Setting up Your Cause Page
Not Registered with the Charities Commission
1. Click the [ create a cause ] button on the homepage and choose the left-hand option. Create an account if you do not already have one.
2. Immediately your account is created, you will be presented with a blank 'cause page' to fill in with relevant content, video etc. Select the race you want to enter and submit your cause’s bank details for payment.
3. Check out Page 6 of the Sales Tool Kit / Resources section found in hamburger menu. You should use your unique race URL for all Social Media, Emails, web links etc. And do strongly consider internal prizes as it significantly increases motivation.
Cause is Registered with the Charities Commission
4. Click the [create a cause] button on the homepage and choose the right-hand option. Search for yourselves in the Charity Commission database and when found, click on yourselves.
5. On the next screen, click [fundraise for us] and create an account as we need to know who you are.
6. When you have created your account, you will be presented with a blank 'cause page' to fill in with relevant content, logos, video etc. Select the race you want to enter and submit your cause’s bank details for payment.
7. Check out Page 6 of the Sales Tool Kit / Resources section found in hamburger menu. You should use your unique race URL for all Social Media, Emails, web links etc. And do strongly consider internal prizes as it significantly increases motivation.
CREATING YOUR UNIQUE CAUSE URL
In the top bar of your cause page is your unique cause race ID.
Use this ID to create your unique race URL by placing https:// in front. In the example above, the charity’s URL is https://ecoracing.co/user/page/168 Their shortened Bitly.com version is https://bit.ly/3bdoHll
The URL is very important as it saves supporters any need for them to search for you on Ecoracing.co. It takes them directly to your cause page and bypasses everything - they will not know any other charities are in the race.
A third and another good option is to create a memorable link from your charity website, for example mycharityname.com/balloonrace mycharityname.com/balloonrace
Ensure you use these links on all promotional materials, communications, and Press Releases about the race. You may also wish to include it in email footers in the run up to the race.
Buying, Gifting and Activating Gifted Codes
CREATING AN ACCOUNT
Before you can buy a balloon, gift an activation code, activate a gifted code, or start fundraising for your own cause, you must create an account here otherwise we do not know who you are if your balloon wins.
Each balloon costs just £3 and you can buy as many balloons as you want to increase your chances of winning, and of course, indirectly donate more to your favourite cause.
BUYING OR GIFTING BALLOONS
Sign in to go direct to your personal dashboard.
Click the [ buy / gift / activate ] button and the next screen will then give you 3 options.
[ Buy balloons for you | Buy activation codes to gift | Activate a gifted code ]
Click [ Buy balloons for you ] and buy as many balloons as you can afford. You will receive a receipt confirming your purchase.
Click [ Buy activation codes to gift ] and buy as many codes as you wish to give to friends and family. A code is the same as a balloon but prepaid and therefore free to the recipient. All the purchased codes will be sent directly to you as an email receipt for redistribution by any suitable method - email, text or WhatsApp, for example. Please ensure you use the person’s correct email address or telephone number as mistakes cannot be rectified.
The easiest way to avoid transcription (copying) errors is to forward the same gifting balloons receipt to all those to be gifted and tell them their balloon is #1 or #2 etc
ACTIVATING A GIFTED CODE
If you are the lucky recipient of an activation code, you must first create an account here otherwise we don’t know who you are if you win. Signing in takes you directly to your dashboard. Click the [ buy / gift / activate ] button. The next screen will then show 3 options.
[ Buy balloons for you | Buy activation codes to gift | Activate a gifted code ]
Enter your code in the [ Activate a gifted code ] field and click Activate. Repeat, if necessary, with more codes. Well done, a balloon has been added to your account and now appears in your dashboard.
Decorating and Changing Balloon Parameters
DECORATING YOUR BALLOONSign in to go direct to your personal dashboard.
On the left under Recently Supported you will see the cause(s) you’ve chosen. There are three yellow buttons. Click [ View / decorate / track ] to display your balloons and click on them individually to decorate. Remember to save all your design and parameter changes - the [ Save changes ] button is at the bottom of the page.
CHANGING FLIGHT PARAMETERS TO ENHANCE CHANCES OF WINNING
From your dashboard you can ‘customise’ each balloon by changing various flight parameters - balloon helium contents (1 - 5 litres of gas) ; shape; thickness of rubber.
Reflecting real life, virtual balloons just like latex ones, can pop if the balloon parameters are not suited to the weather. For example, maximising helium content, having the fastest shape and thinnest rubber during stormy weather is not advisable. So, looking at the predicted weather for your race period prior to customisation helps your chances of winning.
Launch and Flight Data / Tracking
At the designated race launch time and at any time thereafter, you can see the virtual launch sequence on the race homepage. You do not need to login, just go to the race page and click on [ launch visual ] Please note that prior to the actual launch, the system shows a mock-up version only.
Balloons are subject to mathematical and physics algorithms to simulate a flight pattern based on your balloon’s individual flight parameters plus the real weather conditions at that actual time such as the prevailing wind speed and current temperature. Our advanced computer modelling programme is then linked to a mapping provider and Aeris, a commercial global weather data supplier. We have access to around 12,000 weather stations including Antarctica and the North Pole.
