Fantasy Football is More than Trash Talking: How to Utilize Gamification to Increase Giving

Cooler air, shorter days, and a new school year signal the arrival of the fall season. Along with the changing leaves, fall also indicates the return of football and the office tradition that is fantasy football. At Good Done Great, we participate in a league that spans two of our offices and multiple departments. (We even have a channel on our internal communication site solely dedicated to trash talking.)  

Fantasy football and March Madness are easy and fun ways to engage employees across departments while increasing collaboration, interaction, and team-building. There’s nothing like a little bit of competition to fire up your employees!

Gamification and Employee Engagement

Today, corporate groups including Target, Omnicare, and Ford Motor Group utilize games and game design to engage and motivate employees, drive positive behaviors, and positively impact business. In fact, 55% of Americans say they are interested in working for a company that uses gamification to increase productivity. Current gamification strategies impact everything from customer service to training and onboarding new employees.

Gamification strategies easily translate to workplace giving programs. Through utilizing reward and recognition programs, corporate philanthropy professionals can increase the amount and number of donations or participation in volunteer events. Millennials in particular expect positive reinforcement as their baby boomer parents were quick to praise them as children. Rewards may include tangible awards including plaques, increased match ratios, or volunteer grants. Intangible awards include recognition on a company and department level. But, beware! You must alter reward types in order to avoid employee boredom.

In addition to awards, 4 other examples of gamification strategies to increase giving include:

1) Badges for Giving and Volunteering

Utilizing your workplace giving technology platform (may we suggest Good Done Great), award your employees for giving and volunteering through virtual badges. Apply levels so that employees are motivated to go above and beyond their normal donation and volunteer amounts to achieve higher ranking badges.

Employee Recognition


2) Team-Based Volunteer and Giving Programs

Giving and volunteering is much more fun in teams!  Form teams based upon location, departments, and interests. Challenge other teams to volunteer, or give, or complete specific volunteer opportunities (ie build one house with Habitat for Humanity, tutor 30 students).

3) Peer-to-peer Fundraising

Allow your employees to create personal fundraising pages to raise funds on behalf of a cause. Fundraisers may work to achieve sponsorship for an upcoming race or personal event or challenge (such as Movember). This type of fundraising encourages goal-setting and collaboration with colleagues while promoting a worthy cause.

4) Nonprofit Challenges

In addition to donating, employees can provide significant value to non-profits by offering their unique skill sets. Offer your employees volunteer projects which solve a particular challenge that a nonprofit faces. Examples may include building a digital marketing strategy to attract Millennial donors or building a donor database which allows the non-profit to collate communication with repeat donors. Through providing a challenge or puzzle for your employees to solve, they will unite under a common goal and work diligently to provide a solution.


As you begin to strategize and plan for your end of the year giving campaigns take an example from fantasy football! Utilize gaming techniques to reinforce positive behavior and encourage your employees to give and volunteer!