Omnichannel Gamification of Constituent Engagement for Nonprofits
The organization that will take the lead role in coordinating and executing the project.
ABC Education dba 1 Million Women To Tech
Lead Organization URL
What type of project is that you are developing?
Sector Advancement for Nonprofit Communities Data Analytics
karma - Omnichannel Gamification of Constituent Engagement for Nonprofits
Project URL (if applicable)
Please provide a single-sentence project description - 200 character limit.
Find way to measure engagement in mixed online/offline nonprofit constituent communities across channels (email / forums / social media / chats / events) and best practices for effective intervention.
Briefly describe your proposed project - 500 character limit.
Nonprofits struggle with data aggregation across different channels, not knowing the constituents' path across various social media, web, and offline events. This project will improve the use of digital resources by providing best practices to integrate user interaction data across channels with the users' consent, provide dashboards, insights, data visualization best practices that can be turned into actionable intervention measures & adding checks and balances against unintended consequences.
What is the core problem that makes this project important?
Problem Statement: lack of knowledge about best practices how to keep constituents engaged when communicating online. In other words there is so much data in nonprofits, but we don’t know what to do with it.
The core problem is to effectively measure engagement of constituents and volunteers in a nonprofit organization with a rigorous, consent-based, data-driven approach to optimize the use of limited resources for maximum impact. Nonprofits (like all organizations) have limited human and fiscal resources and to enable them to achieve their mission and make the greatest impact possible need to understand how their resource utilization affects their target audience they are trying to help. Yet, so far, it has been costly and complicated to integrate data across social media and offline events, and those organizations that do try to run data-driven decisions spend much time manually exporting spreadsheets and creating data visualizations (if they have the in-house know-how), or worst-case (if they don't have the know-how and don't have the resources to pay for consultants) then they operate without understanding their constituents.
The Karma open source project's core goal is to:
- test the hypothesis that gamification can increase engagement (and thereby increase impact)
- find way to measure engagement in mixed online/offline communities across channels (email / forums / social media / chats / customer relationship management (CRM) / events…)
- find way to conduct A/B-testing / experiments on interventions to increase engagement
- leave scope to measure unintended side effects of gamification / checks and balances
Our hypothesis is that gamification can increase engagement. Research has shown that gamification can help in habit formation for positive change in exercise habits (Iurchenko https://arxiv.org/pdf/1708.04418.pdf), in smoking cessation (Whittaker et al. 2009 referenced in the former). We hope to test this hypothesis by measuring engagement of a control group of volunteers and constituents and a group whose volunteering and learning are gamified.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Currently nonprofits have only inefficient, mostly manual processes to gather and integrate data across online and offline channels. Because every constituent may prefer a different communication as their dominant channel, it is hard to know where to invest resources for maximum effect.
The same rigour of data analytics and evidence based organizational practices that have matured in the advertising industry would be beneficial to non-profits. This includes A/B testing so that constant optimization and improvement of effectiveness and efficiency can be achieved.
Finally, it is important to be prepared for unintended consequences. When gamification is introduced, people will want to game the system. We believe that an online learning platform is a safe environment to test gamification, and find ways to reduce unintended side effects or introduce the necessary checks and balances. For example if inviting others to create accounts on the platform is given bonuses, we must ensure that sock puppets (fake accounts with phantom email addresses) cannot be easily created. For example, SMS verification ensures that only one account per mobile phone is possible, thus reducing the number of possible phantom accounts. Or we can require a basic minimum amount of activity from new signups before they count towards the bonus of the referrer.
In short, karma hopes to solve the integration problem of numerous, heterogeneous data sources across online and offline events to allow nonprofits to optimize the use of their limited resources for maximum impact, while giving best practices for data exchange between platforms and nonprofits.
As the success of any nonprofit is NOT measured in dollar amounts but in the impact they achieve, it is of utmost importance to be able to measure impact. Karma can do just that.
