#TheGame is brilliant. We hope you enjoyed it and learned from it.
But for us, from the outset, it was never just about making real law entertaining, or sharing valuable business legal knowledge with the UK's small business and startup communities for free, or encouraging everyone to better unlock the wealth of guidance and wisdom contained within their own networks.
It was never just about encouraging more people to engage with the fantastic products and solutions offered by #TheGame players' businesses or the great discount deal running currently on our very own elXtr, (30% off a whole year using voucher code TheGame2016!).
Of course, it is about all those things.
But we had another key objective. One very much aligned with one of our brand values, Growing Together: to give back.
Giving back to those who matter & who are too often overlooked
Growing Together is a value very close to our hearts and our minds. For us @elXtr, this value is about giving back to communities, individuals, families and the many different organisations that support each and every one of us, daily, often tirelessly, and all too frequently, with inadequate resources to fulfil their own objectives 100%.
At this time of year, as the old year wanes and the new year beckons, as we excitedly join the tumult of parties and presents and the feasts of food that await us,it can be easy to overlook the less glamorous things that grab our attention the least: the heartbreaking posters on our public transport showing suffering children and starving, mistreated animals, the homeless, the sick and the lonely; the donation tins in the hands of hopeful, semi-frozen volunteers at train stations fighting for the same and many more deserving causes; the tv adverts telling us just how much of a difference £3 here and £5 there will truly make to the lives of so many less fortunate than ourselves.
And of course, they do. Every little helps.
When was the last time you did something for charity?
Most of us can cite one or two reasonably recent examples. Many of us, our team @elXtr included, feel and know that we could and should do more. But as a small team, we've grappled with how to do more, when we already have a stretched budget, and ensure that what we raise is meaningful and makes the biggest difference we can manage.
So when we designed #TheGame, and our great friends at JournoLink agreed to collaborate with us on it, and all our amazing players said 'yes' and trusted us to get this right, it was an easy decision all round to make an element of the initiative a fund-raising one, and to challenge each other to see how much of a difference we could make, not just to one cause, but a number of different ones.
You'll find our fund-raising page here. And if you've enjoyed #TheGame and you have a few spare pennies that you're willing to donate, there are four amazing charities for which you can vote to receive your kind gift. They were nominated by our players in #TheGame.
Each one of the four charities will benefit - because we honestly couldn't choose between them. But the level at which they each benefit is down to you and all those who vote for them in the poll you can access here.
Please take a look and dig deep if you can.We'll shout out to as many donors as we can on our social channels and across our network of thousands of small businesses. What you can afford genuinely matters.
We'd love to hit a target of £5,000... in fact, we'd love to hit double that amount! We know that's ambitious. But if everyone that this blog reaches gave us just a couple of quid, you know what, it might just be possible. And there's no 'might' about the fact that that amount of money would make a massive difference this winter to those who our four UK charities support.
Why we chose GoFundMe to facilitate the charitable side to #TheGame
One of the biggest challenges we encountered with the charitable side to #TheGame, was the fact that a lot of the charitable giving sites restrict the donations to just the one cause. We really wanted to benefit more than one charity. We also really wanted the charities themselves to be have a voice and presence on the hosted page online.
We also wanted to avoid a situation where the donors end up paying a charge to donate on the platform - often the case with many other giving sites.
GoFundMe facilitates what we wanted to achieve, where others don't. It's a really thoughtful platform for raising charitable money and the stories that you can follow on it, and the success that it clearly helps many fund-raisers to achieve, is very clear.
Launched in 2010, GoFundMe claims to be the world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $3 billion raised so far around the world. We loved the fact that like elXtr, it is mobile-friendly, enabling easy fund-raising on the go and incredible reach. There are no penalties for missing a goal, although there is good support to help you to achieve it; the charities also get to keep every donation they receive. It prides itself on being the safest and most trusted fund-raising solution.
We also love the fact that you can use it for more than just charitable fund-raising initiatives. For example, a great number of people have used it to kickstart their own businesses or campaigns, to great success.
Forbes published a great article explaining more about GoFundMe, including why and how it was founded, how it differs from other fund-raising sites (largely for its focus on good causes not just projects) and the success for so many organisations, individuals and businesses that it has already achieved. If you're interested in fund-raising, it's definitely worth a read.
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