How We created a Chatbot for Charity Raffle to Support Ukrainian Defenders

Charity Raffle

Ukrainian artist Bob Basset (Serhiy Petrov) who creates internationally acclaimed works of wearable art in a genre known as Technoromanticism, supported Kirill in his charity initiative. His works appeared in the pages of Vogue, TV and movies. Kirill and Serhiy decided to raffle one of these works.

How to hold a raffle: chatbot, web-site, application?

Here we should explain in more details why we think that a chatbot is the most reasonable solution to hold a raffle. As an alternative, we suggest to consider 2 most obvious options: web-site (if to be precise, web-application) and mobile application.

  • Second, participants can be contacted via a chatbot if necessary. Timely feedback is important when processing payments.
  • Second, nowadays everyone has dozens of mobile applications. To have one more just to participate in a raffle (even if the purpose is high) will not be welcomed.
  • Third, the coverage of different platforms. As we’ve already mentioned above, the cost price of an application development is much higher than of a chatbot. If we want to give an access to our service for users of different devices and platforms, besides development costs increase, it will also take more time. But in this case, time is even more valuable than money.
  • Fourth, chatbot deployment speed is much higher. All updates are accessible for the users as soon as the system is deployed on the server. To compare with, new functions for a mobile application are partially accessible only when the moderators of the mobile applications shop approve the next update and allow users to download it.

How everything was settled

It was decided in the very beginning that we would raffle one hudred tickets. As soon as the last ticket was bought, the sale was to be closed. We also needed to foresee that participants could make mistakes, refuse to pay for the raffle tickets booked, fake participants could try to take part in the raffle, as well as other nonstandard situations may happen.

Development

As soon as the key requirements were outlined, we moved to development. A chatbot has different interface vs familiar for users mobile applications and web-sites. However, their basic principle is the same — interface part (in this case implemented via the messenger), and server part that is contacted by a web application, mobile application, or messenger.

Start

The draw started April 12th. A photo of Bob with a mask and the following text were posted on the project’s Telegram channel:

Results

The raffle winner was chosen randomly and announced live — it was the man from Ohio who bought two tickets. The raffled mask by Bob Basset is now on the way to his happy owner. The gas masks will be soon in Ukraine.

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Andrew Gubskiy

Andrew Gubskiy

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Software Engineer, Ph.D., Microsoft MVP in Developer Technologies.