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Hatchlings launches ‘You Play, We Pay’ charity drive

Screenshot of the leaderboard for Hatchlings on February 14th showing the Hunger Hunters cause in the lead.

Brad Dwyer (left, photo from siliconprairienews.com), founder of the popular social app Hatchlings, isn’t content to concentrate solely on improving the gaming elements of his product. Instead, he recently launched a charity fundraising drive, called “You Play, We Pay,” with a goal of giving away a total of $60,000 to three causes.

In a recent email interview, Dwyer told me that he wanted to extend the Hatchlings platform, which can be described as a virtual egg hunt inside of Facebook and other online apps, to build “viral good” on top of the entertainment experience it already provides.

“You have already started to see this in the political process…eventually I think there will be nonprofits who will get very good internally at viralizing their fundraising by way of social media and the web,” he said.

Here’s more from our email interview with Dwyer:

Silicon Prairie News: Tell us about the charity fundraising project you’re putting together, how does it work?

Brad Dwyer: It’s called “You Play, We Pay” and we created three special teams each representing a cause that our users can join. For each 1,000 eggs that the team finds Hatchlings will donate $1 to a charity representing the cause (up to $20,000 per cause).

So far about 3,000 of our members have left their old teams representing their cities and regions to participate in the fundraiser. In three days they’ve collected about 2.5 million eggs, raising $2,500, and we expect that rate to accelerate as more and more users join the special teams. We are hoping to donate $60,000 total.

Which causes did you choose to include?

Dwyer: The teams are:

We asked our users for their input on which causes were most important to them and then tried to pick a pretty broad cross section so that there would be a higher chance of something striking a chord.

Why did you feel it was important to work with the Hatchlings community towards this end?

Dwyer: We think of our userbase as a community and doing things like this together helps develop that sense of camaraderie. Special events invigorate our hardcore users and hopefully get people talking and reinforcing the community which is vital to its survival. Charity fundraising is something everyone can get behind.

We did a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the end of 2009 and ever since our users have been asking for us to do another special event.

How did the previous fundrasier go? Are you doing anything different this time around?

Dwyer: This is the first time that we’ve done a fundraiser in this format. We raised $90,000 for them by selling a branded egg to our users at $10 each. We tried to organize something similar last year but the logistics behind working with a big non-profit ended up being insurmountable. So we decided to swich to a cause-based rather than charity-based fundraiser this time around.

To learn more about Hatchlings, visit apps.facebook.com/egghunt.