Who says that raising funds for the Rotary Foundation needs to be tedious? Certainly not Ann Ramsden, the Rotary Foundation director for the Rotary Club of St. Albert, who is using gamification to generate excitement around the annual request for donations.
Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation” (source: Merriam Webster).
At the club’s August 18 meeting, Ann unfurled a map showing the route for a year-long virtual canoe journey from Rotary Park in downtown St. Albert to the Sturgeon Valley Golf and Country Club, where St. Albert Rotarians gather every Friday morning.
Along the way, Rotarians will pause at well-known St. Albert sites to celebrate achieving quarterly fundraising targets. In June, the journey will end successfully when Rotarians meet the Foundation goal set by the club’s executive: to raise US$16,000 for the Rotary Foundation, with the participation of all members.
“We don’t want anyone left standing in Rotary Park,” Ann says, inviting everyone to join her on the journey.
When everyone has stepped into the canoe, the club will have achieved the second part of its Rotary Foundation goal— “Every Rotarian Every Year.” This initiative of Rotary International challenges all Rotarians to support the Rotary Foundation every year.
Ann feels this approach is a more effective way to encourage donations than “just standing up and talking about it.”
Based on her experience with fundraising for the non-profit organization for which she works, Ann believes it’s important that members are “able to see progress towards the goals in a way that is fun and meaningful.”
Wayne Kauffman (Edmonton Riverview), the Rotary Foundation director for District 5370, applauds the St. Albert club’s initiative to support the Rotary Foundation.
“It is through initiatives such as that of the St. Albert club that the Rotary Foundation will be able to continue its work. It is vital that clubs continue to support the Foundation, which enables Rotarians to carry out projects locally and around the world. District 5370 is very active in many countries, such as Belize, Uganda, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador.”
He notes that 54 per cent of Rotarians in District 5370 gave to the Foundation in 2016-2017, and is hoping to see more participation during this Rotary year.
“I’m asking that the 46 per cent who didn’t give last year consider giving to the Foundation in 2017-2018. It’s important that Rotarians look to making our Rotary Foundation their charity of choice.”
You can donate to TRF Canada online. To learn more about donating to TRF, contact members of the District’s annual fund subcommittee, Hal Quillian (Edmonton Strathcona) firstname.lastname@example.org, or Vicky Grabb (St. Albert) email@example.com
What’s happening in your club? Has it or individual Rotarians found fun ways to provide funds to the Rotary Foundation? Perhaps you are planning a special event in support of the Foundation. Share what’s happening in your club by leaving a comment below or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.