How It Works
STEP 1: CREATING AN ACCOUNT FOR OWNERSHIP PURPOSES Before you can buy a balloon, you need to create an account here otherwise we do not know who has ownership of a particular balloon. And your very balloon could win one of our brilliant prizes! 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 to your favourite cause.
STEP 2: ENHANCE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING When you have created an account and bought balloons for a specific cause or charity, you can link through to your personal dashboard. On the dashboard you can ‘customise’ each balloon by changing various parameters of the balloon size, shape and composition to enhance your chances of winning.
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 in stormy weather is not advised, so looking at the predicted weather for your race period prior to customisation helps your chances of winning.
STEP 3: HAVE FUN DECORATING YOUR BALLOON Lots more fun can be had decorating your balloon with all sorts of colours, patterns, and a personalised message. Remember that you can return back to your dashboard and change elements of your balloon or redecorate as often as you like right up to a race launch time and date.
STEP 4: LAUNCH AND FLIGHT INFORMATION Once the balloons are virtually launched (see launch sequence on race homepage), they are subject to a simulated flight pattern based on the actual weather conditions such as the prevailing wind speed and current temperature. This simulation uses an advanced computer modelling programme linked to Google maps and a commercial weather data supplier, Aeris.
By clicking on ‘balloons’ on the race homepage, you will see the leading 100 balloons listed. The information shows straight line distance travelled in kilometres from the launch point, plus the balloon’s latitude and longitude.
STEP 5: YOUR CAUSE REVENUES EXPLAINED Gross revenues for your cause are the number of balloons sold x £3; the figure is constantly shown on your cause / charity page; for example, £9 from 3 balloon purchases.
Our linear system operating costs of 20.7% are then deducted from that gross figure. The nett amount is what the cause / charity will receive automatically though the BACS banking payment platform. A typical calculation is below.
Fairhaven Primary in Stourbridge sold 200 balloons for one of our races. The school PTA (cause) receives (200 x £3) – 20.7 x (200 X £3) = £600 – £124.20 = £475.80
STEP 6: WINNERS AND PRIZES All races are 7 days in duration and the winning balloon is the one that has flown the furthest in a straight line from the launch location. Interestingly, 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 Gambling Commission rules, the winner will be asked a difficult question not readily ‘Googled’
Prizes for each race are publicised on the website homepage. Plus, there are special individual bonus prizes for any cause or charity selling high numbers of balloons. For example, sales of 500 plus by Anywhere Chess Club will create an extra prize of £50 to be won solely by the furthest flight balloon purchased by a supporter of that chess club. Winning in this way does not stop the same supporter winning a main race prize.
Prizes in any country race are strictly not negotiable and no correspondence will be entered into regarding them. However, 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. Prizes may vary from race to race and change without notice.
Race revenues are paid by BACS 14 working days after the race starts and balloons can no longer be purchased. This 14 day period is a mandatory banking regulation to allow for charity fraud checks and credit card chargebacks. If you have not already supplied your cause bank details during the set-up process, the cause organiser will be emailed.
STEP 7: FRAUD PREVENTION
When fundraising on behalf of a registered charity, it is normal protocol to inform that charity of your intentions. Importantly, the individual fundraiser will not receive any monies as all the revenues raised will be transferred directly by BACS into to the official bank account of that specific charity. Only in highly exceptional circumstances and with specific clearance in writing, will this rule be waived. 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.
Unregistered charities will be scrutinised and reviewed on an individual basis. Written evidence may be required to ensure public financial probity.