Where in the body of existing tools/resources does this work fit? (e.g. "This is an API similar to…" or "This is research that improves upon…")
This is an open source project similar to Khan Academy's personalized learning path dashboard for teachers, but applies it to nonprofits (with the nonprofit employees being analogous to the teachers, and the volunteers to the students). The tracking of engagement in this project is more comprehensive than that of Khan Academy: karma is omni-channel, tracking task completion and engagement not only within a single digital environment (e.g. the Learning Management System), but across various social media channels, email, learning management systems, collaboration tools, and even offline events, with user consent.
The project also ties into the growing body of academic research on how to quantify and improve user engagement with online services (Lehmann et al., UMAP 2012 International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization, pp. 164-175, 2012), social media (Sigerson & Cheng, Computers in Human Behavior 83, pp. 87-105, 2018), and citizen science (Ponciano & Brasileiro, Human Computation 1(2), pp. 245-64, 2014). For example, Lehmann et al. categorize engagement metrics into three groups reflecting popularity (e.g. number of users), activity (e.g. number of posts), and loyalty (e.g. return rate): similar granular metrics will allow nonprofits to analyze whether they e.g. attract a lot of initial interest but struggle with retention. Citizen science faces similar challenges to nonprofits (how to keep volunteers motivated without monetary incentives), so we can build on existing research on e.g. how to improve retention with targeted email interventions (Segal et al., WWW'15 Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, pp. 331-7, 2015). Our software's gamification features are motivated by numerous studies showing that gamification, especially leaderboards, is highly effective for improving engagement with online programs (Looyestyn et al., PLoS One 12(3), e0173403, 2017).
While our first prototype will focus on simple quantitative measures such as usage frequency or dwell time, there is huge potential in natural language processing (NLP) techniques to measure the quality of interactions: What emotions do the volunteers express? How polite is their tone? How many different topics do they discuss? Advanced analytics features will allow answering these questions based on unstructured text, inspired by research demonstrating the efficacy of NLP in an education context, measuring student engagement and predicting learning success (Slater et al., 2017 Seventh International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction; Ming & Ming, Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Personalization Approaches in Learning Environments, pp. 11-16, 2012).
The project also builds on existing leadership research on how to effectively manage volunteers in an online-based nonprofit environment. Dhebar & Stokes (Nonprofit Management & Leadership 18(4), pp. 497-506, 2008) stress the importance of frequent communication, timely acknowledgment of volunteer input, and regular performance monitoring. While an automated system will never obviate the need for direct human interaction, it can help the full-time staff identify and prioritize the volunteers with the greatest need for supervision, reduce their workload by taking care of routine acknowledgments and reminders, and measure the volunteers' progress continually and efficiently.
Previous attempts to improve volunteering engagement with gamification techniques include the Involver app, which used badges, karma points, and social media interactions (http://www.getinvolver.com). However, this app was not open source and appears to be defunct. VolunteerHub (https://www.volunteerhub.com) provides a commercial volunteer management software with many of the proposed features. Since our software will be free and open source, it will be an attractive alternative especially for startup and developing world nonprofits with a limited budget.
What are the potential practical applications of your work for the nonprofit/civil society sector?
Potential practical applications of karma for the nonprofit sector include:
- impact measurement
- increased impact
- increased volunteerism
- increased donations
- predictive analytics
Because karma’s focus is impact measurement via measuring and gamifying engagement, and nonprofits’ core mandate is to create impact (not shareholder value in the form of increased share prices), therefore karma will have potential applications in all departments of nonprofit/civil society sector organizations.
The practical applications in campaign design include having a principled approach to measure the engagement of the constituent and volunteer bases and to improve it.
Particularly with volunteers where a nonprofit does not have any direct incentives such as a salary, implementing a plug-and-play, tested, and ethical gamification platform can unleash high quality and quantity human resources for a nonprofit. As we are operating in an attention economy where nonprofits compete for attention with many commercial enterprises, being able to increase attention span and time-share of volunteers and constituents, is crucial for fulfilling the nonprofits' mission.
