Games Add Competition, Urgency, and Fun to Nonprofit Fundraising

With technology already an integral part of daily life, nonprofits are seizing new opportunities to incorporate elements of interactive games into their volunteer programs and fundraising campaigns.  Some charities make games their mission but some charities simply incorporate the qualities that make games appealing, like competition and a sense of urgency, into their fundraising strategies, says Dale Nirvani Pfeifer, chief executive of GoodWorld“We really believe nonprofits need to make giving fun,” Ms. Pfeifer says. “Make people feel they’re on a mission with you and the charity is cheering you on.”

Merely incorporating elements of games into a campaign rarely creates awareness or prompts changes in behavior, Ms. Pollack says. So she recommends creating fully immersive experiences that can raise both awareness and funds.  There’s a lot of money to be gained by tapping into the gaming industry, which in 2015 had total revenues of $23.5 billion, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

“Games can really give you a position of empathy,” says Kathryn Dutchin, interim associate director at the Center for Games and Impact at Arizona State University. “They are opportunities to sit in the shoes of others and gain perspective.”

One potential drawback: True games can be expensive to design, ranging from $25,000 for a very simple mobile app to more than $3 million for a game with detailed animation and many levels of play,   “We have big dreams of diving into the gamification world,” Ms. Schutes says.

Send an email to Rebecca Koenig.

 

Article was originally published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Games-Add-Competition/237386