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Chedburn

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Thread created on Tue Apr 16, 2013 13:34:35
Last replied to on Tue Apr 16, 2013 14:34:35
Hey Guys,

Over the years we've built a really awesome and incredibly strong, stable community. I swear it's unheard of for people to stick to a game for over 8 years! But there's no doubt the community is a big part of that. This got me thinking, could we - as a community - do something to help out the world in some way?

So I've been toying with this idea for a while now...

The idea is to provide players with a means of getting a special honor bar and perhaps other 'minor goodies' in the form of a 'Charity pack', in exchange for a donation to a charity. All of the money donated would be taken into a new charity paypal account (Using our IPN system to instantly credit rewards just like TC donations) - and then forwarded on to the charity. We'd even cover the costs involved - much like we've done with the Torn clothing line. Upon donation, a counter (viewable by all Torn players) would instantly rise - showing the total donated amount.

We haven't decided on a charity yet, or even started researching, but it would need to meet three main conditions.

- A charity with a global cause that everyone would like to contribute to, not a country specific charity which only focuses on for example, a service in the UK.

- Preferably a charity which does not pour funds into expensive advertising and director salaries.

- A charity which helps humanity, I.e. Saving lives, making lives better, or developing humanity in some way.

We'll figure out which charity to start with, and perhaps eventually bring in a total of three different ones.

I imagine giving users the ability to donate however much they like, knowing that the exact figure they enter will all reach that charity - cost free and tax free. However, they'd have to donate a minimum amount to achieve the 'Charity pack' which includes a special honor bar, merit, some points, and perhaps a special item.

This poll is important, because it would determine the minimum threshold for a 'Charity pack'. This would...

a) Require everyone to meet this amount in order to gain the honor bar, potentially gaining more in total for the charity.

b) Make the special honor more or less rare.

The option with the highest votes won't necessarily win, we'll choose the option which would generate the most money.

It's important for us to set the right threshold to raise as much for charity as possible.

Thanks!


Update

Thanks for the tremendous support! I made some notes below based on some feedback.

- It seems about 1/3rd of the community have a very strange philosophy (which I will never understand), that charities should not receive any money unless it's donated anonymously and completely selflessly. I've seen this before with other internet based organisations that rally for charity. My opinion is that, whether users are buying virtual goods for their own personal gain, donating selflessly, or perhaps a bit of both - It doesn't matter in the slightest. That money will save lives, and that is all that matters. I'm really baffled by it, but a large chunk of any community seems to believe in it. If you believe in it, then don't donate, but please don't try talking other people out of donating to a good cause because of it.

- There's no way we can 'write it off against our tax', we don't gain anything from it at all (except perhaps karma). The benefit is that we don't pay tax on the money raised for the charity, but only this money, no other funds suddenly become 'tax free'.

- There's no PR or advertising stunt, I fail to see how this is even possible. I very much doubt that anyone outside of Torn and the charity itself will even know we donated anything.

- A matching scheme has been thought about, but not really viable. We have limited funds, and for example $50,000 is worth at least two developers. We'd love to do as much for charity as possible, but preferably not have Torn take a hit in the process - it may be possible in the future though! Matching schemes also attract other donors who don't even play Torn to make the most out of their personal donations. I shouldn't have to say this, but for transparency - I pay myself exactly £3,258 per month and make personal donations to charities too.

- Also I should mention, the money made via the clothing line hasn't actually been donated yet, it will be sent over to the first charity we open up here. The (rather small) balance of $1,355.16 is still held within our indie merch account. 207 T-Shirts were sold in total. Perhaps we'll have a stock clearance and lower the price further soon.


Last Edited: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:03:54
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