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Recharge Donor Giving through Gamification

It’s fair to say every nonprofit marketer and fundraiser is likely facing challenges today as they navigate the “new normal”.

From wondering how we can keep our donors engaged amid so much competition for donors attention and generosity, to figuring out how to reconfigure fundraising events to still deliver memorable experiences, we are all looking at ways to leverage this moment effectively to benefit our supporters and our organizations.

It’s never been more important to inspire and engage our donors and deepen their loyalty and passion for our causes

This new situation requires new thinking to be successful:

Understand Donors’ Goals

First, we must gather insights about why donors support our causes and what drives their engagement, behaviors, and loyalty. We want to have top of mind the reasons donors engage with our causes, what they value, and what they gain from supporting our organizations.

Design Experiences that Spark Engagement

Based on those insights, we can then craft donor experiences that recharge their engagement by using gamification to unlock and build connections with donors in new, fresh ways that reinvigorate fundraising.

Build Loyalty and Value

And finally, we want to re-energize donor participation by delivering more meaningful experiences that build long-term commitment through defining shared goals and actions.

The good news is there are ready-to-use tools that can be implemented in a short amount of time to bring to life new experiences that will captivate and cultivate your donors.

Gamification is one way to motivate donor engagement. We can help you create a solution that fits your organization and your donors and start recapturing lost revenue.

Gamification is widely talked about as a way to make experiences fun

While that can certainly be true in some cases, smart application of gamification can do so much more than that. We believe that gamification is a way to motivate brand engagement by applying techniques found in behavioral science to spark emotion, short-cut human biases, build habits, and design meaningful experiences.

In fact, you may have experienced gamification in your daily life. Perhaps you are a Starbucks rewards program member and you’ve used the Starbucks for Life app to earn discounts and free products. Or, you’ve tracked your exercise on Fitbit checking the leaderboard, and participating in some friendly competition with others.

You’ve probably used gamification in fundraising, too.  Tactics such as a campaign goal thermometer, countdown clock, or fundraiser badges are common tools used to motivate donors to act now, with urgency and generosity.

Gamification works best when it is done from a consumer-centric perspective. We want to tap into the emotion donors feel when they engage with our causes and use that as the foundation for creating powerful experiences for donors.

At Merkle, we’ve developed 6 Drivers of Brand Engagement that we see in the work that we do, ranging from social to individual drivers.

What motivated donors to engage

We often only think of donors and their interest to give as their only goal

But donors may also be looking to collaborate with others, or they may want to learn a new skill, or express themselves creatively. How your donors feel when they engage with your brand, and the emotion that is sparked from that experience, is a powerful way to motivate engagement. When we can help donors achieve their goals, we’re building emotional connections that drive long-term loyalty and commitment.

Gamification can provide a fresh approach to motivate donor engagement, both online and offline. For example, many nonprofit charities are looking for ways to raise awareness about their causes and its impact as part of their donor cultivation and retention strategies. Using game mechanics, as illustrated in this Cancer Survivorship Month game card example, we can motivate more frequent interactions by donors while rewarding them, and deepening their awareness of the mission.

Use gamification to spark engagement

During this time, everyone is likely wondering how to continue to inspire and cultivate their donors. Consider incorporating gamification solutions into your fundraising strategy. These tools will help you create new, exciting ways to engage with your donors, deepening loyalty and value not only now in the near-term, but also as an integral part of your fundraising program going forward.

Want to learn more? Check out the other blogs in this series here.

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