Encouraging Gratitude

A really simple win.

Set aside a $100 Amazon gift certificate as a prize for the most helpful member each month.

Let members nominate someone who has given them exceptional help or advice.

Tell the nominees they have been nominated (and who nominated them).

Let previous winners vote on the next winner.

The goal isn’t to reward the winner, but to reward the people who give gratitude towards those that solve their problems.


  1. KiheiMan says:

    We have been treading very carefully in this type of reward as we are super concerned about gaming. I suppose it can depend on the type of community, but what about a reward that is still tangible but not $'s? A hat, pen, etc. with the community name? Perhaps less conducive to game?

    Funny enough, we used to give a simple PowerPoint certificate for various achievements and then did away with the program because of the administrative overhead. To this day we get complaints about people not getting their certificate. It’s interesting how a reward without $'s resonates so deeply with community members. Maybe a lesson here?

  2. Sarah Hawk says:

    I absolutely hear you on this Rob, and agree that it comes down to the type of community. Having said that, if people game it by being exceptionally helpful, isn’t that a net win?

    If people don’t want to game it, doesn’t that mean they don’t see the value in it? I love your certificate idea. In a prior job we used to have annual awards, in the form of a profile badge that people had for a year. That was very successful in the early days.

  3. KiheiMan says:

    Good point, but my answer would be “not necessarily”. I’m not a gamification expert (just a few years under my belt and just cracked open Loyalty 3.0 by Rajat Paharia), but I’m a big fan of communities standing on their own legs. Don’t get me wrong - I don’t oppose enticements at strategic points in time, but not with any cadence or regularity so that it will stand out even more. Just my current humble opinion and perhaps when I finish Rajat’s book I’ll see the world in a different lens.

  4. James Higginson says:

    I’m slightly confused by this suggestion but it sounds like it has legs!

    Please excuse me if I am being dim!

    “The goal isn’t to reward the winner, but to reward the people who give gratitude towards those that solve their problems.”

    If we award the prize to the nominee then the winner is rewarded are they not? How are we rewarding those that give gratitude?

  5. Sarah Hawk says:

    Slightly. :smiley: :wink:

    You do something amazingly helpful, I nominate you for an award, you get it, I feel good because my nomination caused you to win.

  6. James Higginson says:

    Got it! Thanks :ok_hand:

  7. Suzi Nelson says:

    We recently tried something our group as called Engage It Forward - I made a post that basically said that here was an opportunity for members to give something back to the group. It can be anything free - their services, a PDF that they usually sell, an encouraging word, friendship… anything. The one rule was it had to be no strings attached.

    They LOVED it. We had people giving away everything from one-on-one marketing calls to bags of coffee. And then, spontaneously throughout the week, people have been posting and thanking their new friends for helping. Seriously seriously cool.

    I love the idea of making a post like this at the beginning of the month and then a “gratitude” post at the end where we could give out some swag to the most helpful people. Thanks for sharing this idea!

  8. James Higginson says:

    Hi Suzi, I would love to give this idea a try, would you mind posting a link to your Engage it Forward initiative so that I can see what you did? I promise not to plagiarise it too blatantly! If it’s behind closed doors I fully understand.


  9. Suzi Nelson says:

    It is behind closed doors, but I don’t mind posting the text of it here - I actually “stole” it from another Facebook group I’m in :slight_smile:

    Here’s the post (in the future I’m going to work on cutting it down a bit):

    Hey DM fam! Want to try something NEW? I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll love it. I saw this in another group and it looked right up our alley!

    In this community, we put a high value on helping each other out.

    The point of this post is all about connecting with each other and being generous with our knowledge - two things this group is really, really, ridiculously good at.

    Here’s how it works (and please read this post completely, because any comments that break the rules will be removed):

    Please offer something FREE WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED to the community in the comments below.

    What is CAN include:

    • free calls with a link to your calendar
    • your services
    • friendship or support
    • giving away PDFs that you sell
    • a note of encouragement
    • offering to give feedback to something someone is working on
    • your favorite quote, book, or other motivational resource

    What it CANNOT include:
    Anything that requires an opt-in or includes an up-sell. This includes calls! If you are genuinely offering a free strategy call for someone, you can’t pitch to them at the end. If someone is interested, they will reach out after the fact.

    Remember, this is NOT about pitching or branding. This is all about giving back to community and your fellow DMers!

    Disclaimer: Digital Marketer is not affiliated with, responsible, or liable for any of these offers, gifts, or resources shared by the group.

    Let’s see how this goes! And let me know if you love or hate this idea, I’m all ears

    EDIT If you take someone up on their free offer and it ends up being a pitch-fest, PLEASE let me know. I really want this to be a good experience for the group all around

  10. Suzi Nelson says:

    My pleasure!

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