SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 – If it’s good enough for kids, maybe it’s good enough for adults, too.
That was the thinking of the Singapore-based team at ShiftRunner, developers of Pandoo Nation, the innovative online fantasy world that allows kids to use game-play to contribute to causes of their choice in developing countries.
ShiftRunner devised a game-play theme for the annual fundraising gala of its field partner, HOPE International Devleopment Agency, which helped double the amount of donations from a year earlier, raising S$70,000 on the night. Under the call sign #GameForHOPE, the ShfitRunner team encouraged tables to compete for points through the evening’s activities in support of the Pamulaan Center for Indiginous Peoples Education in Davao, a HOPE initiative in the Philippines.
“The competition theme was borrowed from our game, Pandoo Nation,” said Anthony Blass, ShiftRunner’s CEO. “But it was brought to life by our chief marketing officer, Michelle Waite, and it was executed flawlessly by her team, including Natalie Doran and Sam Goodwin. They did a fantastic job using the Pandoo concept to create excitement and energy around giving. It’s exactly what we do with kids in our game. Turns out, it works with adults, too.”
Ms. Waite says Pandoo Nation continues to inspire fresh thinking.
“It’s what we do at ShiftRunner,” explains Ms. Waite. “We try to link everything to our game, to causes and to giving. Gamifying giving works for preteens in Pandoo Nation, so we were confident that with a little imagination, it could work just as well for an adult crowd at a black tie gala event. Who isn’t motivated by a little competition?”
#GameForHOPE 2015 invited 128 prestigious guests to put gamified giving into practice. Whether solving a Rubik’s cube, putting or testing their strategic brainpower on Pandoo Nation’s ‘Rescue Camp’ mini game, attendees clocked up Pandoo points for their table in between four decadent courses at the Conrad Centennial Singapore. Lucky raffle winner, Serine Chiu, won the chance to see firsthand the impact of the evenings donations with a once in a lifetime trip to the Philippines sponsored by Pandoo Foundation. Ms. Chiu will visit Pandoo Foundation’s center in Cebu City and then head to Davao, to experience the educational projects supported by HOPE International at the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education.
Co-Chairs Elizabeth Hernandez and Nick Johnston presided over the evening’s proceeding, with Ms. Hernandez’s table ‘The HOPE Hotties’ taking home the Pandoo gift bags and the 2015 title.
“We won, not a fix I promise!” laughed Co-Chair and HOPE International Singapore board member, Elizabeth Hernandez. “A competitive fundraiser is a genius idea; it brought out the kids in us. What #GameForHOPE has demonstrated so successfully is that giving can be more than a transaction, it can be an experience. #GameForHOPE is a testimony to the strength of our friendships; thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors for their continued support.”
This year’s Gala boasted a variety of exclusive auction items for both live and silent bidding, with winners also claiming 50-100 points for their team. ShiftRunner’s own CEO and talented mixologist, Anthony Blass, welcomed guests with an array of professionally crafted cocktails, which he referred to as “pocketbook lubricators.”
It must have worked, too, because four hours of his bartending services were auctioned off for S$1,900 – the second most lucrative live auction item on the evening. “That was just good friends bidding me up, expecting that I might stick around and wash dishes afterwards,” says Mr. Blass.
The animated live auction saw guests battle for a six person stay at the Conrad Centennial Singapore with dinner by a private chef in the presidential suite and bid to name a cow for HOPE. A team of avid sports fans, ShiftRunner donated four prime location tickets to any 2016 Yankees game with thanks to Sam Goodwin, and a round of golf with lunch at Sentosa Golf Club courtesy of auctioneer and ShiftRunner friend, Jeff Waite.
A relational organization and devout partner to local projects, HOPE International Singapore will use all proceeds of their annual gala to cover the construction costs of a new dormitory at the Pamulaan Center for Indigineous Peoples Education in Davao, and will sponsor six at S$1,750 a year. A pledge has been made by an independent company to fund the education of a further three students and HOPE Singapore, in its Christmas Appeal, is seeking to raise support for an additional 25 students.
“The sustainability of community projects relies on a preservation of indigenous culture. We are delighted to be supporting the Pamulaan Center and their expansion,” commented Asia Pacific Director of HOPE International Development Agency, Lowell Shepard. “#GameForHOPE introduced an entirely new, creative element to our annual Gala which had an inspiring impact on our guests and donations. With such a provocative concept, I have no doubt that Pandoo Nation and its team will find limitless success.”
Pamulaan is a volunteer, non-governmental and non-profit educational institution, whose focus is to provide poor and marginalized indigenous youth with access to quality and culture-based education. To achieve its mission, Pamulaan creates culturally appropriate and relevant programs for the indigenous children, youth, community leaders, and development workers from various communities in the Philippines. Pamulaan Center hopes to produce graduates equipped with knowledge, values and skills to initiate collaborative actions towards sustainable development in their communities.