How to drive participation for your fundraiser
Gamification is trendy these days, but what exactly is it and how can you use it to help your fundraising campaign?
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You may recall the “thermometer” graphic often displayed in schools, churches and non-profit organizations to track the amount of money raised towards a specific goal. As contributions came in, the red line on the graphic rose so everyone could see at a glance how much money had been collected and how far the campaign still had to go. That thermometer graphic was an early example of gamification.
Simply put, gamification uses the designs and strategies of games to engage and motivate people. In other words, it makes achieving goals fun! Yankee Candle Fundraising’s app is one example of gamification. The app shows the number of other sellers in your fundraising group who are also using the app and the number of contacts each has made. Your fundraiser can use the app to motivate sellers to move up to the top of the list. The more contacts that are made, the greater the opportunity to reach your fundraising goals quickly! (Yankee Candle Fundraising will be introducing even more gamification options in the near future.)
What makes gamification drive fundraising participation?
Getting and keeping people’s attention focused on your cause is difficult when they have so much else to distract them. And where is most of their attention focused? On their mobile devices. Gamification gratifies people’s desire to stay connected through their cell phones, play games and win! All that works together to keep both sellers and contributors engaged and motivated.
How do I get started with gamification in my fundraising?
If you haven’t used gamification in your fundraising before, you would do well to select a fundraiser where all the work of gamification is already done for you, like Yankee Candle Fundraising. If you go it alone, one of the simplest techniques is putting a campaign progress bar on your website so that everyone can easily see where the campaign stands. Awarding prizes (virtual or real) to sellers is also a great way to keep your sellers engaged and motivated. Or consider giving virtual badges to your contributors. They can post these badges on all their favorite social media outlets to proudly proclaim that they have supported your cause.
Gamification is just one element of successful fundraising
While gamification can add a boost of enthusiasm and fun to your fundraising, it is important to remember that your goal is to raise money for your organization. When you are raising money for your school, group, team or church, it’s critical to focus on fundraising ideas that produce proven results and won’t bankrupt your time or resources.
Here are some tips for keeping on track:
- Use multiple channels. You’ll have more success raising money with a combination of catalog and on-line sales. Catalogs are a great tool for selling in person, while on-line sales broaden the reach of your fundraiser immensely. Successful fundraisers make use of both these important tools.
- Set a fundraising goal. Setting goals for how much money you want to raise and what that money will fund will dramatically increase your success. Let your sellers and supporters know the details. Everyone performs better with a specific goal in mind.
- Pay attention to profits. Just looking at percentage of profits is a narrow-minded approach. You might receive 90% profit on a $1 item, but have to sell dozens and dozens to creep toward your goal. Or, by earning $10 on the sale of one Yankee Candle, you’d only have to sell 10 to reach $100 profit.
- Let the website do the heavy lifting. One of the easiest ways to raise money is through a website your supporters can order from no matter where they live. If you are raising money using Yankee Candle Fundraising, you are in luck—the work of preparing a website is already done. Yankee Candle Fundraising’s website is in place, ready for supporters to shop for your cause. They can order directly and easily from there and the profits go straight to you.
Now get out there and have fun reaching your goal!
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