What’s the deal with charity live-streaming on Twitch?

By now you have probably heard about how Twitch streamers have raised millions of dollars for charity. If you haven’t, you should know that since 2011 Twitch creators have amassed over $200 million for charities around the world. The number of creators fundraising for charity increases all the time and creators who have fundraised in the past seek to keep a regular cadence on supporting causes they are passionate about. 

It is important to note that I am using the term creator and not gamer. These individuals are so much more than gamers. When somebody hears “gamer” most individuals will have a very dated idea of what that means, even though adult women outnumber any other group for “gamers” in North America. Creators or online influencers are small business owners. And being a small business owner is many jobs in one (e.g. Brand Manager, Marketing, Production etc).

Creators spend hours outside of their live stream perfecting their craft and analyzing data to make business decisions. It is important to know that playing a game on stream is just a content decision not their entire identity as a creator. While gaming is the most prevalent thing streamed on Twitch it is not the only type of content. You can watch art, music and fitness outside of gaming. 

Joker / Joaquin Phoenix Painting Session on Twitch from raluca gheorghe on Vimeo.

How do I get Twitch creators to participate in my influencer fundraising programs?

Why do creators raise money on Twitch? Creators are motivated by several factors when choosing a charity to fundraise while streaming. 

  • The charity addresses a cause they are passionate about. 
  • They want to take part in an established larger campaign –– you already have some of these!
  • They are incentivized to join a campaign –– your corporate partners can help with this!

Why are their fans or viewers motivated to donate during a charity live-stream?

  • Their creator is passionate and authentic in asking for support and donations.
  • They love their creator and want to see them succeed at their milestones and goals.
  • They are incentivized to donate based on rewards offered by the creator. The best incentives are ones that are engaging with the audience.

Let’s address the elephant in the room, “gaming might be bad for your organization’s brand”. Often I am asked about maintaining control over your organization’s brand and image on a live stream. Concerns stem from what incentives might be offered, how the creator might talk about your organization, and what games they might play.

The easiest way to overcome this hurdle is to compare it to a birthday campaign on Facebook or a run-walk event. You do not vet what individuals say or post on their Facebook pages. You do not scour their timeline to make sure that they have never posted anything out of line with your brand. You do not screen every run-walk participant to make sure they are safe brand ambassadors. Creators (influencers) should be treated the same. Unless you are endorsing this individual do not fret. Telling a creator thank you for their fundraising efforts or inviting the masses to participate in your program is not a direct endorsement of the Creator or their content choices.

Besides you're working with creators or influencers not gamers.

Let’s get started

You might be thinking, “Great! I’m interested, how do I get started?” First you’ll want to sign-up on Tiltfiy through their charity portal or similar platform. Once you’ve set up your account and have been activated you’ll want to start thinking about what resources you’d like to provide to creators. Some resources include: 

  • One-page pdf with bite-sized information and impact statements.
  • Short videos (60-90 secs) showcasing your organizations impact
  • Statistic graphics
  • Logo for use –– if you don’t creators might us an outdated or pixel-ly one from google image search.

Once you are accessible and have provided resources, you’ll want to start making connections with creators. You’ll want to make connections with all sizes of creators, not just the ones you’ve read about in the news.

Let’s find some creators

Social Media: Announce where your followers can create live stream fundraising campaign for you. Ask on Twitter what Twitch creators employees should watch on their break. 

Approaching Twitch creators: It is recommended that you do not reach out to a creator through their chat while they are live.

Go on Twitch: You never know who you might connect with in chat. Check out my break down of streaming on Twitch as an organization.

Put it on your website: Wounded Warrior Project is a great example. You never know who might be looking at your website.

E-mail: Creators typically have their email publicly listed on their social media or Twitch channel. When reaching out to creators keep in mind they likely receive an abundance of emails and may be slow to respond to you. Always be authentic.

While you’re exploring this new and exciting digital fundraising space remember creators are business owners and public figures (not matter how big or small). You should focus on making connections and making sure that creators have everything they need from you to put on an entertaining and informed live stream.

Don’t worry creators know their audience better than you do and they put in a lot of work when putting on a live-stream charity fundraiser.

Originally posted on LinkedIn on March 14, 2020.