Encourage Event Participants to Raise More Funds Through Gamification

As a nonprofit navigating through a digital-first world, you’re likely being introduced to new strategies and trends on a regular basis. Understanding new things isn’t always easy, but it’s important to keep yourself educated so that your nonprofit can stay on top of its game in an ever-growing market. 

Gamification is a popular buzzword in the tech space, and as the nonprofit technology market continues to grow, nonprofits are hearing more and more about the benefits of gamification. With gamification, nonprofits can apply elements of gaming — friendly competition, extended engagement, a team environment — to keep people interested in their missions and active in fundraising over time. 

Through gamification, you can encourage people to raise more funds for your organization. With a little friendly competition, people stay engaged, are actively fundraising and feel good about the work that they’re doing. Perhaps the one thing that really drives event participation with gamification is that the participant gets to choose how and when they fundraise — you’re just giving them an extra boost of encouragement by providing them with incentives. 

At GiveSignup | RunSignup, our nonprofits have gamified their event fundraising and peer-to-peer fundraising efforts by adding features like goals, milestones, badges and rewards, as well as showcasing leaderboards to show participant and fundraiser progress. By adding these key features, our nonprofits are engaging participants in a unique way, giving them a memorable experience and motivating them to remain active with the organization. 

How to Gamify Your Fundraising Event

While adding gamification elements can elevate your fundraising event by getting more people excited to fundraise, it’s important you have the right technology partner that will support your needs with the right gamification products, all while allowing you the ability to keep your mission and your message of why you’re hosting this event front and center. Stay mission-focused, and don’t let the excitement of competition water your message down.

With that said, let’s talk through some gamification elements to add to your next fundraising event: 

  • Goals. For every fundraising event that you put on, it’s recommended that you set a goal for all of your fundraisers and participants. For fundraisers, set a monetary goal (e.g., raise $1,000). For participants, set a physical goal (e.g., run 10 miles). That way, both fundraisers and participants have a goal in mind to achieve, which further drives them to hit that goal. 
  • Milestones and badges. Now that fundraisers and participants have their goals set, a good way to encourage them to hit those goals is by adding milestones, and then giving them a badge when each milestone is completed. A milestone for both fundraisers and event participants can be getting halfway to their goal (e.g., raising $500 or running five miles). GiveSignup offers customizable milestones and badges for virtual challenges that allow nonprofits to track their participant progress. In addition to giving participants badges for each milestone achieved, nonprofits can even award them milestone certificates. For fundraisers, we offer nonprofits the ability to celebrate milestones with confetti notifications every time a participant hits a fundraising milestone. 
  • Rewards. While people sign up for your event and fundraise on your behalf because they truly believe in the mission of your organization, by rewarding fundraising, you’re incentivizing people to raise even more for your mission. Common fundraising incentives, like swag, can get people motivated to fundraise because they’re getting something tangible in return. However, like many for-profit companies, offering monetary rewards for getting more people signed up for the event can be an even more enticing incentive for your fundraisers. Our referral rewards program allows nonprofits to give supporters money back if they hit a certain referral threshold (e.g., $20 back for getting five people registered for the event). Another way to level up your rewards program: Incentivize and reward your fundraisers for surpassing their fundraising goals by automatically giving them a refund of their registration fee when they hit a set goal. For example, if you want fundraisers to raise more than $500, GiveSignup | RunSignup lets you set up an automated refund reward of their registration fee when they raise $500.
  • Leaderboard. Setting up a leaderboard for your event shows how event participants are doing. For example, a fundraising leaderboard on your website shares who is raising the most for the event. Or, if your fundraising event is a walk/run, a leaderboard promotes a little competition by sharing who is performing the best (e.g., miles run in the shortest time). Check out how Activity for Good showcased its leaderboard for last year’s 30-day challenge. 

The Civil Rights Race Series, which includes 1 Million Miles for Justice and Selma to Montgomery Relay and Bike Ride, has benefitted from GiveSignup | RunSignup to help facilitate its runs and identify its fundraising targets. In addition, the technology has also gamified the event experience for their participants, encouraging team participation. 

If I have 10 teams and [most can see they’re] not doing as well as another team, then [they] need to step it up. That’s one of the great contributions that the GiveSignup | RunSignup platform has given us — the ability to seamlessly create these fundraising opportunities inside of our event and for us to be as transparent as possible in the levels that we’ve received, our fundraising goals and where the funds are going.”

Vergil Chames, an organizer of The Civil Rights Race Series

Engaging Supporters

Fundraising events are one of the most powerful ways to engage supporters and raise more money for your organization’s mission. And gamification only helps elevate your mission to get people more involved in your event, either by participating, by fundraising or both! We have seen this firsthand at GiveSignup | RunSignup — our nonprofits have had increased engagement, fundraising and recurring participants through these tactics. By gamifying the experience, you can help incentivize your supporters to raise more funds through friendly competition and to be a part of an engaging community that is driven and dedicated to your mission. 

Plus, as supporters become more and more immersed in your organization, further engage them by encouraging them to share their journey on social media or through a testimonial. Then, you’ll have valuable user-generated content to use in your upcoming marketing materials! 

To learn more about how GiveSignup | RunSignup can help gamify your upcoming fundraising event, further engage supporters and raise more money, visit https://resources.givesignup.org/demo-givesignup. 

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