Schools and nonprofits can benefit greatly by applying gamification tools to their fundraising campaigns. Heightened levels of supporter engagement and more generous donations are just two of the benefits of incorporating gaming features into a fundraiser.
Gamification strategies are a great way to get your supporters to have fun in the fundraising process and stir up some competitiveness that benefits your organization. Follow our simple guide to see DoJiggy’s winning and innovative gamification techniques and how they can boost your fundraiser’s popularity and proceeds.
What Is Gamification in Fundraising?
Gamification software uses the endorphin rush felt by playing and winning games to enhance the user experience and engagement with a software platform. Gamification is an exciting trend for fundraisers that is here to stay. Using gamification tools to optimize fundraising and audience engagement is by no means a new concept. However, over the last few years, this trend has taken off in a big way, especially as the digital world has never been so accessible.
By adding gamification elements into your nonprofit fundraisers, you can seriously boost your supporter engagement and reach your fundraising goals. Gaming technology has become even more widely used by nonprofit fundraisers, especially with the rise of virtual and hybrid fundraisers, since the beginning of the global pandemic. As people have embraced these new online fundraising trends, there is a greater demand to include more fun technology elements in charity campaigns. This is where gamification comes in. Donors get to have fun with the donation process in a social way, as they are competing with other supporters and donors to reach fundraising goals.
Gamification features are effective as they encourage supporters to donate from anywhere at any time. As long as you have a mobile device at hand, you are simply a click away from interacting with other supporters and increasing campaign proceeds.
Fundraising thermometers are used to monitor the progress of funds raised for an online fundraising campaign. As you raise money, the temperature of your fundraising campaign increases, and the level of the thermometer rises. The thermometer progress is based on the goals set forth by your organization. Showcasing a fundraising thermometer on your website visually demonstrates the progress that has been made and how close your group is to reaching the established goal. Thermometers can be powerful motivators for your supporters since they are visual and easy to understand at a glance.
Digital scoreboards or leaderboards are still as popular as ever. Similar to fundraising thermometers, the idea of a fundraising leaderboard is to stir up enthusiasm among supporters and increase levels of engagement and participation. Donors love to work towards a fundraising goal, so leaderboards are a great way to entertain this.
Leaderboards generally show the top fundraisers or top performers in your campaign. If you want to amp up the competitiveness a little more, use team leaderboards. You can encourage various teams to compete against each other with the aim of reaching your fundraising goal. High engagement levels are always expected when using gamification tools such as leaderboards as they add a sense of urgency to donate, which is great when aiming to maximize charitable proceeds.
Leaderboards build excitement and competitiveness among your P2P campaign participants with our free leaderboards to monitor individual and team fundraising leaders.
Badges and Trophies Are Powerful Gamification Tools
Appealing to people’s competitive nature to set and achieve goals, badges, trophies and levels are a great gamification tool to engage your supporters and donors. By using these gamification elements in your fundraiser you will not only create interest and excitement among your supporters when they reach a higher level or a gold trophy, but you will also satisfy people’s love of validation of their achievements. The idea is that each time a fundraising milestone is achieved, you will move up a level or obtain a trophy or badge to post on your page for all to see. The more money you raise or donate, the closer you get to your fundraising goal and the more levels you pass or badges and trophies you collect. It’s fun and a win-win for everyone involved.
A trophy widget will appear on personal and team fundraising pages to showcase a participant’s rank or when they have reached a certain prize level that participants and donors alike will love to see. The function is completely configurable for your prize levels and ideas.
Prizes and Incentives
As you can see, gamification tools are a great way to get your supporters excited and more engaged in your fundraiser. But what about optimizing their interest by rewarding them with a combination of digital tools and tangible prizes? The limit here is your imagination, but here are a few of our top ideas:
Why not try adding quizzes and interactive games in your digital fundraising campaigns in order to connect more people and gain global outreach? Our platform now offers gamification for virtual events. Organizers are able to add polls and trivia questions to your live stream, making for an interactive event where you can reward winners. This is also a great way to gain more interest and engagement with your donors while adding a personal touch to your fundraisers.
