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Humble Bundle adds "choose your own charity" feature

"Philanthropy is a big part of who we are as a company"

Humble Bundle is launching a new "choose-your-own-charity" feature to let gamers select the causes their funds go to.

More than 35,000 charities are eligible under the new scheme and should help Humble Bundle raise money for an even more diverse range of causes. Humble Bundle has raised a total of over $63 million for charities in the past five years.

For more on the new feature we spoke to Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham.

Q: Why was it important for Humble Bundle to allow gamers to choose the charities they support?

John Graham:This Humble Store feature beautifully expands on Humble Bundle's transparent, user-controlled approach to digital distribution.

There are a wealth of amazing charities out there. We don't ever like saying no to great causes but in curating things ourselves, we find ourselves mainly picking larger nonprofits that have awesome established global brands that we think will resonate with our community as a whole.

With this new feature, if parts of our community want to give aid to homeless shelters in San Francisco and others wish to provide fresh drinking water to Ethiopia, they can choose as they please.


Q: Will this be a permanent feature going forward?

John Graham:I think our community will like this feature a lot and if this proves to be the case you can expect this feature to be around for a while.

Q: How was the list of over 35,000 available charities created?

John Graham:Paypal Giving Fund has made this possible. It is an infrastructure originally built for eBay and I'm told we are the first 3rd party partner that's ever gotten access.

Q: Do you plan to add more charities to that list? - Will gamers be able to suggest charities, perhaps local ones?

John Graham:Paypal Giving Fund is continuously adding new charities to their ecosystem all the time - and U.S. and UK registered public charities can apply to enroll with PayPal Giving Fund at any time. We'll also definitely be listening to our community and be hoping to add any missing charities that get frequently requested including local charities.

Q: How important is the charity aspect of Humble Bundle, to the company and to the consumers?

John Graham:It's very important. Humble Bundle is the only digital distributor I know of that has put philanthropy into the DNA of its major products and services.

Jeffrey Rosen (Humble Bundle's CEO) and I had our minds blown when after the first Humble Indie Bundle we were able to write checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars to indie devs and charity. We didn't know if the model would ever be repeatable but after helping people to that degree, we knew we had to try. It is now a great pleasure to us that thanks to everyone's support, Humble Bundle has now dwarfed what we raised in that first bundle by two orders of magnitude with lifetime charitable contributions reaching over $63 million dollars to date.

Philanthropy is a big part of who we are as a company.

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Latest comments (4)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
How about a "choose your own games" bundle from a list of available titles to help out a bit more? I'd bet a shiny new penny that letting customers pick the games they want as well as the charity would be an even better deal.
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Tom Pickard Founder and Creative Director, Knifey Spoonie Games5 years ago
Oh that's a cool Idea... Pick a bunch of games and the min donation/price could be set by what you add.. but you'd still be able to give more if you want etc..
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
Initially thought the idea was decent, but limited...

Then searched for "Sheffield" and realised that their database of charities is pretty damn fine-grained - right down to a nearby Cats Protection League branch being listed. Will definitely make me more likely to buy from Humble/pay more than the average. And very easy to change favoured charity on-the-fly, too.

Edit: Though...

I usually do a split 50/50 developer/charity. Tonight's Weekly was the first bundle I've done a straight 100% to a charity. Obviously, can't extrapolate too much from a single data point, but I imagine it's a mildly concerning development for the developers.who take part.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 27th August 2015 8:09pm

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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
I'm surprised they even allow a 100% setting tbh.

It's a great gig they've got going here, that's a win-win-win. But it needs a firm foundation if it's to do the most good, so that means both the contributing developers and the organisers should be able to rely on some amount coming their way. I'd put a 10% minimum contribution to both if I was running it.
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