The Guardian reports this morning that Windsor and Maidenhead Council is planning to provide "Big Society Reward Points." They would be reclaimable in participating shops and restaurants – who would provide the points for free in return for the marketing and publicity benefits. Residents wishing to take part will get a card similar to the loyalty cards that supermarkets have.
Council officers are working on the details at the moment. One difficulty is working how many points too provide for different activities. With supermarkets if you spend £100 and then get £1 voucher for future shopping that is straightforward. But voluntary activity want fit neatly into such mathematical equations. What about the comparison between fishing trolleys from a canal or holding a party for lonely pensioners? If the points are according to the hours of voluntary work there would probably have to be some element of trust.
But I don't think this lack of precision would necesarily matter very much. The reward scheme points is not the primary motivation. It is about providing a "nudge."
Will it work? Who knows. But good for Windsor and Maidenhead Council have a go.