As described in #23, gamification has been shown to help form habits. In the case of volunteers, karma can help to make participation a regular activity: it can encourage casual volunteers to become regular volunteers, casual constituents to become regular users of the nonprofits' services, casual donors to become regular and engaged donors.
Specific examples could include predictive analytics software during offline events, to be able to predict how many constituents are likely to be present for a new workshop, conference, service offering, or when it is best to provide the nonprofit’s services to achieve optimal adoption.
In summary, karma will allow nonprofits that do not have in-house expertise in software engineering, web development, data science, and data analytics to use a plug-and-play gamification software that gives them insight into the data of their own organization, regardless of their size or geographic location, and to become an evidence-based organization while at the same time increase engagement across all groups of their constituents: those they are helping, their volunteer base, and their donors.
What will be the final product(s) of this work?
Final products of karma will be:
- Open-source code base
- Mobile application for constituents, volunteers, and staff
- Data analytics dashboard in a web application that shows live numbers regarding engagement and impact, and makes recommendations for areas to focus on
- Templates for best practices and interventions
- White papers
- Academic journal articles
- Possibly a cloud-based managed service
The final product of karma will be an open source code base. While there are other engagement and/or gamification tools available on the market, at the moment they are all commercial, paid software, and are not fully omni-channel. Karma will be free and available to nonprofits, and will (hopefully) integrate all major social media as well as event ticketing platforms, and also provide a REST API so that it can be extended for custom systems and functionality.
A web application for data analytics will be at the service of staff so that engagement and impact metrics can be viewed on the web in a data visualization dashboard. This dashboard can give macro information as well as the ability to filter and drill down at will such as with Tableau data visualizations. For the dashboard to be successful it has to focus on actionable recommendations. Besides reports, karma will highlight areas of strength and weaknesses and make recommendations on where to invest resources to increase engagement and impact in the most optimal manner.
Intervention and engagement templates: in addition to the source code of karma, we will also share our organizational templates so that nonprofits do not have to reinvent the wheel and can effectively adopt karma to their own projects and test which interventions work for their own constituent and volunteer base - since the incentives may differ depending on what domain the nonprofit operate in, geography, socio-economic background, gender, age and individual customization etc.
To increase the sharing of findings we will publish white papers periodically during the course of the project. At the moment we are planning on issuing the following four white papers:
From local to global: how #1millionwomentotech grew from Oxford only to constituents and volunteers in 145 countries using a digital strategy, a case study that people can adapt to their own projects
From offline to online: how to blend online service with offline events, best practices for nonprofits, another case study that people can adapt to their own projects
Impact measurement 101 for nonprofits: when you are starting out, and your data points are still changing, what can you measure and what goal-setting is possible?
Engagement gamification with karma: is engagement a better predictor of impact than demographics? If yes, how do we increase it and track it with digital tools across channels?
We anticipate the publication of at least one but potentially several academic journal articles in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of engagement, impact measurement, gamification, and omnichannel data analytics.
While the open source code can be helpful to nonprofits who have the ability to install, run, maintain and develop their own software, it is possible that some nonprofits may wish to have a managed service. Although not the goal of the project, we may try to find a way to provide other nonprofits a managed service to use karma for their own organizations. However, this would be outside the scope of this project, as our primary goal is the discovery of best practices and knowledge sharing.
In short, the final products of this work are a combination of open source software, and the implementation best practices that go with it, packaged for the nonprofit user as well as academic researchers.
Briefly describe how, and by whom, this work will be done.
The work will be done in the following way. The two project leads translate the vision of the project into a product strategy and then break it down into a product roadmap (see answer to question 29 under timeline). The 1 Million Women To Tech community will be engaged during the Summer of Code which runs online from July 14 - October 14, 2018 and the Winter of Data (date TBD). During these two global coding campaigns karma will be one of the Open Source projects that hackathon participants and learners can work on.
