Has granting a badge for donating to a non-profit community worked for at least someone?

(Anton) #1

We’re planning to launch a donation page. When one donates, he’ll be granted of 3 badges:

  • Sponsor
  • Super Sponsor
  • Regular Sponsor

Do you think badges like these alone might motivate at all?

What I’m trying ro do is to change how donations are seen by people: I’d like to make it fun rather than a financial thing.

(Darren Gough) #2

What do the levels refer to? Last one is perhaps a little more explanatory but are they linked to the amount of the donation?

Do people have the option to opt out? I’ve moved in circles of people who run for charity with justgiving pages and a lot of people prefer to donate anonymously as they feel they are doing it because they care, not because they want to be seen as amazing for doing so.

(Anton) #3

Levels = based on amount of money.
Regular = donated at least once a month during 6 months, and of the badges is Super Sponsor.

Yep, they still will be able to opt out of gaining a badge - good catch about opting out, thanks!

(Jess Williams) #4

Badges fall under the gamification umbrella and in my experience, adding a badge or two is not enough to motivate people unless the badges are part of a gamification model that is created specifically to tap into the intrinsic motivators of your community. If you are looking to gamify, I highly recommend learning more before spending time implementing something. Here are some questions you might explore:

First, take a step back and ask what motivates people to donate to you in the first place? I find it helpful to have a “top three” motivator list (backed by user research and trends you see in your community).

Next, figure out how badges might work within your community:

  • Would your members consider a badge “fun”? If not, would it create an equally beneficial emotion? (Pride, Helpfulness, Loyalty, etc)
  • Would the badge help them in some way?
  • — Connect them to the community or your brand in a unique way?
  • — Give them a sense of belonging?
  • — A feeling of shared ownership?

Put yourself in your member’s shoes – would gaining a badge be the tipping point to get you to donate?

Tactical stuff…
Where are the badges used on the platform? Are member profiles often viewed? Are there other elements on the profile that make members view them? I’ve found that profiles and badges usually need to be considered together.

Lastly, how will you support the badges for the long-haul? Once people start earning badges, it’s hard to make changes to the tiers/levels, etc.

Hopefully these questions help you a bit. Gamification, even with something small like a few badges, can be very powerful, but can also be a long-term commitment and should be implemented with a solid strategy.

(Anton) #5

Thanks for a so detailed resonse!

To be fair, not sure I believe this may work - every single person is very different in how they see this world, what they feel and what motivates them.

All I know is that people love it :slight_smile:


We just add badges that have more complicated and varied rules.

Agree. I’m not sure if gamification applies to our community though, unless “having fun” and gamification is the same thing. Sorry I’m just not sure about terminology here. What I thought is that people who love badges may just want one of these three as well in their collection.

Hm, I think I have no clue until I try. We have not had any donation program yet.

(Jess Williams) #6

It sounds like you are already using badges in some way? If so, adding new badges is different than starting a new badge program. :slight_smile: If your community loves them, I say go for it!

Also, you may reach out to some dedicated members and ask them for their thoughts on both the donation program and the badges. One of the best ways to predict your member’s response is to engage them in conversation and listen.

(Sarah Hawk) #7

I agree with Jess on this. Is your audience likely to be motivated by displays of wealth or power? If so, great.

More reading on values here: What are our values?

(Anton) #8

One of our values that I know about for sure is the “positivity” of the discussion board.

It happened so Russian and Ukrainian people swear publicly too often and it is a norm. What we did is we wrote strict rules and we delete / moderate very aggressively when it comes to rudeness. As a result, people love the atmosphere and they feel safe while writing. This is something everyone knows about our community.

Not sure how we can convert this feeling into donation though.

(Shreyas) #9

One forum where I’ve seen people donate money consistently is Hackforums. They have great gamification on the forum. They have two ways of doing this:

  • Awards- Some of the awards on the forum can be bought with Bitcoins or by donating
  • Upgrade- When you join the forum, you are a normal member. If you choose to upgrade, you get access to private threads and areas in the forum along with some resources and giveaways specifically for upgraded members. People consider that as an investment because of these perks and also upgraded members seem to get more respect on the forum.

Also, another great idea is to set goals. Usually, when there’s a finite number along with a progress bar indicating how close are we to the goal, it increases the tendency of members to donate. After achieving this target, it’s obviously a good idea to be transparent and show how the money was spent so that members know where and how exactly is it being used.

I specifically loved the way Wikipedia did this.

Some of these might be difficult in the context of a non-profit, but I think it might be a good idea to explore the possibility of creating some quality resources that are specifically available for members who donate.
In case you’re interested to know what perks to upgraded members get on HF, here’s a screenshot of the upgrade page.

(Steve Combs) #10

I would not consider donation badges primarily related to displays of wealth and power. Although the cynical factors are present. What about

  • promoting causes
  • encouraging/reminding others
  • creating competition for good
  • offering sponsors value for support

I will be using badges to show nonprofit membership, completed volunteer projects, and donations at different levels.

I have had people ask, “What do I get?” For those people…a badge :slight_smile:

(Anton) #11

So, do you think it still might work - but never as a single complete reason? I.e. only as a complementary thing?

(Anton) #12

Copying images here for future reference or in case they disappear at Imgur:

Images under spoiler

(Steve Combs) #13

Sure. I think badges can work for the person who just wants something for their contribution.

I am not against “shaming” people in a nice way who participate in a community but don’t join with a donation. It’s just a little nudge to make people take a small action like click a donate/join button. They get something for their effort.

This also can work with industry partners. If some partners are participating, then their competitors will be motivated to participate as well.

I can be problem if you take it too far. Like in a workplace where all the people who sign up for the corporate charity walk get a badge or check by their name. That’s a little too transparent, and there is a coercion element. Each situation is different.