About Flying and Bursting
Virtual balloons are notoriously vulnerable and just as erratic as real latex ones. They never fly quite as you might think. So if you choose thin rubber to make your balloon fly higher and faster, your balloon could burst if the wind speeds become excessive. High altitudes also increase the risk of bursting from excess swelling through intense sunlight or orbital debris.
At lower levels of around 300m above the ground, balloons are often struck by geese flying higher than normal birds. And if your balloon is at a really low level and heading for rocky Earth, it could even strike an electricity pylon, church spire or tree.
Similarly, sudden squalls are known to pick them up and send them in the wrong direction, even backwards which defies normal logic. And finally, in high pressure zones of no wind, your balloon can appear to have flown nowhere. The reality is that it will have moved a little but not enough to register on the system.
To create a potential winning balloon, it definitely pays to check the prevailing weather patterns before your race starts and chose your balloon parameters accordingly. All that said, many balloon purchasers do nothing and just decorate their balloon with their favourite colours or design. It is important to note that, on purchase, all balloons are given randomised variables (helium content and rubber thickness) so that they are not thousands flying all the same.
We are sorry that it is not administratively possible to get into correspondence over individual balloons.
Once your balloon has launched you cannot
-Decorate you balloon(s) again
-Change your parameters
-Buy, gift or activate any more balloons
THE LEADING 100 BALLOONS
All 100 race leading balloons can be seen at any time 24/7 during the race. Information shown includes the straight-line distance travelled in kilometres from the launch point, plus the balloon’s latitude and longitude. The button [ race leaders ] is found just above the race map on the Race page.
To locate and track your balloons, Sign in and go to your dashboard.
On the left under Recently Supported you will see the cause(s) you’ve chosen. There are three yellow buttons. Click [ view / decorate / track ] to display your balloons. Click on them individually to see their tracking on Google Maps and satellites. If ranked outside the top100, a ranking of 100+ will be displayed.
Revenues and Prizes
YOUR REVENUES EXPLAINED
Gross revenue for your cause is simply no of balloons sold x £3; this figure is constantly shown on your cause / charity page; for example, £9 from 3 balloon purchases. Our linear system operating costs of 24.8% are then deducted from that gross figure. A typical calculation is below.
Fairhaven Primary in Stourbridge sold 200 balloons for one of our races. The school PTA (cause) received (200 x £3) – 24.8% = £600 – £148.80 = £451.20 nett.
No statements are issued, and the nett amount is transferred automatically through the BACS banking platform 7 working days after race end. This period is a mandatory banking regulation to allow for charity fraud checks and credit card chargebacks.
Sales of 5 balloons or less will be credited to the next participated race.
Please note that our payments system credits all gifted balloon sales to your cause, irrespective of whether they are activated or not.
WINNERS AND PRIZES
All races are 7 days in duration and the winning balloon is the one that has flown the furthest, as measured in a straight line from the launch location. Note that a popped / burst balloon can still win if the wind direction changes and sends the still-flying balloons backwards in a reverse direction.
The winner will be emailed with confirmation that they have won the race and with details of how to contact the organiser to arrange receiving their prize. To further comply with The Gambling Commission regarding lotteries, the winner will be asked a question not readily ‘Googled'. Please note one prize only per contestant.
We offer bonus revenues for any cause or charity selling high numbers of balloons. Sales of 1000 plus balloons by Anywhere Chess Club will create extra revenue of £100, 10,000 plus sales equals a whopping £1000.
Race prizes are publicised on the website homepage; are strictly not negotiable; may vary without notice, and no correspondence will be entered regarding them. If a winner is from another country, Ecoracing management will make efforts to send over a cash equivalent in their local currency by electronic transfer.
Fraud Prevention / AML / GDPR / BPUP Reports
When fundraising on behalf of a registered charity, it is normal protocol to inform that charity of your intentions. Importantly, the individual fundraiser should not directly receive any monies as all the revenues raised will be transferred directly by BACS into to the official bank account of that specific charity.
This rule does not apply where the cause is trying to help another individual, in distress perhaps or needing an expensive operation in the USA for example.
All unregistered charities or causes will be scrutinised and reviewed on an individual basis. Written evidence may be required to ensure public financial probity.
AML (Anti Money Laundering) Legislation Compliance
All causes are monitored for potential money laundering. Small charities, for example, that suddenly sell thousands of balloons will be investigated immediately and any suspicions communicated to the relevant government authorities.
The Ecoracing GDPR preferences request on the account setup function is fully compliant with all UK, European and global privacy regulations.
Around 1 hour after the race finishes, you will be automatically sent a BPUP Report for your cause (Balloon Positions and User GDPR Preferences). You will then know everything about those people who supported you and who will receive internal prizes.
GDPR preference responses are 1 = yes to receive future comms, 0 = no, thank you. However, the ‘law of legitimate interest’ means you can write to them just once more to thank them and, if previously giving a 0, ask them subtly to reconsider.