The workflow will follow typical open source moderation best practice where contributors are given guidelines on submitting code, which is then reviewed by project leads. After it meets quality guidelines and passes tests, it is then merged into the code base.
In short, karma will be developed with the leadership of two project leads, 200 core volunteers and an online, global community of 13,000+ women and nonbinary individuals who are both the users and the developers of the Open Source software.
Will you use people as research subjects in any part of this project?
What is the expected timeline?
Note: the majority of the work funded by this grant should be completed by late Fall 2019. If this is a multi-year project, please indicate what will be accomplished during the grant period.
The product strategy is broken down into four parts based on the end users' experience: acquisition, activation, retention, optimization. During the #1millionwomentotech #SummerOfCode (July 14-Oct 14) the information and goals of karma will be shared with the 13,000+ community of 1 Million Women To Tech as well as any open source developers interested in contributing. The project strategy will be broken down into a product roadmap, and user stories for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will be implemented during the Summer of Code.
The project will start October 1st 2018 and last until September 30 2019 (in alignment with the attached budget form).
Summary of the timeline:
Date: 1st quarter Name: Version 0.1 Goal: Acquisition: free app, limited in-app interaction Features: Connecting facebook and email accounts, basic game functionality, multiplayer Metrics: Total number of downloads First white paper
Date: 2nd quarter Name: Version 0.2 Goal: Activation: focus on in-app notifications Features: Twitter, Instagram, Youtube integration, share social media posts, display of usage statistics, staff data dashboard Metrics: Activations Second white paper First academic journal article
Date: 3rd quarter Name: Version 0.3 Goal: Retention: focus on gamification Features: new badges and levels, new integrations, enhanced visual design Metrics: Daily active users, session length Third white paper
Date: 4th quarter Name: Version 1.0 Goal: Optimization: A/B test interventions Features: new incentives, continue adding integrations, competitions, cooperation Metrics: Net Promoter Score Fourth white paper Second academic journal article Knowledge sharing workshop, templates
In summary, each quarter will focus on one of the four elements of engagement both for constituents, volunteers, and donors, which are the most important demographics for nonprofits. Leading up to the end of each quarter a white paper along with webinars, blog, posts and press releases will be issued. At least twice a year a journal article will be submitted to a peer-reviewed academic journal for publication. At the end of the project a knowledge sharing workshop will be conducted, recorded, and produced for e-learning along with templates that can be used by other nonprofits.
If you are already conducting related work with the nonprofit/civil society sector, with whom are you working and in what capacity?
As mentioned above, the 1 Million Women To Tech: Summer of Code is happening July 14 - October 14, 2018 (https://1millionwomentotech.com/summerofcode1/). It is a free, online program aimed at bringing more women and non-binaries (NBs, enbies) into software engineering. The mission is to offer free coding education to 1 million women by 2020. To achieve this goal with limited resources, we must know and be able to measure our impact, and our engagement, which is a better predictor of educational outcomes than age, gender, or socio-economic background (Ming 2012). Therefore we view this as an ideal pilot study for the karma project.
To achieve our mission we are partnering with a number of charitable as well as industry groups, and are thus taking great pains to find best practices around data governance that is not just legal but truly protects all those who are involved.
Our collaborators are as follows:
Oxford Hub (https://www.oxfordhub.org/) is a branch of Student Hubs, a registered charity in England and Wales, charity number 1122328. Oxford Hub has awarded 1 Million Women To Tech a Social Enterprise Award and has supported us with initial impact measure planning.
Oxford Entrepreneurs is the entrepreneurship student society of the University of Oxford, the largest of its kind in Europe. They are providing marketing support and event organization. The kickoff event of the 1 Million Women To Tech: Summer of Code will be held during Oxford Inspires (http://oxfordentrepreneurs.co.uk/oxfordinspires18), the annual technology and entrepreneurship student conference.
