By Sehaj Dhillon
Earlier in April, Lottery.com and Countable teamed up to improve social philanthropy efforts and financial success for organisations involved in social impact issues, such as social justice and education.
Lottery.com and WinTogether CEO, Tony DiMatteo, and Countable and Causes.com CEO, Bart Myers spoke exclusively to Gambling Insider on philanthropy and its relationship with the gambling industry.
How has philanthropy evolved and what do you expect it will look like in the future?
Tony DiMatteo: Technology and transparency have reshaped our ability to give. The increased visibility and disclosures of philanthropic efforts create a more results-focused and driven donor. People have begun changing their giving patterns to give more effectively. For organisations, the focus has shifted to high-impact, scalable and sustainable outcomes powered by technology, dramatically extending their ability to reach new audiences.
We expect charitable organisations to continue to lean into the benefits that technology adoption and leverage offers, particularly in targeting engaged audiences. WinTogether seeks to help supercharge philanthropic efforts with a next-generation digital technology platform. Customised with an innovative twist in charitable involvement designed to incentivise potential donors, we are revolutionising what it means to be a philanthropist.
Bart Myers: The advent of social media was initially a huge boon to philanthropy, helping us to connect with one another around shared interests in support of causes that we care about. It brought unparalleled power to build and engage large audiences around impact. But recently that’s changed, with social networks optimising their algorithms to keep people on the platform, reducing virality in favour of paid ads, and even banning the ability for causes to advertise at all.
Countable and WinTogether have partnered to bring back the power of social connection around leading causes. Our aim is to build dynamic communities of passionate, engaged supporters who are eager to have an impact in their communities. We are all constantly distracted by noise and the most important messages can easily be missed. To overcome that, we’re building an innovative approach to philanthropy combining best-of-breed technology, gamification, social proof, incentives and social networking to bring people together around the causes they care about.
How strong of a role can the gambling industry play in the future of philanthropy?
TD: The link between gaming and charity dates back centuries. There are many examples of positive change driven by the lottery sector. For example, the proceeds from a lottery in 1753 funded the British Museum, one of the most famous museums in the world. Many people don’t realise the lottery is a social good. A large portion of contributions directly fund community development, local education, veteran support organisations and more.
Expanding our notion of gaming to include incentivised giving. Choosing to play in the lottery or enter a sweepstakes on a platform like WinTogether is choosing to engage in some form of positive social change. Through interactive charity gaming and lottery options, individuals are given a chance to win not only through a prize or life-changing jackpot but also through knowing that a portion of their wagers goes to a good cause.
We believe incentivised giving platforms like Lottery.com and WinTogether are the future of philanthropy. We’re excited to be partnering with Countable to bring visibility to the important issues for which we’re seeking to fundraise. Countable generates impact at scale and that is exactly what we believe we need to change the world.
What are the social issues that concern you the most?
TD: We identify our causes at WinTogether using the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals as guidance. Together, Countable and WinTogether aim to propel financial success for top-tier organisations at the nexus of social impact issues such as sustainability, social justice and education.
How can other businesses and organisations do more to help?
TD: As with many things in life, it rarely hurts to keep an open mind. For organisations looking to scale their impact through innovative means, perhaps incentivised giving is an avenue they hadn’t previously thought to explore to achieve their philanthropic goals. We’re excited to be at the forefront of the growing industry and invite others to join.
BM: New approaches to philanthropy require constant innovation and testing. One size doesn’t fit all. Accordingly, we’re eager to work with partners who can help drive awareness of the WinTogether campaigns, recruit new philanthropic donors, and help create positive outcomes for our world. The causes focused on achieving sustainable development goals need our help more than ever; let’s give it to them.
For organisations looking to scale their impact through innovative means, perhaps incentivised giving is an avenue they hadn’t previously thought to explore to achieve their philanthropic goals. We’re excited to be at the forefront of the growing industry and invite others to join
With WinTogether and Countable teaming up to campaign about social issues, what else can we expect from the collaboration?
TD: WinTogether and Countable plan to bring visibility and engagement through dedicated hubs for each charitable campaign. Social content will be shared across the WinTogether site, powered by Countable, and via Causes.com, a service division of Countable, with a broad audience of 192 million followers. Content will be tailored to targeted Causes.com audience cohorts in an effort to effectively amplify key messages and drive impact for WinTogether philanthropy.
With some still unsure about gambling companies’ involvement in charitable acts, can philanthropy improve the public’s perception of the gambling industry?
TD: It’s no secret that gaming holds a negative connotation for many. Expanding the definition of real money gaming beyond the traditional sense of the words, and highlighting subsets of the industry such as charity sweepstakes or incentivised giving can start to change the negative public perception of the industry, by showing the positive outcomes that are able to come from it.