Offer Text-to-Donate to your donors as a means of boosting your proceeds. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is when you use SMS phone texting to donate to a nonprofit organization or charitable cause. Supporters will text an organization or fundraising campaign’s keyword to a designated phone number and in return, they will receive a link to their website, auction item, or other feature to make a mobile donation. So, while your supporters are checking their mobile devices for updates about the fundraiser, remind them that they are simply a click away from donating.
Text-To-Donate and mobile giving are fantastic gamification techniques that we offer. Text-to-Donate allows your donors to easily support your organization or charity at any time from anywhere right from their mobile phones.
Social Media Fundraising
Social media fundraising is successfully used by many nonprofits and charities worldwide. When it comes to engaging, interacting with your donors, and bringing people together from around the world for a common cause, there is nothing better than social media.
Post updates and videos about your campaign, live stream your fundraiser, create a hashtag challenge, and create stories and highlights to produce a charity event that will be memorable long after the event has taken place. Incorporate gamification elements into the social media part of your fundraising campaign by asking donors to match the number of likes a post about your charity receives by donating a corresponding monetary amount.
Learn more about our Top Social Media Fundraising Tips and Trends here.
The Pros (and Cons) Of Gamification
Take a look at some of the benefits of incorporating gamification into your fundraising campaign:
Motivates participants, team members, and donors.
Promotes inclusivity as gamification is simple to use for people of all ages and abilities.
Provokes hype for your fundraiser and a sense of urgency to compete and donate.
Brings people together in a fun and healthy competitive way for a good cause.
Optimizes outreach, potentially on a global level.
Although the pros seem to outweigh the cons when it comes to gamification boosting your fundraising success, it is important to consider a few drawbacks of gamification.
It is vital that your gamification tools do not overshadow your fundraising cause. Remember your cause is the reason you are raising money, not the gaming side of a campaign.
Don’t overcomplicate your gamification features – the main aim is to create gamification elements that are simple to participate in, entertaining, and engaging.
Gamification techniques can be pricey, so make sure you stick to your budget and don’t overspend.
Use Gamification To Increase Engagement Levels
Let’s be honest, there are some elements of the fundraising process that are less enjoyable than others, especially when it comes to data collection and registration issues. Help your fundraising team and volunteers to get into the competitive spirit by turning these less than exciting tasks into a game by using gamification features.
Why not recognize the hard work of your planning committee or team by setting up internal prizes for jobs like:
Who solved the most registration problems?
Who collected the most contact information?
Who introduced themselves to the most new attendees?
Who secured the most donations?
Great Fundraiser Ideas To Include Gamification Tools
People tend to donate more generously when there’s the opportunity to play a game with prizes up for grabs. Here are some top fundraising ideas where incorporating gamification features would maximize your engagement and proceeds.
DoJiggy is the leader in walkathon fundraising websites and tools. By adding gamification tools to your walk-a-thon campaign, we ensure maximum success and participation. Build excitement and motivation among your supporters with our free fundraising thermometers.
Offering rewards and incentives for accomplishing and exceeding goals can also help motivate participants and donors. Say you wish to raise $10,000 and you are at $9,500. Offer a free pizza party for all participants if goals are reached, and communicate (via fundraising website, text message, and social media), “We are almost there!” Sure you’ll spend a little money, but you’ll create excitement and be sure to exceed your goal.
Golf marathons and 100 Hole Challenges offer a great way to incorporate gamification elements. How about making a donation for every hole? How about a sponsor table at every hole that includes incentives and prizes? How about including a Hole in One contest? You could even add tangible incentives (called perks) like charity swag or gift cards for large donors.
Online charity auctions can be gamified with mobile bidding and great auction software to fire up their interest and excitement. Keep reminding supporters about popular auction items, fundraising goals and progress, and send updates about the live fundraising event, maybe with a few images to really catch their attention.
Livestreamed Fund-a-Needs are perfect for incorporating gamification ideas. Use a count-down and fundraising thermometer to motivate and visually remind your donors of how close you are to reaching the fundraising goal.
Originally from Surrey, UK, Sarah has worked remotely in various online fields for the last 8 years. Currently, she is focusing on writing blogs on online fundraising and special events for a UK audience. When she is not spending her days researching and writing, you can find her running around after her two highly active young sons which constitutes a serious workout program!