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9 Essential Tips to Gamify Fundraising at Your Nonprofit

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By Seth Braddock

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Published April 11, 2022 Reading Time: 5 minutes

This blog was written by Seth Braddock, Founder & CEO at Kilter. Kilter’s gamified activity tracking platform enables nonprofits and brands to meet their supporters where they are today by building custom events that turn everyday health, wellness, and lifestyle activities into opportunities to accelerate fundraising objectives.

When you think about fundraising events like the ice bucket challenge, 100-mile runs, or your CEO taking pies to the face at your office holiday party, do you wonder what motivates these individuals to go to such extreme lengths to show their support?

The Martyrdom Effect suggests that the prospect of pain and effort increases charitable giving. In today’s virtual and hybrid fundraising landscape, there are countless opportunities to apply and reinvent this concept in a way that excites both new and existing donors to strengthen their connection to your cause.

Tap into gamified fundraising technology to create more fun, inclusive experiences that bring out the competitive nature in your supporters. Below we’ll explore the concepts of activity tracking and fundraising gamification as they relate to your organization, and discover how Classy’s new integration with Kilter, the most inclusive activity-based engagement platform for good, can help reach wider audiences, boost engagement, and increase fundraising potential.

Re-Energize Your Community With Fundraising Diversification

Kilter platform data shows that campaigns with gamified fundraising opportunities raise 3X more than traditional online fundraising campaigns.

There are plenty of ways to gamify the online fundraising experience. Live stream fundraising on platforms like Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube Live is a great way to connect with a younger audience. Classy Live is another option for intimate virtual or hybrid events. The platform’s robust venue simplifies the attendee and admin experience with activity tracking, virtual breakout rooms, mobile bidding, merchandise sales, and more. 

Fundraising diversification is critical to sustaining long-term relationships with new and existing supporters and retaining the support of committed sponsors. Gamification offers a simple way for organizations to refresh their campaigns and re-energize their nonprofit communities. 

4 Ways to Leverage Activity Tracking at Your Nonprofit

When you think of activity tracking, your mind likely goes straight to running, walking, or biking. That’s definitely part of the equation, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are four simple thought starters surrounding activity tracking to get your creative juices flowing. Determine which events make the most sense for your audience, and learn how to capitalize on each opportunity to fuel your mission. For more specific ideas, read 22 ideas for activity-based fundraising in 2022.

1. Marathon & Endurance Teams, Walk/Runs/Rides – This is really a no-brainer. If you have teams in marathons or triathlons, host your own walks/runs/rides, or have supporters doing their own races, you should always provide a way for this community to track their activity. Doing so will create the element of competition and give people a way to include their friends and family in their efforts. In addition, you will open up doors for more revenue through corporate sponsorships, gain the ability to send information directly to your supporters through push notifications, and ultimately acquire more donor data. 

Pro Tip
Consider participating in Kilter’s trademarked series of events called Miles For Meaning™ to access more opportunities to keep your endurance community engaged throughout the year.

2. All-Inclusive Activity-Tracking Events – Offering events where everyone can participate no matter their age, location, or how they like to “donate their hustle” is one of the best ways to engage and grow your community. Expand your view of activity tracking to include meditation, healthy meal prep, volunteering, reading, gardening, and so much more. Turn your supporters’ everyday health, wellness, or lifestyle activities into meaningful moments that drive impact.

3. Activity-Specific Events Consider building an event with a community goal based on a particular activity your audience enjoys, like reading, playing pickleball, or packaging meals for your local food bank. Encourage your supporters to come together to collaborate, compete, and take fundraising potential to new heights. One example of this could be setting a community goal to log 250,000 reading minutes from June to August. As participants track their progress, the total reading minutes will display on an interactive leaderboard. For every 10 minutes logged, event sponsors are pledging $1 up to $100,000.

4. Corporate & Employee Engagement Events – You might be hearing from your corporate partners that they want more opportunities to engage their employees in their efforts to support you. This partnership is not only good for their bottom line, but also gives you the chance to collect more donor data and offer additional opportunities for people to give. Give them what they want by providing gamified online experiences that are inclusive for all employees and increase corporate giving potential. For example, one partner set up a one-week “Miles For Meals” challenge and donated $20 per mile their employees logged up to $10,000. They also incorporated company swag and merchandise to give away based on the miles logged by employees.

5 Must-Haves for Your Activity-Tracking Event

Now that you have some ideas, making it a truly gamified experience is the fun part. Here are five components to include in your next event to cultivate, engage, educate, and drive higher fundraising potential.

Leaderboards: Fundraiser leaderboards are the centerpiece of engagement that continually drive people back to the event page throughout the course of your campaign. Utilize leaderboards in your next competition for people to keep track of their own score or fundraising progress in comparison to others in your community. If you have team-based events, participants can easily keep tabs on their team score and fundraising totals versus all other groups pursuing that top spot. 

Real-Time Matching Donations: Your corporate sponsors and individual donors want to maximize the impact of their contributions. Allow your supporters to unlock real-time donation matching when they hit certain fundraising milestones or achieve particular activity goals. 

Incentives and Prizes: No matter which event type you choose, your supporters will always be motivated by cool stuff they can win. In addition to traditional fundraising incentives, bake in more ways for people to earn swag and win prizes based on their activities and where they stand on the leaderboard.

Push Notifications & In-App Content: Take advantage of customizable push notifications to send messages directly to your community. Share impact statements, educate your community on your mission, promote sponsor messages, and recognize all of the people putting in work.

Mobile Fundraising Experience: Simplify your gamified fundraising event with an activity-tracking experience that integrates with your current fundraising solution. The Kilter + Classy integration allows nonprofits to keep their fundraising experience on Classy while using Kilter to offer activity tracking events that engage larger audiences. Kilter’s mobile app makes it easier for fundraisers to share their Classy fundraising pages with their extended networks and keep tabs on their progress with the in-app leaderboards.

Kilter mobile app

A current Classy customer shares why integrated activity-tracking experiences are critical to their goals:

As long-time Classy customers, we’re always looking for new ways to encourage and motivate our fundraisers and find ways our team can add value to their fundraising experience. The Kilter integration does both. It’s a perfect fit for our movement-based campaigns and the setup was very easy! We can’t wait to see how this helps us grow our campaigns year over year and help TWLOHA grow to further our mission.

Lindsay Kolsch

To Write Love On Her Arms Co-Executive Director

Nonprofits using Kilter to incorporate activity-tracking events into their annual strategies have seen an 11X return on investment, 10-20% new supporters, and 3X higher fundraising per engaged participant using both the fundraising and activity-tracking tools.

Bring Your Integrated Activity-Tracking Event to Life on Classy

Take advantage of today’s turn-key tools and technology to create a simpler gamified fundraising experience. Leveraging these tools, like Classy’s integration with Kilter, will help you reach more people, bolster engagement, and diversify your revenue streams while simultaneously avoiding the headaches associated with costly and time-consuming event planning. 

Explore the Kilter + Classy Integration

Explore the Kilter + Classy Integration

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