January 19 marks the National Day of Service, a time for people to get out and volunteer in their communities. Foursquare is partnering with the Presidential Inauguration Committee and hoping to encourage participation amongst their users by launching their first ever badge that rewards people for volunteering.
Users will be able to unlock the Inaugural Service badge on Saturday by checking in when they volunteer at one of the official National Day of Service events taking place all across the country. Checking in at the Mall during the Presidential Inauguration on Monday will also trigger the badge.
Since Foursquare’s earliest days, users have been asking Foursquare to create a badge for volunteerism, but it’s clearly difficult to come up with any sort of way to verify their service through check-ins. By partnering with the Presidential Inauguration Committee, who’s already maintaining a nationwide list of volunteer events, they’ve finally found a way to do that.
Despite the fact that Foursquare’s gamification elements have been on the wane lately (due to their focus on search and discovery), this badge should encourage at least a few more users to get out and volunteer than would have without the badge. Hopefully it can become an annual tradition!