Case Study: How we helped JHR implement gamified fundraising

2020 was a difficult year for Canadian charities and nonprofits. But online giving was a saving grace and grew by 86%.

How can charities remain resilient and innovative as the tides of the pandemic changes the way donors support  social change?

This is important, considering that the charitable sector remains cash-strapped but only invests 1% of its money on fundraising.

That’s why we developed DonorPlay!

DonorPlay is a fundraising platform that makes the donation process more engaging for grassroots donors by applying game-playing mechanics (like leaderboards, rewards, and trivias).

DonorPlay provides a more effective way to run interactive, online fundraising campaigns at a time when charities are forced to look elsewhere to replace lost revenues.

We’ll walk you through one implementation of a gamified fundraising campaign we helped run for one of Canada’s leading International Development charities: Journalists for Human Rights (JHR).

The Problem for JHR

JHR typically runs an annual, in-person gala to celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd. The gala was both a source of pride and revenue for JHR that allowed them to meaningfully re-engage with their supporters.

Like for many other non-profits, the pandemic unraveled these plans.

JHR asked us to help them design and execute a multi-channel gamified campaign delivered virtually, with the goal of increasing their brand awareness.

JHR specifically wanted the campaign to spotlight their work in training media organizations and journalists to combat mis/disinformation across parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Preparing For The First Campaign:

2-4 weeks

Before your campaign goes live, we walk you through a very seamless but thorough process of:

  • defining your concept/content source
  • creating the first quiz questions that reflect relevant info about your campaign
  • defining the marketing channels
  • creating a launch content calendar (we provide the template for this and the graphics) and,
  • more!
We’ll help you create a detailed plan that outlines considerations around marketing, content, and success tracking.

We’ll also help you create branded templates of promotionary graphics to help market your campaign!

This is all covered in 4 - 6 hours worth of meetings with our team before going live. But it all starts with a kick-off meeting, where we walk through the entire campaign calendar, and assign relevant decision makers and task managers, and

Running the first campaign:

2 - 4 weeks

On kick-off day, we start to blast the campaign invite on all the channels we’ve strategically chosen. We wait for early learnings and see if there are any other tweaks needed to get the greatest engagement.

Over the subsequent weeks, the pre-defined marketing content is rolled out, and we have weekly check-ins with you to review what other efforts can improve  the campaign’s likelihood of success.

An example of the user journey for Week 1 of JHR’s gamified campaign in celebration of World Press Freedom Day


Paired with DonorPlay and our expertise in strategic consulting, we provide a custom playbook for your organization to run a hose of gamified campaigns with enough regularity and clarity on experimentation.

This customized campaign template can exponentially increase your stakeholder engagement over time.

Public Square will also provide regular support on a small retainer fee to help with any additional training. Support will include sound-boarding meetings and technical support to make both the planning and implementation processes seamless.

We’re currently still underway with the pilot gamified campaign for JHR. Final campaign outcomes are still forthcoming, but we’ve already seen a number of positive trends.

  1. JHR witnessed over an 100% increase in Twitter engagement on their campaign tweets versus their regular tweets. This demonstrates an appetite from JHR’s base to engage more interactively with the organization and its work.
  2. The entire JHR internal team expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the planning and execution of their gamified campaign.
  3. We plan to apply learnings from each preceding campaign week and make iterative changes to successive campaign weeks. This will make sure that we are meeting JHR’s campaign goals

Blog & Articles