What if your most valuable fundraiser could be a popular video gamer?
Just like professional sports, the gamers with the best skills and most memorable personalities rise above the rest as an inspiration to up-and-coming players. They establish large fanbases, with fans even sending them donations as they stream their gameplay.
Since people are already comfortable donating to gamers, the fact is they’re just as excited, if not more so, to direct these gifts to a good cause. Enter the world of charity gaming.
Gaming For Good: what does it mean for nonprofits?
Gaming for Good is a global movement where individual gamers or gaming communities run streaming marathons to raise funds for the causes they love.
In an increasingly crowded marketplace, nonprofits are working harder than ever to stand out and engage fundraisers in new and innovative campaigns. This is where ‘gaming for good’ can help. Through charity streams, nonprofits gain access to a new audience that might not have engaged with them otherwise.
Let’s break down some of the numbers that demonstrate just how big of an opportunity this is for the charity sector:
- $30 million was raised for charity by Twitch streamers in 2017.
- Just halfway through 2018, the top 10 gaming events had donated $22 million to charity.
- $133 million has been raised globally for charity by Twitch gamers since 2012.
Gamers are naturally goal-oriented and are always up for a challenge. Their competitive mindset helps them reach milestones and achievements while edging out their competition. And Australia is starting to join the fun.
Just last year, GenerOzity’s Australia Day popup event raised $18,000 in just over 84 hours from 60 gamers supporting mental health charity CheckPoint.
Here are some examples of international gaming events that have performed exceptionally well:
- ExtraLife is one of the largest charity streaming events in America, raising over $40 million since its inception in 2008 and growing into a community of over 100,000 gamers.
- In February 2018 and 2019, GameBlast raised over $100,000 for SpecialEffect. The UK-based nonprofit uses video games and tech to enhance the quality of life for people living with disabilities.
Interestingly, out of the top 30 charity events globally (this includes events of all types), there is a decline of about 3% YoY. However, of these 30 events, only two are on the rise: the only two gaming events on the list. St. Judes’ St. Jude Heroes and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Extra Life both increased by more than 20% in 2018.
Breaking fundraising records via charity gaming: $7,720 raised for Beyond Blue in one night
Founded in 2004 by avid gamer, programmer, and tech enthusiast Josh Endres, Oceania’s own competitive gaming community Unreal Aussies have a mission of giving back to charities by doing what they love to do most: playing video games.
Unreal Aussies comprises gamers of all types, skill levels, and specialties. The keep things interesting with an ongoing schedule of weekly meetups, larger tournaments, and charity events.
Unreal Aussies’ 2019 charity gaming event Saturday in Gold Coast is a clear sign that donors want to support charities via gaming events. The standing-room-only crowd at Checkpoint eSports in Surfers Paradise watched on as UA raised $7,720 through community donations, flying past last year’s total of $5,269 in support of the amazing mental health work happening at Beyond Blue.
Coordinated and hosted by some of the biggest names in the Australian gaming community, Saturday’s event sets the stage for many more of its kind.
View our Introduction to Charity Streaming webinar series to get acquainted with Gaming For Good.
A noble cause that hits close to home
Beyond Blue is Australia’s leading mental health-focused charity that helps support those struggling with anxiety, depression, and suicide. As the organisation is dedicated to providing information and support for issues that affect over 3 million Australians, Unreal Aussies take pride in supporting them in their annual streaming event.
Endres commented on how important Beyond Blue has been in supporting Australians including his community:
“Beyond Blue is dedicated to a cause that has affected friends, family and ourselves. The Internet may seem like a scary place sometimes, which is why it’s so important people have a chance to come together for a charity that they believe in. Our annual event is one of my favourite parts of the year and this one is set to be the best one ever.”
Bridging the gap from gaming to good
JustGiving is no stranger to the gaming space. Thousands of charity gaming pages have been created globally using JustGiving, bringing in over $2 million for good causes!
And this year, we were honoured to play a part in Unreal Aussies’ quest to be their best. As official event partners, JustGiving powered the group with the following tools during their stream:
- Dedicated Twitch integration for live-streaming gameplay on their fundraising page
- On-screen overlays displaying live donations and supporter messages
- A custom progress bar showing the amount raised and percentage-to-target
- Advice on fundraising strategy and communications leading up to the event
Our Digital Project Lead Becky Arthur sat down with well-known host RubeePlays for an interview about the rise of charity gaming:
How do I get started?
Follow the steps below to embrace the community and start your journey into charity gaming:
- Talk to your team. Bring your staff into the know. In fact, some of them or their partner/family may be gamers and can provide insight on how to best connect with the community.
- Create a Campaign Page and engage your database/social networks to try out this new and exciting type of fundraising.
- Familiarise yourself with the gaming space. Visit our Gaming for Good Hub to read about charity gaming, and point your fundraisers to it as well. Here, they will learn how to link their Twitch stream with their JustGiving Fundraising Page and fundraise for you. If possible, attend a charity gaming event to see how it works in person.
- Communicate your cause clearly. People in the gaming community will be affected or know someone affected by your cause. Could you partner with corporate sponsors for a flash funding event, or even create customised merchandise that would appeal to gamers?
Ready to press start?
Learn how to start an always-on gaming campaign!
With new technologies rapidly emerging, this is an exciting time for nonprofits who are ready to level-up and unlock new opportunities in fundraising. We encourage you to challenge stereotypes, reach out to new audiences, and take your charity to the next level with gaming. With an always-on gaming campaign in your portfolio of events, the possibilities are endless.