November 25, 2019

Amplify your fundraising campaign with gamification

Have you heard of Movember? Or maybe you took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Adding gamification to your fundraising campaign is memorable, successfully engages donors and can even help your cause go viral.

Gamification is nothing new to marketing. But it continues to be a successful strategy as it’s firmly founded on behavioral economics. Gabe Zichermann, gamification pioneer, considers it 75% psychology and 25% technology. Integrating game elements into fundraising campaigns offers many benefits including the possibility of going viral.

Valued at $6.8 billion in 2018, the gamification market is predicted to reach $40 billion by 2024


What’s Gamification?

Gamification is when gameplay elements are inserted into non-gaming apps or environments to enhance user engagement with a product or service. Relying heavily on behavioral economics, successful gamification engages your audience and makes your campaign memorable. Cognitive motivations such as competition, joy and sense of achievement encourage your donors to continue to interact and engage with your campaign. As gamification continues to increase, marketers, within ethical boundaries, should implement relevant gameplay elements into campaigns when possible. Gameplay elements that could be added to your campaign include:

  • Points
  • Levels
  • Badges
  • Challenges
  • Leaderboards
  • Progress bars

The benefits of adding game elements to a fundraising campaign include creating user-generated content, increasing engagement and accelerating the possibility of going viral.


User-generated Content

Gamification can create crucial user-generated content. Any type of content — pictures, videos, tweets, posts — that is created and shared by unpaid contributors or fans is considered user-generated content. User-generated content is highly valuable as your supporters can share your message in their authentic voice. This content from family, friends or other trusted individuals, in person or online, is critically influential in growing a successful campaign. The authenticity of user-generated content can amplify the reach of your campaign and give it credibility throughout your target audience.


Increased Engagement

By tapping into deeper cognitive processes, gamification increases a person’s motivation and thus engagement in your campaign. Some human traits that gameplay encourages are:

  • Competition
  • Goal setting
  • Collaboration
  • Achievement

Gameplay capitalizes on the innate human desire to want to be the best and share your success with the world. Not only do humans want to win, they want others to know they’ve won. This secondary element of sharing success means that those who engage with your campaign share not only their victory but also your message.


Going Viral

Gamification can create conditions for your campaign to go viral. One of the clearest examples of cause marketing going viral was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Millions of people watched celebrities dousing themselves with ice water and were encouraged enough to participate too. Due to the social and engaging nature of gamification, campaigns that use these elements have a more realistic chance of becoming a viral phenomenon. While it’s difficult, albeit impossible, to predict what piece of content will go viral on the internet, game elements can be engaging enough to beat the odds.   

Adding gameplay elements to your cause marketing or fundraising campaign offers unique benefits. By thoroughly engaging, and entertaining, your audience propels your message even further as they share their success in their social circles. At B&Y, we enjoy the challenge of creating the next viral moment and have previous success amplifying fundraising campaigns.

Have a question about nonprofit marketing? Want to learn about the nonprofits we support with B&Y’s Courage Candles? Drop us a line!

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Leih Boyden

Resident word-wrangler, Leih is a meticulous and imaginative copywriter. Rolling up her sleeves, she’s not afraid to grapple with the tiniest footnote or a mighty headline. She knows firsthand the power of the pen from her previous sociological work. By delving into the minds of clients and customers, she crafts a unique voice for every brand, which directly speaks to and spurs target audiences into action. Leih’s constantly refining her craft for her clients by greedily reading the marketing canon, the backs of cereal boxes and everything in between.

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