Crowdsourcing as a way to raise funds for a Dementia game
The debate whether crowdsourcing is in fact gamification is not finished yet. Personally I like the fact that you engage with a number of interested parties to fund a project, rather than traditional means such as a banks, venture capitalist, traditional fundraising and angel investments to name a few more traditional approaches. The social element makes it a potential case for gamification, however the how is where it becomes a gamification campaign or not in my view and for that you need to be strategic in your approach to looking for funds.
Introducing elements of competition to raise funds, social sharing rewards, maybe labels for top contributors and appealing to a specific target audience are gamification elements that can help. The whole idea of crowd funding is to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, but it is also why so many campaigns fail to meet their target. Charities seem to have definitely caught on to the concept of social engagement and crowdsourced fundraising. In the end of the day, they have been in that game for a long time. In a previous post we spoke about the campaigns of Cancer Research UK and their video game to discover DNA irregularities.
The most recent example that was brought to my attention is from the Alzheimers Association in Australia, who made me aware of their campaign via Twitter. They are specifically appealing to the gaming world to support their mission of crowd funding the development of a video game that will bring fun to people with dementia, which is hinted to bring health benefits. The material I have read is a clear showcase for the game, but I do believe a key target audience are the relatives of people with Dementia and what the game can bring in terms of health improvements, comfort above and beyond just fun through sensory therapy.
No matter what you are looking to engage about, there has to be a compelling why. Why should I bother investing in this, is what you need to be able to answer for the charity supporter. The why is shown in the video that goes with the crowd funding campaign. What I also like is the fact that campaign contributions are visible and progress towards a very specific goal are able to to be tracked on the Pozible platform. Crowdfunding campaigns like these are mini-quests which obviously aim to lead to a way bigger purpose.
The free spirit type player in me would love to receive a flower badge to share with all my social media followers to let them know about the campaign and add the peer-donation element into it. The challenge with crowdsourcing is reaching the right crowd and enough willing donating ones if fundraising is what you are after. Whilst the authors have clearly targeted gamers, I think the key to success will be found in children and grandchildren of people with Alzheimers.
I love the principle of sensory therapy and have seen how it works for children with autism, because I supported a school for autistic children when I lived in Ireland. What they did well at the time was to make sure that people willing to step up and fundraise would also learn about the therapy being followed. Certain environments were clearly soothing and others overstimulated the senses, which made children react. So my immediate wonder is would this type of game also work for children?
What would make you contribute? What gamification element in your view would improve this type of campaign?