If you’re a frequent BingoPort user or someone who considers themselves a bit of a bingo veteran, you might think yourself an expert in all things bingo-related. But did you know that bingo is often used as a way to raise money for charity? This is otherwise known as charity bingo. For a better idea of how it started, BingoPort has put together a guide to walk you through everything you need to know about charity bingo.
As the name suggests, charity bingo is when the proceeds of a bingo game go towards a specific charity. As you might already know from our bingo facts and trivia, bingo’s origins date back to 1530 in Italy known as ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto’. The main influence behind charity bingo, however, came about much later.
In the 1930s, a Catholic priest got in touch with Edwin S. Lowe, one of the key figures behind the popularity of bingo in the US. He wanted to know if bingo could be used as a new way to fundraise for the Catholic Church. It wasn’t too long after this that the concept of charity bingo really took off, with churches and other organizations hosting games of bingo as a way to raise money.
The concept of charity bingo has continued even to this day. In fact, you might have noticed that many national lotteries, for example, donate a certain percentage of the overall winnings back to charity. And, if you like to tune in to our bingo news roundups each month, you’ll have noticed that many organizations, towns and bingo providers host bingo fundraiser events. It’s certainly a great way to raise social awareness for certain charities whilst promoting fun.
Charity bingo is incredibly popular—and why shouldn’t it be? It’s a simple game that anyone can play, and it’s certainly easy enough to host your own (see below for more information). Like most things, however, you do need to meet certain criteria if you want to host a charity bingo event:
Of course, charity bingo doesn’t just apply to land-based events—there’s even online charity bingo!
With the increasing popularity of charity bingo games at bingo halls and fundraisers, it’s not particularly surprising that it was soon adopted by online bingo sites. There are hundreds of bingo sites out there, many of which offer games of bingo that allow players to contribute to a worthy cause. But how exactly does this work?
As with most things—like wagering requirements—it varies depending on your chosen bingo site. Some bingo sites opt for donating a certain percentage of their overall profits to a chosen charity. Others take a percentage from the deposits made by players. If a site is registered to a certain charity, however, they will usually donate all of their profits.
An example of this is the incredible site Charity Bingo. Dedicated to raising money for worthy causes, Charity Bingo donates £1 for every £20 deposit made by players. They choose a different charity each month to donate money to, so you can pick and choose when you want to make deposits depending on whether you support the month’s chosen charity. The site has so far raised over £10,000 for Charity Bingo Heroes.
It’s certainly a nice concept. Not only can you enjoy your regular games of bingo and the health benefits attached to bingo, you can also enjoy knowing that you’re contributing to society in some way. Indeed, you no longer have to feel guilty about blowing your bingo budget because you’re donating some of it to a worthy cause!
If you’re a frequent peruser of BingoPort, you might be familiar with our many articles detailing how you can host your own bingo nights—ranging from Bonfire Night to Christmas. If you’ve gotten this far into our article, you’re probably interested in the idea of putting together your own charity bingo night or fundraising event.
You’re in luck, because we’ve already covered this in how to host a bingo night fundraiser. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to read it yet, we’re going to give you a brief summary below.
You’ll have to start by putting together a team of people who are going to help you plan and run your charity bingo night. You will, of course, have to search for a suitable venue for this event. Bear in mind how many people might turn up for your event. For example, you shouldn’t pick a small venue if you’re expecting a large turnout. You could always ask your local bingo hall, church or school—they should be more than happy to help.
Once you’ve got your venue sorted, set a date and make sure you advertise for it properly.
Believe it or not, it’s not all about bingo. You’ll also have to consider what other forms of entertainment you’re going to provide. Will there be music or karaoke? Are you going to host a raffle or lucky dip as well? The more you include, the more money you’ll raise.
You’ll also have to think about what kinds of refreshments you want to provide on the night. Are you going for soft drinks or would you prefer alcohol? If you’re opting for alcohol you’ll have to get a license or ask people to bring their own. You could provide your own snacks out of your budget or ask people to contribute some. Alternatively, you could raise even more money by hosting a bake sale.
You won’t of course, get very far with your charity event if you don’t bring the right equipment. You’ll need a cage filled with bingo balls—if you’re not using BingoPort’s free bingo caller—plus bingo cards and bingo dabbers. You’ll have to decide whether you want to play UK or US bingo, otherwise known as 90-ball or 75-ball bingo.
To make sure it’s an entertaining night you’ll have to also make sure you’ve got yourself a charismatic bingo caller. For tips, check out how to become the best bingo caller.
You’ll have to decide how much you’re going to charge for your bingo tickets—anything between 20p and £1 is reasonable enough. You’ll also have to decide upon the price for other things, like the raffle or bake sale for example. You may want to put money aside for the prizes for FH, 2L and 1L winners too—or, alternatively, ask for people to donate small prizes.
You can either opt for cash prizes or small novelty prizes. Or—if you’re going for something that bingo players will really love—you could take a look at gifts for bingo enthusiasts.
So, now you know all about charity bingo. It’s certainly nice to see an increasing shift in charitable behaviour. It promotes a great attitude in bingo players and it helps to support a wide selection of incredible causes. While you’re unlikely to walk away with a big jackpot from a charity bingo game, you’ll still have plenty of fun playing and can rest assured that you’re helping worthy causes.
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