Game On! Playing for Keeps with Volunteers

Todd McMullin Dana Litwin, National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement

"Gamification" is the term given to the use of game design elements outside of games themselves. The gamification of volunteer roles and tasks is here, and as #LeadersOfVolunteers we can understand and enjoy the ride on this wave of change, or be left behind, sputtering and struggling in the wake. Volunteers are doing good for their commutes, in big and small ways, on their own terms and time, whether they’re working for your agency or not! A recent viral social-media trend, #trashchallenge, is a prime example of people seeing and solving a problem (litter in public parks and beaches), and turning it into a playful competition.   Games are an undeniably vital part of a society. 

Whether you are part of a competitive eSport team or playing Monopoly with the family, the act of participating in a game is almost universal. With advances in technology now allowing for many aspects of our daily lives to become infused with gaming elements, are our motivations for playing becoming an important and relevant part of who we are? 

This very fun and interactive session is adapted from Dana Litwin's chapter in the upcoming Erin Spink eBook, “Top 20 Trends in Volunteer Engagement,” and a keynote presentation, "The Future of Giving," by Dana Litwin, Todd McMullin and Craig Young for the California Hospital Volunteers Leadership Conference (February 2019).