Gaming for Good has been a part of the charity sector for a couple of years now, but recently it’s been experiencing an unprecedented boom. Nonprofit organizations across the board are recognizing its incredible utility and jumping on the bandwagon.
Why? Because gaming offers nonprofit marketers a fresh and unconventional approach to raising funds and amplifying brand awareness.
Let’s take a step back to distinguish a couple of differences. Gaming, in its broader sense, has experienced a significant surge in popularity. The statistics speak for themselves. With over 3 billion gamers and growing, they highlight the immense potential for engagement and outreach. But what is gaming?
It’s not just about playing video games; it’s also about the growing trend of watching other gamers play, creating a thriving community. Now, Esports is the practice of competitive gaming. And live streaming is real-time transmission and coverage of any event using the internet.
In the realm of gaming for good, nonprofits are tapping into these three activities by engaging gamers, and other related content creators. These individuals are livestreaming themselves playing video games (and sometimes other events) to raise money for causes they care about.
Social good organizations are harnessing the interactive and community-driven nature of e-sports and gaming by utilizing live streaming platforms like Twitch to engage gamers and encourage donations. These gaming content creators entertain their followers while raising funds, often incorporating incentives such as special prizes or rewards if they reach specific fundraising goals. One fun example was a gamer who promised to dye his hair pink and wear it for a month if his followers helped him reach his fundraising goal. The result is a highly interactive experience that allows nonprofits to build new connections and rally support around their cause.
Engaging with gamers offers a unique form of peer-to-peer fundraising, with a low cost of entry and the potential to galvanize large groups around a cause. But gaming for good presents not just an opportunity for nonprofits to raise funds, but also to increase brand recognition. By leveraging the power of video games and live streaming, organizations can tap into a wider audience and forge even more meaningful connections – typically with the “elusive” early-age demographic. It is an opportunity to leave them with a new and perhaps lasting impression of their socially-conscious brand.
The impact of gaming for good has been, on occasion, quite remarkable – as showcased by a few inspiring success stories. For instance, renowned streamer and YouTuber Dr. Lupo has raised over $13 million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital alone.
An organization named Games Done Quick, prides itself on hosting a series of charity video game marathons. They feature top-tier gameplay by individuals known as speedrunners. Over their nine-year history, organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation have joined forces with them. They currently hold the title of the largest global fundraising event for both charities, having raised over 45 million dollars to date. They also boast an average of around 3,000 participants per event – that’s massive exposure!
Organizations like Gamers Without Borders and annual events like Jingle Jam have also attracted thousands of gamers, resulting in substantial donations and increased visibility for various causes. Nonprofits such as Feeding America, The Children’s Miracle Network, The Wounded Warrior Project, and Direct Relief have also successfully utilized live stream fundraising to contribute to their missions for several years now.
To unlock the potential of gaming for good, nonprofits can host their own stream-a-thons or tournaments and engage streamers and influencers to help execute and promote. Another option is to engage a major gamer to host one on your behalf. Obviously, having bigger-name gamers with major followings can amplify fundraising efforts through their peer-to-peer initiatives.
It’s important to treat these events with the same level of care and planning as any other major event. And, to be most successful, incorporating your gaming event or program into your overall marketing and communication strategies is vital. Those most successful provide clear instructions and guidance to potential supporters.
Embarking on the gaming for good journey requires familiarity with popular platforms and tools. Twitch, one of the leading streaming platform, offers a prime opportunity to connect with gamers. Discord serves as a primary communication channel for this community. And, Tiltify, a dedicated fundraising platform on Twitch, assists with seamless donation collection.
If you’re new to gaming for good, consider starting by participating in a few charity streams and events. This hands-on experience will provide valuable insights and help you become familiar with the dynamics of the gaming community while also making a positive impact through your involvement.
When you do decide to get your feet wet, remember that your initial returns may not be astronomical. But, the low cost of entry makes gaming for good a venture worth exploring and potentially sticking with.
Gaming for good presents nonprofits like ours with an unconventional yet impactful approach to fundraising and brand awareness. Embrace the opportunities and challenges that gaming offers, recognizing the potential to engage new audiences and forge lasting connections.
Grab your controllers, join the stream, and tap into the power of gaming to make a difference and leave a lasting brand impression.