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Something about games brings out our competitive streaks and makes the ordinary extraordinary. So it makes sense that the hot new business trend is gamification, which applies game-design theory to other settings. These days, every business application imaginable is being gamified – from frequent flyer miles to online diet plans, from employee engagement initiatives to check-ins with friends on Facebook and Foursquare. Indeed, Gartneranalysts predict that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations will gamify their innovation processes. Good gamification turns users into players, immersing them in rewarding experiences that not only simplify how they interact with programs but keeps them hooked.

Marketing experts have caught on to the addictive powers of gamification and are turning to this tool as a powerful business driver. The New York Times recently reported on this trend, citing one particularly active Samsung enthusiast who racked up more than 4.5 million points in the company’s online loyalty program. Success stories such as personal finance site Mint.com, Nike’s fitness program and The White House’s Race to the Top competition stand out as smart, strategic uses of gamification.

It’s clear that gamification is becoming an important revenue tool that helps companies do well, but can it also help companies do good?

Absolutely. The Gamification Blog recently highlighted how Causecast’s Community Impact Platform gamifies the workplace volunteering and giving experience, and The Huffington Post also reports on gamification finding its way into the world of corporate philanthropy through Causecast’s platform.

The Community Impact Platform gamifies the user experience, making giving back not only an engaging experience but a fun one as well. For example, fundraising competitions encourage employees to create personal fundraisers that tap into their unique networks. Companies develop challenge parameters, select nonprofit targets, match donations and/or award prizes, while employees create customized pages to promote among their social media networks, fostering a grassroots cause marketing vehicle for the company that also amplifies its social impact.

Corporate environments have been surveyed to find that 72% of executives donate to charities where employees volunteer, and there are increasing possibilities to engage employees with the promise of good cause backed behind their work. While it has been previously difficult or expensive to achieve this, Causecast provides a platform for employees to easily donate and track their time with a gamified campaign system.

Want to change the world? Let the games begin.

 

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