Hundreds of dogs, cats, and other small animals are rescued and cared for by the Humane Society of London & Middlesex (HSLM) every year. The shelter does important work but needed help bringing in more money to care for the animals.
tbk partnered with lottery organizer LMR to help HSLM create an interactive online gaming experience to maximize the shelter’s fundraising efforts.
raised throughout the campaign
weeks of online fundraising
of profits to help pets in need
Let’s Make Results (LMR) Consulting Inc. (acquired by Ascend Fundraising Solutions) is a full-service consulting company for charitable gaming. It’s licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to work closely with non-profits to develop, implement, and manage charitable raffle and lottery programs throughout the province.
The Humane Society of London & Middlesex (HSLM) is a non-profit organization that improves the lives of animals through education, advocacy, and by providing temporary shelter and new families for animals in need. They never euthanize for space, and they rely solely on donations to provide care for ~2,500 animals each year. This makes fundraising a crucial part of HSLM’s operations.
Lottery management is complex. There are many gaming regulations that must be followed. It’s also often difficult to translate traditional games into an easily understandable, interactive online experience.
LMR needed a creative way to transform Catch the Ace (a card game that’s usually played in-person within rural communities) into a user-friendly, mainstream digital experience.
Catch the Ace is a raffle lottery where participants purchase tickets for a weekly draw. The tickets are associated with 52 envelopes on the game board, each containing one playing card. Players choose which envelope they think the Ace of Spades is hiding. The cash prize grows bigger each week until the Ace of Spades is drawn, and that lucky ticket holder wins the money.
Catch the Ace can be tricky to learn how to play, so tbk carefully thought through the user experience (UX). Since people learn differently, we created a custom WordPress website that presents the rules of the game in multiple formats so that it’s more accessible. People can read written FAQs, watch videos, or dive right in and learn as they interact with cards on an impressively responsive, digital game board. All the rules are clearly spelled out when someone clicks on a virtual envelope.
This sophisticated strategy necessitated something that went beyond the standard WordPress setup. The humane society needed a way to update the site to reflect chosen and drawn cards, as well as check analytics and manage ticket orders. tbk made this easy with smart backend logic that auto-calculates ticket sales and allows HSLM to reset for its weekly draw.
A real-time countdown is shown on the main page of the website, and it is responsive on both desktops and mobile devices. tbk’s branding team worked to incorporate the established HSLM brand colours and logo into the new website, making it instantly recognizable and trusted as a charitable organization. The site is designed to be compliant with AODA web accessibility guidelines and strict gaming protocols. Since eligibility is limited to Ontario residents, the site recognizes when someone is outside of the province and prompts them with a pop up with educational information.
To create a feeling of people purchasing a physical ticket, tbk integrated the website with WooCommerce to productize ticket sales. This helped add legitimacy to the process by showing an accompanying image of a ticket and a familiar online checkout. Tickets are sent to the purchaser via email, and the humane society revealed the winner by going live on Facebook and Instagram every Friday at noon.
If your ticket is drawn, you win the cash prize (20% of that week’s ticket sales). If your envelope reveals the Ace of Spades, you win the progressive jackpot (30% of all ticket sales + the weekly cash prize). Winners are proudly displayed on the website.
The best part? 50% of net proceeds go to support the care and shelter of surrendered pets in the City of London, and Counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford.
Both tbk and LMR pride themselves on their high standards. For over five years, tbk has enjoyed a progressive, mutually-beneficial working relationship with LMR. This time around, tbk acted as a technology partner to seamlessly deploy an extremely successful charitable fundraising campaign for the London, Ontario human society.
The game ran for 35 weeks and raised $792,100 with 50% being awarded to winners. Incredible results for a worthwhile cause! The money will go toward helping ~2,500 animals in need.
Thank you for all your amazing work on the website and continued assistance throughout the program. None of this can happen without a team and partners like you.