Our motto is: Making good citizenship fun!
Together, this motto and our form of ‘social enterprise’ lead to the core values of the organisation: Sustainable, Courageous, Sharing and Fun.
Before Novamedia devised the lottery formats, it already worked for various social organisations, mostly in the fields of fundraising, publicity and member recruitment.
These activities and the desire to make the world a better place led to the invention of a form of lottery that not only focused on sharing the revenue but also on winning together: the Postcode Lotteries.
This aspect of winning together has made the Postcode Lotteries the first invention in lotteries in 400 years. The last invention dated from around 1600 and came from Genoa in Italy. It was called Lotto (correctly guessing 6 numbers out of 49).
At the end of the nineteen-eighties, the founders of the Dutch Postcode Lottery – the former shareholders in Novamedia – had such faith in this new lottery format that they got themselves deeply into debt and bore all of the risks personally. Because what seems obvious now was far from so at the time. When the Dutch Postcode Lottery was set up, there was a great deal of scepticism and nobody, including the charities, dared to co-finance the initiative. There were also charities that certainly did not want to receive contributions from this new initiative. It’s thanks to the perseverance of the founders and former shareholders of Novamedia and to their belief in their mission that there is now an organisation that is the third biggest private donor in the world.
How does Novamedia work?
Novamedia devises, develops and maintains the formats. Novamedia employs people to do this and also funds the investments needed for these developments. Novamedia also protects the formats it develops so that these can only be used for the lotteries that have the same ideas and mission as Novamedia.
Novamedia also tries to establish its formats / lotteries in other countries, where it hopes that by supporting charities in those countries their social midfields will be strengthened. But this isn’t easy: countries protect their National Lottery because of the high earnings they generate for the public treasury. In all countries of the European Union, policy is restrictive in relation to lotteries, i.e. the respective countries only issue a limited number of permits, and stringent and restrictive requirements are set for organisations wanting to be eligible for a permit.
In twenty EU countries, there is only a single national lottery; only in the Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Spain do other charity lotteries exist aside from the National lottery, where the permit has been issued to non-profit organisations or charitable organisations. In all cases, the charity lotteries in question are confronted with many restrictions in legislation and regulations directed at preventing competition with the local National Lottery. From 2017, there will no longer be restrictions in the Netherlands on the number of charity lottery providers.
Additionally, Novamedia finances the (high) investments needed to market the lotteries in those countries where a permit has been obtained. In the Netherlands as well as in Sweden and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), Novamedia carried the investments at its own expense, and successful Postcode Lotteries have since been established. In October 2016, the Postcode Lottery was launched in Germany.
Once they are in a position to do so, the lotteries pay Novamedia for a licence to use the lottery formats. Novamedia can use this income to possibly recoup its investment and to make further investments in order to set up charity lotteries elsewhere: to enable and support charitable and social initiatives in other countries.
Up to 2016, Novamedia’s formats and investments have resulted in a total contribution of €7.9 Billion (!!) to thousands of charities and social initiatives worldwide.
This has made Novamedia and the charity lotteries working with its formats the fifth biggest private donor of all time after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the Rockefeller Foundation and Open Society Foundations.
Since December 2014, Novamedia/Postcode Lotteries has been the third biggest private donor in the world after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
These world indices are produced annually on the basis of research conducted by the Free University of Amsterdam and the British business newspaper City AM (source: City AM, Dec. 2016).
This places Novamedia in a select group with other Dutch inventions and formats that have also been internationally successful.