By Jessica Davies, News Editor

April 16, 2013 | 3 min read

Amnesty International, British Red Cross and WWF are among a string of charities to join an online, global fundraising game in which players compete for $1bn, with the winnings split between a selected charity and an individual winner.

Players of the game, called Jaro, can enter the game for $10 (£6.50) and compete against other players around the world in an online knockout tournament.

Each player can decide what portion of the $10 should be divided between a charity and a global price pool for one lucky winner. Entrance tickets will generate the target $1bn within a year.

To progress in the tournament players must create a grid of numbers ranging from one to nine, in a way they believe will be hard for their opponents to guess. Using a second grid each player must then guess the order of their opponents’ numbers, similar to the game Battleships (see Video).

The two players, who must win all 27 rounds, will then have a face-off in the final, with one of them walking away with a pot of money, the amount of which to be decided by all players.

Thirteen charities have signed up to be beneficiaries of the game: Age UK, ActionAid, Amnesty International, British Red Cross, Cool Earth, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Guide Dogs, Merlin, War Child, World Cancer Research Fund, World Heart Federation, World Society for Protection of Animals and WWF.

The game is aimed at helping charities unlock new revenue streams.

Peter Lewis, CEO at the Institute of Fundraising, said: “We know it is tough for charities at the moment with the combined impact of the difficult economic situation, public spending cuts and increase in demand for their services. Innovative approaches such as Jaro are therefore important to deliver new sources of income to help them maintain and develop their vital services.

“Jaro combines the popularity of social networking and online gaming with the desire to donate in a fun and interactive way. We hope this will be a winning combination that taps into new audiences and unlocks a much needed new stream of income for charities.”

The ljaunch follows the release of figures last month by PwC, Charity Finance Group and the Institute of Fundraising, which showed 93 per cent of charities said that they were experiencing a squeeze on fundraising while more than two thirds (67 per cent) said that demand for their services had increased.

Jaro is an initiative of Anthony Farah, founder and CEO of Sydney-based digital agency Vivant,

What $1bn could buy:

* 40 private islands

* 25 Gulfstream G550 private jets

* 10 Le Grand Bleu luxury yachts

* Instagram


* Food for 100m of the poorest people on earth for four days

* Vaccinations against life-threatening disease for 649,350,649 children

* Protection for every animal affected by disasters for a decade – saving around 40m animals a year and protecting livelihoods of the communities that care for them

* The cost of care for 21,654 people with cancer