University of Oxford, Saïd Business School (SBS) (https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/) is kindly offering the venue to the aforementioned Oxford Inspires conference, where the 1 Million Women To Tech: Summer of Code will start on July 14, 2018. Furthermore, Kate Roll (https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/kate-roll), Research Fellow at SBS, is advising us on impact measurement.
Oxford University Press (http://global.oup.com/) is a sponsor of the 1 Million Women To Tech: Summer of Code. They are providing technology mentors and hackathon judges.
Facebook Developer Circles (https://developers.facebook.com/developercircles) is a volunteer developer community that is sponsored by Facebook but is open to all technologies. They are sponsoring a Community Challenge during the opening of the 1 Million Women To Tech: Summer of Code, and have also been instrumental in introducing the program to women as well as providing mentors.
Kitishian Associates (http://kitishian.com/) is a US based consultancy who is providing pro-bono support for nonprofit fundraising.
Oxford Strategy Group (https://www.oxfordstrategygroup.com/) is Oxford's student run management consultancy who provided strategic market research in the technology education sector in several countries globally.
University of Oxford, Career Services (http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/) have been providing volunteer recruitment support via their Micro-Internship and Student Consultancy programs.
As explained above, the project has a leading organization: 1 Million Women To Tech, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We have numerous collaborators and are always seeking strategic partners who are active in the empowerment of underprivileged gender minorities by means of technology and education. The partners contribute know-how and in-kind support in their areas of expertise.
What will be the role of nonprofit/civil society partners in your proposed work?
The role of the nonprofit in the proposed work will be central. 1 Million Women To Tech will be the leader providing:
- product vision
- product roadmap
- users: learners, volunteers
Vision: the vision of 1 Million Women To Tech is to close the gender gap, as defined in the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex of the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report (http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2017/measuring-the-global-gender-gap/). Upskilling women into technology also allows for closing the skills shortage in developed countries, and provide job creation where unemployment is rampant.
Mission: The medium term mission is to offer free coding education to 1 million women by 2020. The long term mission is to close the gender gap globally by 2050 through economic empowerment of women.
Product vision: To achieve such scale and to do it with radical transparency is only possible if the nonprofit has clarity on its goals, and is able to measure its progress towards those goals. 1 Million Women To Tech is providing the product vision for the omnichannel gamification of constituent engagement via the karma software.
Product roadmap: as described above in #29 (timeline), the product roadmap is created and supervised by 1 Million Women To Tech.
Developers: Fortunately every constituent of 1 Million Women To Tech is either an experienced developer already, or is looking to find opportunities to become a developer by contributing to open source projects. With the growing constituent base (https://www.dropbox.com/s/y2o4oziettee5dn/Screenshot%202018-06-25%2020.36.41.png?dl=0) we are able to provide the open source community to develop this project. It will also likely be the first ever open source project to be run mostly by women, opening the road to interesting future research about the sociology of technology.
Users: As the developers themselves are users as well, this will be an excellent project for so called ‘dogfooding’. This is a term in software development that refers to developers using their own products to experience the effects of their code first-hand.
The partners will provide mentors, in-kind expertise, and funding to cover software and personnel costs.
In summary, 1 Million Women To Tech will be the leader, developer, and user of the project, sharing lessons learned and code created by a technical community of women for women.
What kinds of organizations or actors do you expect to benefit most if you succeed? How will you share your work with them?
We expect our software and recommendations to be of broad interest to all organizations that interact both online and offline with a large group of internationally dispersed constituents and need to ensure their continual engagement without being able to resort to monetary or commercial incentives. Examples of such organizations are nonprofits / charities, social enterprises, social incubators, activist movements, crowdsourcing or citizen science projects as well as online learning platforms. There are two main criteria for which organizations of this kind can benefit particularly: The first group are organizations that operate on a tight budget or with a small permanent staff, as these have to be especially strategic in identifying the constituents (volunteers / learners) that are most in need of direct human-to-human interaction. The second group includes organizations that find it relatively easy to attract initial interest among prospective volunteers / learners but struggle with retaining them and keeping their constituents’ engagement alive. Therefore the software will be most appropriate for the kind of projects that require prolonged commitment, as opposed to short-lived campaigns such as online petitions.
