Based at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in in Rome, Italy, the FreeRice non-profit website uses the concept of gamification to help end world hunger by literally delivering free rice to needy areas around the world. Not only does the organization seek to play their part in ending world hunger, but also to provide a means of free education for all.
The Concept of FreeRice
The concept is startlingly simple and yet an innovative way to encourage people to donate to a worthy cause without having to actually donate cash. The website has an easy to use interface: all you have to do is answer questions correctly, and for each correct answer, you’ll donate 10 grains of rice to the FreeRice program. If you get a question incorrect, you’ll be given the correct answer, and multiple opportunities to answer the question in following rounds.
There are dozens of subjects available to test your knowledge, learn something new, and make a donation that is meaningful and much needed. English, Maths, Humanities, Languages, Geography, Sciences, and even SAT test preparation are just some of the subjects that you can choose from on the website. You can change subjects at any time, and can choose your level of difficulty.
FreeRice: Who Pays for the Rice
It’s important, when choosing a charity to support that you do an extensive check into the bona fides of the organization, mainly to ascertain that your donation is actually getting into the hands of those who need it most. It’s also an important point that many foundations would do well to heed: transparency, in an increasingly cynical world, can make a big difference to your bottom line and help you do more good in the world.
The free rice that you earn and donate by answering questions is paid for by the advertisers on the website. The ads are not intrusive, and do not interfere with the overall experience of the website. The more people play the game and use the website, the more opportunity there is for advertising revenue which is used to fund the free rice program.
Started in 2007, the initiative only donated 830 grains of rice on its first day. In less than two years, FreeRice had increased that to 65 billion grains of rice distributed to people around the globe. Founder of FreeRice, John Breen, donated the FreeRice website to the UN World Food Programme in 2009.