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Online Gaming & Fundraising: Considering A New Avenue For Fundraising

By including online gaming in your fundraising efforts, you can differentiate your organization from others and raise awareness for your cause.

It’s mind-boggling to think that we live in a time when online gaming is being incorporated into nonprofits’ fundraising efforts. Aside from the more traditional fundraising avenues such as peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding, online gaming-based fundraising is a viable and effective way to help nonprofits raise money.

One of the most popular online gaming platforms is Twitch, where gaming enthusiasts gather to view live streams hosted by gaming influencers. According to the latest data, $145 million has been donated to charities in the last decade through Twitch.

These donations were generated both from the online gaming influencers and their followers (who primarily consist of gaming fanatics that doubled as avid charitable supporters). When an online gamer truly believes in supporting a cause, they have the power to influence their audience to take action, as well.

Do you want to leverage the power of online gaming to help your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts? Whether you want to explore Twitch or another platform to directly involve supporters, this guide breaks down the benefits of incorporating online gaming in your fundraising efforts and tips for carrying out a successful online gaming-based fundraiser.


Why Should You Incorporate Online-Gaming Based Fundraising

If you’re uncertain about using live streams to generate more funding for your organization, consider these advantages that live streaming provides:


Stand out and raise awareness

When you branch out into the online gaming sector, you can separate your nonprofit from others and increase awareness for your cause.

Think outside the box if you want to encourage more people to get involved in your charity’s mission. Don’t just limit yourself to setting up a page on Facebook for a specific fundraiser and sharing that with your audience–there are a number of creative channels worth giving a try.

By expanding your efforts to online streaming platforms like Twitch, you can reach a community of individuals who are passionate about supporting charitable causes. A lot of members who frequent these types of websites also double as donors and volunteers due to their strong beliefs in social change.
Therefore, you will attract the attention of individuals who never knew about your organization and are ready to help your organization make a difference.


Enjoy real-time engagement

A great aspect about live streams of any kind, such as online gaming, is that they allow you to connect with others (particularly your potential donors, volunteers, and supporters) in real-time.

For example, Twitch has a live chat section that accompanies each live broadcast. Members can type in a question that they would like the host to answer, or they can simply use the chat to communicate with each other. This real-time engagement allows you and your team to answer questions and share information about the causes you aim to support.

80 percent of people say they would rather watch a live stream than read a blog, so you can share a lot of valuable information—and feel confident that it’s being received—through online gaming-based fundraising.

Gaming chairs side-by-side facing computers

Create a sense of urgency

One of the reasons why live streams generate so much engagement is because they create a sense of urgency. When members are notified of a live stream taking place, whether that is related to online

When an individual is notified that a live stream is taking place, they have two choices. They can join immediately or miss out on the event. Even if there is a chance they can find the recording after, they will miss out on all of the excitement if they don’t participate in real-time.

When your nonprofit is able to pique immediate interest with an online gaming-based fundraiser, this will garner more awareness, donations, and long-term supporters.



How to Incorporate Online Gaming into Fundraising Efforts

Choose your platform

Twitch is, of course, the most popular option with over 140 million monthly users. This site can be accessed for free, offers an easy-to-use interface, and is compatible with a variety of other live streaming utilities.

If Twitch doesn’t align with your needs, or if you want to expand your options, there are of course other platforms to consider as well.


Define your audience

Next, think about who you want to target with your online gaming live streams. Do you want to reach people in a specific age demographic or location? It will be easier to nail down other specific details regarding your event by figuring out whom you want to reach.

For example, if you want to target potential youth supports between the ages of 12-17, it wouldn’t be a good idea to host your live stream in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. To ensure you have the best turnout, schedule a time on the weekend and give the appropriate notice.


Create a budget and timeline

How much can you afford to spend for a live stream fundraiser? Alongside a monthly subscription fee you pay for the streaming platform you select, ensure you account for marketing and prize spend.

Sit down with your team to create a budget and a timeline to help you understand how much you can spend on a live stream fundraiser. Here are some key questions to ask:

  • When will the event take place?
  • How soon will the promotion start?
  • What types of prizes or swag will you give away? And what is the budget?


Recruit gamers

Not sure where to start? You may already have staff members, volunteers, or donors who play video games and would be interested in participating.

Tap into your network first. Then, expand your circle and reach out to local gamers and gaming groups on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. You may even want to reach out to your local college or university to find gamers who want to be part of the event.

During the recruitment process, ask each candidate about their experience with live streaming gaming and how familiar they are with your nonprofit in particular. In this way, you are able to find those best suited to help you produce a great event (and those who share your values).


Set clear fundraising goals

As you continue planning your event, make sure you and your team set a clear fundraising goal. How much money do you want to raise for your cause?

It may be helpful to give each gamer a smaller goal and then tie incentives to these smaller goals. For example, they can get a social media shout-out if they reach the first fundraising goal. And, when they reach the next goal, they could earn a gift card.

Offering incentives will help keep your close circle of gamers invested and may generate more donations from their followers.


Establish success metrics

Of course, the primary goal of a fundraiser is to raise money for your organization and those you support. There are other ways to measure success, though.

For example, you can monitor the number of people who tune in for the event, the number of social media shares, and the number of volunteer sign-ups you receive.

Establishing these other metrics helps you to avoid being too focused on money and provides other ways for you to monitor the growth of your charity.


Provide fundraising resources

Be sure to provide all the gamers who are participating in the fundraiser with some resources. These resources might include the following:

  • Tips for promoting the event on social media
  • A list of frequently asked questions about your organization
  • A list of keywords, phrases, and calls to action to use during the event

Providing these resources to your online gamers can help those who have never participated in a fundraiser feel more confident. It also reduces the likelihood that they will say anything off-putting to your audience.


Promote your event

As the big day gets closer, make sure you’re consistently promoting the fundraiser. Send reminders to those who have signed up for your email list, post a countdown banner on your website, and use social media to get people excited and answer any questions they might have.

Start promoting a few weeks in advance and ramp up your efforts as the day of the online gaming fundraiser approaches.


Debrief and follow-up afterward

Debriefs will ensure that all of your staff members have a dedicated time and place to discuss the pros and cons of the event. Make a detailed list of elements that went smoothly and what could be improved upon next time.

Don’t forget to follow up with the gamer(s) that you recruited to help host your event and thank them for their support and time.


Start Gaming For Good Today!

Incorporating online gaming into your fundraising efforts is a great way to build your audience, generate more donations, and set your organization up for long-term success.

If you need help setting up an online gaming fundraiser, Kambeo can help. Kambeo integrates directly with Twitch allowing you to host events, recruit volunteers, and review fundraiser analytics.

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