As explained below in point 35, the software itself will be made available via an open-source repository, and our recommendations as well as the results of the experiments we run using the software will be made available via either open-access preprint servers or peer-reviewed journals with an open-access policy. Additionally we will aim to attract news coverage and author op-eds in the mainstream and trade press, run a blog with regular updates about the progress of the project, give talks at regional, national and (budget permitting) international conferences, and host webinars that will be available to watch via our website or a publicly accessible video sharing service. Once a minimum viable product is available, we will also directly approach nonprofits that we expect could benefit from using it, and ask them whether they can try it out and provide us with feedback. We will also ask these organizations if they are interested in authoring a joint publication, or participate in developing the final set of recommendations.
What is the most important measure of success for this work and how will you measure it?
Our single most important measure of success will be how useful our software will be for improving the engagement of an online-based volunteer workforce of a complex, internationally operating nonprofit. While we will design the software to be widely applicable, within the present scope we will focus on showcasing its efficacy for a particular pilot project, the #1millionwomentotech #summerofcode and its follow-up events.
Since there is considerable overlap between tracking the engagement of volunteers and of students in an online learning environment, we will run a dual evaluation that measures the usefulness of the software for both target groups. In both cases, we will run a series of experiments establishing whether the participants’ engagement can be significantly improved in an intervention group (where the participants can benefit from gamification features or targeted interventions based on analytics suggested by the software), compared with a control group (where no gamification is used, or where interventions such as reminder emails are sent randomly). Our ultimate objectives are to establish that participants in the intervention group enjoy better learning and job market outcomes (in case of the students), or are more engaged (in case of the volunteers). Ideally we would test these outcomes directly, using pre-post comparisons of coding test performance (learning outcomes), feedback surveys (job market outcomes), or evaluation by managers and/or peers (volunteer engagement). However, these data - particularly the job market outcomes - may only be available after a considerable delay, as well as being costly to measure, privacy-sensitive, and subject to non-response bias. Therefore we will augment them with proxy indicators such as dwell time, number of posts, number of words posted, number of lines of code in students’ open-source coding projects etc. Finally, the retention rate in both groups is another important metric, which can be measured directly.
A second group of success measures consider how widely our software will be adopted by the nonprofit community, as this will demonstrate that its applicability extends beyond a single-use case. By hosting the project on GitHub, we have access to a wide range of adoption metrics such as the number of watchers and “stars” (bookmarks), the download count for the major releases, the number of forks and pull requests, as well as the number of lines of code contributed by third parties. Among these, we view the download count as the primary metric, as it relates most closely to the number of organizations that are willing to trial in their own practice. However, the other metrics are also useful as they reflect a hierarchy of increasing interaction intensity, ranging from mere interest all the way to active participation. By additionally tracking the number of whitepaper downloads, webinar participants, and hopefully peer-reviewed publications citing our work, we will quantify our impact on the community by establishing best practices for volunteer engagement and enabling controlled experiments on the efficacy of gamification and different engagement interventions in various settings.
What types of data will you collect, store or share as a result of this work?
- Beneficiary personal data
- Donor personal data
- Financial/payment data
- Photos/videos of people
- Digital communications (email, text, online chats, etc.)
- Website/app usage data
Briefly describe the organization's digital data governance plan.
For example, how does the organization ensure that data is collected, stored and shared securely? How is access to data managed within the organization and with respect to third-party vendors? Does the organization collect and store data about residents of the European Union, which may be subject to the EU General Data Protection Regulation? Does the organization have digital data governance policies?
- We’re deeply committed to creating a safe and secure learning environment for our students and hiring partners. We take the protection of this information seriously.
- We do not require you to provide any Personal Information in order to view our courses, most of which are accessible without a User account. However, learning progress won’t be saved without creating an account.
