Your Guide to Charity Bingo Sites
Online bingo may seem like a generous world, what with all that free bingo cash and those bonuses floating around. And whilst charity begins at (your) home in the world of online bingo – it doesn’t end there. In this feature, we’ll be taking a peek at the roots of charity bingo, explaining all the many guises it takes amongst online bingo sites, as well as giving you a guide to the best deals out there. Once again, we’ve done the finding so you don’t have to, and with that in mind, get yourself a cuppa and keep reading for the ultimate guide to giving!
Why Charity Bingo?
Put simply, it’s what is known as a win – win situation. In most charitable games the money you spend is going to a good cause, without any extra charges or compromises on jackpots for you.
Although these are the times of the supposed Big Society, charities are still suffering in the midst of the continued economic doom and gloom – and any chances for people to give are better than nothing.
Whether it’s down to a cause that’s close to your heart or you feel in a particularly generous mood, the point of charity bingo is that you can help others out, just by playing bingo.
The roots of bingo
Most guides to the history of bingo will tell you about it’s charitable roots. When bingo was exported to America from Europe in the early 20th Century, the game of “beano” as it was then known was soon adapted from a fairground pastime into a great fundraising tool.
Charity bingo games are still held offline in community centres and village halls across the UK and US, with plenty of Americans and Brits willing to meet up for some eyes down action in the name of good causes.
Land based bingo clubs have also used the opportunity to pay homage to the humble roots of online bingo, and although the popularity of the offline bingo club has waned, there are still high profile partnerships forged between Mecca Bingo and their charitable partners.
Changing with the times
Surprisingly, it took a while before the online bingo world caught onto the charitable bingo trend.
Although there were plenty of one-off promotions – for example, Foxy Bingo promoting Comic Relief – dedicated charity online bingo sites were a bit of a rarity for quite some time.
That changed in 2008 with the launch of Big Heart Bingo, who laid claim as one of online bingo’s very first charity sites.
Unlike other sites that kept all their profits for the business, Big Heart Bingo operated on a simple proposition. Charities could sign up with the site and get paid a monthly amount based on the total profits Big Heart Bingo made.
So, instead of seeding the money out solely to their online bingo affiliates, Big Heart Bingo instead donated 50% of their profits direct to charity.
Charity and Online Bingo – matching up and cashing in
There are plenty of different ways an online bingo site will hook up with a charity, and we’ll take a quick look at some of the main ways now:
Affiliated Charity Bingo Sites
These are more permanent connections forged between a charity/charities and an online bingo site.
Our above example of Big Heart Bingo is one such site that uses charities in an affiliate type role, promising to donate up to 50% of their profits to charities that sign up to the site.
Another site that functions in a similar way is the 2010 launched Bingo Giving, who select their charities based on player recommendations.
On their charity page, you can keep up to date with how much is being raised and for who – with 10% of Bingo Giving’s net wins being split across their chosen charities. They also promise to donate £10 to every player that is raising money for charity via a Just Giving page, leaving them with impeccable charitable credentials.
Dedicated Charity Bingo
Another offshoot of this is a site that is linked solely to one charity and uses that name to trade. A great example of this is the much-publicised Pink Ribbon Bingo, which has used it’s impressive celebrity connections to gather together roomies to play bingo and fight breast cancer.
The site runs on an online bingo network, but because it is operated under the Pink Ribbon Bingo name, the gross profits of the site go direct to the operation of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity.
Long standing Partnerships
Other sites that have fostered long standing relationships include past treats like the RSPCA and JackpotJoy Bingo and more current ones like Marie Curie Care and Mecca Bingo.
In addition to helping out the charity offline, Mecca Bingo play a regularly monthly game week, with 40p of every £1 they receive going to the charity.
With a game a day across the first week of every month, it’s an ongoing moneyspinner that gets money straight to a deserved cause.
Although the number of charity bingo sites has definitely grown, the appearance of linked promotions and special charity games.
Our recent post on 888Ladies Bingo Strawberry Tea game gives you a bit of an idea, with the same game soon set to play on Wink Bingo and other sites in the Joy of Bingo network, as part of a 2012 pledge to raise at least £20,000 for Breast Cancer Care.
Sites like Foxy Bingo have been especially good at holding high profile charity bingo games in the past, helping out Comic Relief and many others – and even free bingo sites like Costa Bingo have used their fanbase to give away money to charity in the past. Whilst these promos come and go, there are still plenty of choices if you go looking around the online bingo world.