How to engage your fundraisers with gamification & rewards

By Truman Tang

Bringing some fun into your charitable campaigns via gamification and rewards is a great way to raise awareness for your cause, create an engaging experience for your fundraisers, and turn them into lifelong advocates for your cause.

What is gamification?
To me, gamification isn’t about buying a system and using it to get fundraisers to do things for you. Instead, it’s thinking holistically about your goals and designing a gamified system to support them.

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What have you done with my money?

When was the last time you contacted your donors and specifically informed them of how their donation has helped your cause or been put to great use? No doubt you’ll have some heart-warming examples that showcase how successful fundraising has made a difference to an individual, family or a community’s life? Please share this with your donors at least once a year, more if you can, they’re just dying to hear – why wouldn’t they? You are the stewards of their donated hard-earned cash.

Prepare the story by setting the scene

How dire was the situation? What was it that led your organisation to be involved in the case? Get quotes from individuals involved and pictures to really help set the scene, particularly if there’s a great after-shot to go with it.

Your organisation’s involvement

Who? When? Where? Why? Was it all because of one person or a group of people? Allow individuals or these groups to shine when telling the story.

The outcome

The success story. The part that will touch the hearts of your donors and lead to them being proud to be involved in your organisation. The story may well be passed on by word of mouth when chatting with peers.

Remember, be concise.  Don’t ramble on and switch donors off reading it before they even start.


Tell them that continual donations make this work possible. You want to give them the opportunity to give again or give beyond their usual regular contribution and a reason for doing so!
If you able to answer the question ‘What have you done with my money?’ you’ll be able to retain and grow your base rather than see them slip away.

Getting up close & personal with supporters

When you consider commercial companies, it seems obvious that if their brand is strong and recognisable, people are more likely to connect with and then (hopefully) go on to purchase the product. An easily distinguishable identity can help any company stand out from the competition, add value to their offering, and engage with customers. Think about companies like Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Apple – you immediately have an image in your mind of who they are and what their brand represents – because the brand they have created is so strong.

And it doesn’t just apply to the commercial sector – building a brand is just as important for charities to encourage people to engage with what you do.

What is a brand?

A brand is not necessarily what you might think. It’s not your logo, or colours. It’s not even the name, the services or the products that you offer. Your brand is the feeling your supporters have when they think of you. It’s not what you say it is, but what they say it is.

How can you begin to build a brand?

  • Consider tone

Think about the tone of your brand, and maintain it. Whether that’s in advertising, social media, PR, direct marketing or online communications – make sure all your communications reflect the tone of your brand. It may be that your brand has a chatty, informal tone – or maybe you have a more professional or traditional tone. Whatever your tone – just make sure it’s consistent.

  • Remind people who you are

Every organisation should have a brand – but not every organisation remembers to express who they are in all of their communications. You should remind existing supporters who you are and don’t forget to educate new donors on your promise to them.

  • Be honest

Building trust with supporters can be simple if they know exactly what you do and how you do it. Show your supporters the kind of impact they’ve helped you make in the past year, and how you plan on making an even better use of the funds with the success of the next campaign. Make your supporters proud of you, and of the help they’ve given!