The gaming industry, crowdfunding, targeted marketing and skills sharing can be much further exploited to allow the sector to thrive, said speakers at the NCVO’s annual event yesterday.
In one of the busiest break-out sessions of the day – Karl Wilding, director of public policy at NCVO, said that while crowdfunding raised $1.1 million through a handful of sites in 2011, last year it generated $2.7 billion dollars across 600 platforms.
On gaming, Helen Goulden director of Nesta’s Innovation Lab, said that nearly six billion hours of time was spent on popular online game World of Warcraft every year. That $2.5 billion dollars was spent on buying virtual items in games last year.
She said: “We’ve invested in Playmob, where people can buy virtual objects and the money goes to a relevant charity (buy a virtual tractor online and money goes towards farming equipment in Africa, for example).
Delegates were asked about how they were using technology innovatively, but few of the 160 or so in the room were able to give examples. “Think about what you can do with what’s out there. For example, Age UK teamed up with skills and goods sharing site Ecomodo, for older people to offer their talents and engage in society more,” said Goulden.
She believes that thinking innovatively about the sharing economy and creating initiatives such as Casserole, which encourages people to cook for their elderly neighours, or Good Gym, which sees people jogging to volunteering jobs, can enable the sector to do more for service users with less resources.
She also said that charities had to assume that “no one was searching for them online, and to look at behavioural targeting to increase awareness of their cause”.
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