Fundraising Gamification: 15 ways to gamify your next event

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Joel Broadbent

Are you thinking about how to drive success in your non-profit fundraising events? If you haven’t considered or made use of gamification so far, then now is a great time to start. Keep reading to learn all about fundraising gamification and how to get started.

 If you’ve already introduced gamification to your fundraising mix, then read on and make sure you’ve got all bases covered. 

What is gamification?

Simply put, gamification is about bringing gaming elements into a non-gaming environment.

For non-profits running non-gaming fundraising events, bringing gamification into a campaign can increase motivation to fundraise, improve satisfaction with the fundraising experience, and maximise opportunities for engagement with the campaign.

How does gamification work?

Gaming in general, facilitates the release of endorphins and dopamine. 

Endorphins are the ‘feel-good’ hormone, produced by our body to relieve pain and stress. Endorphins can be boosted when doing something that feels good, which is where gamification comes in. 

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, but it’s also a type of hormone. Dopamine is the ‘reward’ hormone. It gives you motivation, and gamification can result in an increase of dopamine for the fundraiser, and therefore increase their motivation to progress with their fundraising challenge.

Introducing elements of gaming to your fundraising campaigns, through gamification, allows for fundraisers to experience the benefits of the release of these hormones and neurotransmitters.

This makes them more likely to engage with the full experience of the fundraising event by boosting morale and motivation, and therefore raise more for your charity.

Examples of gamification outside of non-profit fundraising

  • Fitbit uses a lot of gamification with scores, progress bars, and badges to engage users.
  • Gelato Messina’s collaboration with UberEats with cows wandering around with codewords on their body. Eager players would then race to enter those codes on the UberEats app to win prizes.

Why should we use gamification?

Whether you’re running a virtual event or one that’s in person, if you’re doing peer-to-peer fundraising, gamification is an effective way to engage and motivate your fundraisers and their donors. 

If you can reward your fundraisers for the efforts they’re maintaining, especially with simple symbols of achievement like the badges, then do it.  

15 ways you can use fundraising gamification for your next charity event

Here are 15 fundraising gamification ideas to motivate and reward your fundraisers, using the Ezy Raise platform.

  1. Badges - badges are symbols of achievement, to be unlocked when milestones are reached. These can be for fundraising, sharing updates, adding their motivation behind the fundraising, watching organisation-specific content, or even for taking part multiple years! Fundraising badges can be unique to each organisation, and can be aligned with your brand.

  2. Individual fundraising leader board - leader boards encourage competition for those towards or at the top. They also foster a sense of community and belonging, when fundraisers see their name alongside many other participants who are all taking part for the same cause.

  3. Team Leader boards - Team leader boards are the same as above, but between teams. When your fundraisers join forces with their peers, they become even more powerful in their fundraising.

  4. Workplace/Organisation leader boards - different teams (between each department or between organisation states) can compete on our workplace leader boards.

  5. Activity leader board - If your fundraising event is a virtual challenge then consider an activity leader board. Fundraisers can upload their distance achievements and find themselves on the leader board with other committed participants.

  6. Complete your profile tracker - only visible when you log into your dashboard, you’re encouraged to complete your profile (and unlock a badge!) with the tracker. You’ll get tick marks next to each task as you complete it and when all are complete, a badge will automatically unlock on your page for everyone to see.
  7. Individual fundraising progress bar - Set yourself a target and as the donations roll in, your individual fundraising progress bar will get closer to the end goal.

  8. Collective fundraising progress bar - Same as for individuals, but this will be on your team page and will display a running total of all team members’ fundraising amounts. Make a team goal and watch as the progress bar completes a run.

  9. Donation ticker - see if you can spot your name on the fundraising event home page. As you make a donation, you’ll be scrolling across the donation feed. Take a screenshot and be proud of your contribution to making a change.

  10. Celebrate your donors at the point of donation - when a donation has been made, we celebrate your donors with a fun animation. It’s just a small token of appreciation to highlight the GREAT thing they just did.

  11. Interactive locked calendar - filled with content, but only to be unlocked each day, the interactive calendar encourages fundraisers back to the platform to seek information. Use this calendar to surprise and share exclusive content to get your participants coming back regularly.

  12. Milestone giveaways - give your fundraisers rewards for reaching their fundraising milestones. A pin at $100, a beanie at $250, a t-shirt at $500. It doesn’t always have to be charity-branded but the branded merch gives people a way to wear their support for the cause.

  13. Competitions - similar to the milestone giveaways above, but competitions are about limited winners as opposed to milestone giveaways which reward all who meet the criteria. Use competitions to tap into the exclusivity desire of your fundraisers. This is where you can give away fitness trackers, tech goodies, or even big holidays.

  14. Matched giving - creating a buzz around matched giving campaigns would come under gamification. Time limits, increased motivation, and rewards in the form of doubling your impact. Donor matching with Ezy Raise can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled to make a huge impact in a space of time you specify. 

And finally for number 15. 

Tie multiple gamification elements together to create a snowball effect with all the good feels for your fundraisers. 

An example of this would be to run a matched giving campaign so that a whole heap of fundraisers unlock fundraising milestones in a short space of time. 

They’d likely unlock specific milestone badges and maybe even some of the fundraising incentives you’ve set up. Watching their fundraising progress tracker is a great visual way to keep up with how close they’re getting to their goal. 

Maybe even after all that, they’d find themselves on a spot on the leader board.

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