Games and apps engage potential donors and spread your message efficiently

Gamification is becoming a popular concept in the business world, and charities are embracing the tactic to encourage nonprofit payments as well. Simply put, gamification combines economic concepts with elements of entertainment to increase engagement and loyalty. The strategy has certain internal benefits for companies, like reducing costs and increasing training efficiency, and has also led to personal improvements like increased fitness and recycling among those playing.

As nonprofits look for new ways to direct their online visitors to donation forms, they are increasingly adopting gamification to raise awareness and funds, The Guardian reported. In the case of the former, apps educate potential donors, most often by putting them in game scenarios that highlight causes and ask them to make decisions. The first-person experience often resonates with players in a way that other approaches do not. One campaign showed the rough conditions of children living in poverty. If the player chose the "out" option, they were redirected to a petition page. In a different interpretation, Cancer Research UK capitalized on the British tradition of giving up alcohol in January with their Dryathlon game. Players could earn badges and a leader board for donating and not drinking. Notably, this game allowed them to tap into a male audience of potential donors, particularly valuable to the group given their 85 percent female donor base.

Play games with outside apps
This is not a far cry from innovative use of apps like Snapchat, which a Welsh cancer charity utilized to generate media coverage of a volunteer event, The Guardian also announced. Corporate bands are embracing Snapchat as heartily as Twitter and Facebook before, and nonprofits can adopt a similar template to communicate with their audiences. Integrate social apps into the concept of gamification by offering rewards or exclusive content to those that see the teasers or clues on Snapchat. Perhaps direct potential donors to enter their email addresses to receive points or rewards online. Be wary that no one form, be it Snapchat, game apps and social media, will target your whole online community. In that respect, focus your efforts on the particular donors you can reach through each particular outlet.

Gamification can also be applied outside the digital world by breaking up your goals into stages and offering small rewards, Next in Nonprofits advised. Benchmarks indicate new levels and something as simple as a staff pizza party or sending out badges to note the accomplishment. This approach can turn goals and growth into a game, offering incentive and engaging your audience and potential donors to become invested in your nonprofit.

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