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Allan Gray Orbis: increasing alumni engagement through gamification techniques


Customer experience




South Africa

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation wanted to build out their entrepreneurial ecosystem and saw an opportunity to do so with gamification techniques. They needed our support to design, implement and evaluate effective methods to increase the engagement of their alumni community. We partnered with the Foundation to design a set of techniques that could be tested and refined over the years ahead, using market research and design thinking methods. Our team ran a workshop which confirmed that gamification could be an effective method to engage fellows, and then equipped the Foundation with the tools and skills to continue exploring gamified solutions to drive participation.

  • Outcome 1: Identified key personas and alumni pain points for the organisation to consider when designing future engagement solutions
  • Outcome 2: Equipped the team with design thinking techniques to explore, test and implement new methods of engaging alumni across different channels
  • Outcome 3: Shared a high-level implementation plan to build on learnings from the design sprint and conduct further testing of ideas

The Challenge

As a global firm we’re always looking for opportunities to create tangible, lasting change within the communities we work in. South Africa is a particularly important geography for us; not only are some of our longest-standing clients head quartered in South Africa, it’s also where our founder and CEO is from.

So, over the past year, we’ve been working with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (AGOF), an organisation that aims to support individuals with entrepreneurial potential, based in Cape Town. AGOF wanted to build out their entrepreneurial ecosystem and saw an opportunity to do so with gamification techniques. They needed our support to design, implement and evaluate effective methods to increase the engagement of their alumni community.

AGOF have a growing community of association fellows (alumni) who are critical to delivering their objectives, such as developing a lifelong support system, and creating a self-sustaining model. They had previously invested significant resource into programme participants and wanted to ensure maximum return on investment for these efforts. Yet, up to this point, alumni engagement was intermittent and often superficial, undermining the value of the community and return for the Foundation. AGOF was looking to understand how gamification could improve engagement with the association and lead to positive behavioural change.

Our work with AGOF was undertaken by The Elixirr Foundation, the arm of our business geared towards helping charities involved in education, entrepreneurship and technology. As a firm with a strong ownership culture, we want to encourage the next generation of business leaders and ensure that every individual has the opportunity, tools and support system to become an entrepreneur.

The Approach

Firstly, we used our expertise in customer engagement and experience design to identify potential gamified interventions, conducting internal and external research to understand market best-practice and alumni requirements. We then collaborated with AGOF to quickly design and prioritise engagement concepts and defined the hypotheses to take into testing.

We tested engagement concepts with alumni, prioritising key ideas for further testing and refinement. For prioritised concepts, we then mapped out next steps, including the approach, roadmap and evaluation method. Next, we developed an implementation plan which highlighted the next steps for segmentation, before finally testing the prioritised hypotheses that were agreed in the workshops.

The Impact

Through interviews and collaborative workshops the project helped AGOF better understand fellows’ pain points, generate over 20 potential solutions to solve these and validate solutions through the testing of low fidelity prototypes. The process also enabled greater fellow empathy and wider alignment amongst all stakeholders on AGOF’s mission, purpose and values. Additionally, the process upskilled the AGOF team in design thinking methodologies to rapidly develop, test and iterate solutions for future fellow cohorts, equipping AGOF with tools for future innovation to sustain growth and maximise impact.

Get in touch

Are you a charity in need of support?

Our team at Elixirr have partnered with NGOs for over 10 years, harnessing a variety of capabilities, so we’d love to partner with you. Our team of experts can help you operate as efficiently as possible while exploiting data and technology to ensure you’re reaching your key audience groups.

Ready to get started? Fill in a few details and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.

Clare Filby