Christian charity turns to gamification to engage young

Tearfund, the Christian international aid charity, is looking to drive engagement with young supporters with the launch of a mobile gaming platform.

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The charity, which is the sixth largest NGO in the UK, is building a mobile app that that incorporates social media channels and gaming strategies such as rewards and achievements, in a bid to encourage more young people to become involved in its work and make volunteering efforts into a “shared social action”.

The charity hopes the mobile app will offer a new mechanic to engage young people as the traditional model is suffering. NfpSynergy’s recent Youth Engagement Monitor revealed that the number of young people who volunteer has fallen for the first time since 2008.

Tearfund’s initiative is the latest example of a brand turning to gamification to build long-term relationships with consumers, but the charity says it is the first time a third sector organisation has embraced it.

The news comes as lobby group False Economy reveals that more than 2,000 UK charities have had funding cut or withdrawn following the government’s spending cuts.

Tearfund has previously done all of its marketing through the church.

Philippa Peck, the charities director of fundraising, says it is looking to broaden out and a mobile gaming platform will build a community that adds interest and value to supporters, both existing and new.

The platform will originally target young Christians but it could later underpin the charities wider strategy as Peck says there is huge potential for it to reach supporters of all ages.

Peck adds “No one in the charity sector seems to be engaging with young people very well. This is something new that doesn’t see the church as an institution but as a group of people.”

The digital initiative, being developed by Provokateur, is due to launch in the autumn.

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