- The only reason we collect any data from Students is to better succeed at our mission of providing a great computer science education for every woman at every skill level.
- We do not sell your Personal Information or exploit it for financial gain; we do not sell ads. We are a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit and our revenue comes from donations. We established ourselves as a nonprofit so our mission and your trust will not be in conflict with a for-profit motive.
- Any student academic data provided by us to third party evaluators – usually academic institutions – for the purpose of evaluating our courses in meeting our mission will be de-identified (per standard industry practice).
- We strive to provide you with access to and control over the information you give us (as detailed below), and we take the protection of your information very seriously.
- When student Personal Information is provided to 1 Million Women To Tech by a partner organization such as a university, non-profit, or employer, 1 Million Women To Tech agrees to retain such information as directed by the partner organization.
- We hold our partners to privacy and security practices no less stringent than our own. (end of quote)
Data collection: The only reason we collect any data from Students is to better succeed at our mission of providing a great computer science education for every woman at every skill level, and from volunteers to match them with the most impactful available task/position within the organization. Data is always collected through HTTPS through secured connections only.
Secure storage is achieved through security software, continuous updates, by using highly secure hardware providers via the cloud and through limiting access via the use of passwords and de-identification.
Secure sharing: Any student academic data provided by us to third party evaluators – usually academic institutions – for the purpose of evaluating our courses in meeting our mission will be de-identified per standard industry practice.
EU residents, GDPR: Yes, we have students from the European Union. All our sign-up forms and data policies are GDPR compliant, not only for EU residents but for others as well. Users are able to modify or request deletion of their accounts. Users are given explanations in advance of where and how their data will be used and give explicit permission for such use.
Projects funded by this grant program need to be freely accessible to the social sector – how will you share your creation if you succeed? How will you share what you learn if you fail?
Please note that innovations funded by these grants must be shared according to these Open Access principles
Whether we succeed or fail, we will be transparent and open both about our data and our draft publications for all nonprofits to see. We will publish all intermediate stages of the software on GitHub under a permissive licence to ensure that other researchers, developers and nonprofit managers can study our approach, reuse those parts of the code or the software design they find useful, and extend the software according to their own requirements. We also will aim to release a minimum viable product with a minimum feature set as early as possible in order to encourage early adopters and attract feedback.
When running experiments on the software platform (e.g. about the efficacy of a specific intervention, or of gamification features), we will make the results publicly available as soon as possible. This will include null results, i.e. the failure to find a significant effect. At the end of the project, we will publish a final report with a summary of our findings and recommendations. At a minimum, all of these papers will be made available as a whitepaper on the project website or the GitHub repository, as well as on an open-access pre-print server such as arXiv.org to aid discoverability. If the content meets the standards for publication as a peer-reviewed article, we will submit it to a journal with a suitable open-access policy.
Both software and publications will comply with the Open Access Policy, as detailed below:
Publications are Discoverable and Accessible Online: Publications will be deposited on arXiv.org and GitHub repository(s) with tagging of metadata "nonprofit, engagement, gamification, open source software, impact measurement".
Publication Will Be On “Open Access” Terms: All publications will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC BY 4.0), MIT License or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required.
Foundation Will Pay Necessary Fees: If fees are required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms we will apply to the foundation to pay reasonable fees.
Publications Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately: All publications will be available immediately upon their publication, without any embargo period. In fact, we will be doing ongoing, public publishing: all underlying data and drafts of the publication will be housed on GitHub repositories for any nonprofit to view.
Data Underlying Published Research Results Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately: As described above the data underlying the published research results be immediately accessible and open, even before publication data will be shown publicly to nonprofits.
In short we strive for radical transparency, continuous open incremental publishing, and comply with the Open Access principles of the Gates Foundation.
Acknowledgement of Open Access Policy
Innovations funded by Digital Impact Grants must be shared according to these Open Access principles
We have read and understand the stipulations of the Open Access policy and agree to abide by them in full.