puzzles, I am disturbed by how few puzzle solution submissions I have: 13. Most of my previous contests receive this many entries within the first day or so! Are people being guilted out of solving the puzzles without donating? Is it just a timing issue with the WPC going on? In an attempt to drive puzzle solutions, I hereby announce another prize drawing! To enter the prize drawing, simply solve all three puzzles before the deadline; donations will not play a role here. (You will also be entered in all of the other prize drawings for doing so.) The prize up for grabs: a shirt! Details about the shirt are not finalized yet, but I'm hoping to have a furry artist acquaintance design something worth winning. . . . :) [EDIT 10-10-2012: The shirt design is being worked on by an artist who goes by the name Norzman. I am seeing some good progress so far, and believe he can pull through before this contest is over. The shirts will be printed by Zazzle.]

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