The Voice Episode 98: Gamification for Social Good with United Way

Brendan Mullen_United Way Ottawa

With more than 85,000 charities competing for people’s hearts and purse strings in Canada, cutting through the noise to seize people’s attention is increasingly tough for charities, especially with the rise of crowdfunding platforms that now allow anyone to make a direct appeal.

United Way Ottawa knew they had to try something different, an approach that would meet people where they were – on mobile devices, on the move, or looking for fun – with an experience that delivered value to them personally, while being non-intrusive in the call to assist others.

These two new strategies from United Way Ottawa deliver experiences that make the issues relatable, educational and spur users to engage – but only if desired – all the while being enjoyable to navigate.

What’s also interesting about this new direction is that the appeal to donate is secondary. The focus with the Small Change App is to help the user learn to budget better and save more money, while Make the Month, somewhat of a pick-your-path game, helps people to understand the decisions and conditions people living in poverty go through – a “walk a mile in their shoes” revelation.

It’s a new approach for United Way to the age-old question of how to move people to care.

Brendan Mullen, Director of Product Marketing for United way, talks host Tina Barton through these two new products being trialed in the Ottawa market.

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Connect with host Tina Barton and IABC Ottawa.

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Connect with United Way Ottawa at, on Facebook and on Twitter.

This episode was produced by Tina Barton, and Ashlea McGrath of Thornley Fallis Communications.

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