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?
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.