One of the most significant challenges among corporate volunteering programs is increasing participation. It’s not that people don’t want to give back - in fact, most people have a charity or cause that they are passionate about. Read on to see how to inspire your team.This post is part of The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Volunteering
People are busy with families and work that consume much of their free time. One popular approach to increasing involvement is gamification. Long used in the marketing and advertising world as a rewards-based system for encouraging participation, Fortune 500 brands such as McDonald's, Adobe, NBC, Ford, and Nike use gamification to reach and retain customers. If you participate in Southwest Airlines Frequent Flyer Program, you’re earning points every time you fly. Wearable tech from Nike gamified exercise and helped motivate over 5 million athletes to beat their personal fitness goals.
Volunteerism programs can be gamified, too. Through gamification, an ordinary office volunteer program can be transformed, by making volunteer tasks more rewarding, developing a buzz around the office, forming deeper engagement with employees, and encouraging friendly competition.
Above: An example of InvolveSoft's point system.
One of InvolveSoft's clients – a leading manufacturer of eyeglasses – is passionate about volunteerism to support their mission to improve quality of life through clearer vision. Their employees help provide new glasses and vision tests to underprivileged kids around the world. Through gamification, they've applied an extra layer of motivation to their employees. With a simple point system, volunteers earn rewards based on their hours of participation, the degree of commitment, and social media sharing. For example, points can be obtained for posting a simple volunteer event photo on Instagram. This task promotes the mission and its altruism though raising awareness of the plight of poor children with vision problems. Gamification can create healthy competition among employees and is rewarded by the organization through gifts and special privileges lauded on winners.
Given the noise and distraction that surrounds our daily lives, gamification is more popular than ever at earning our attention and creating a system that fuels participation in a wholesome way.