Insights on working with brands for prizing during charity fundraising

Libby Kamen (aka Askesienne) is a community management and marketing specialist in the gaming & livestreaming space. As the Chief Marketing Officer of Radiance Media, she seeks to create meaningful and authentic influencer relationships that help create connections in the digital era. In addition to her own broadcasts, she also manages Team Kitty – a stream team aimed at women’s empowerment in gaming.

Hello, all! My name is Libby Kamen, and on the internet I go by Askesienne

I’m a community management & marketing specialist, with a focus on the livestreaming space and how broadcasters, brands, and communities can band together to create change. In addition to my industry roles, I cofounded Radiance Media, a marketing agency designed at helping brands break authentically in the gaming space – and I manage Team Kitty, a broadcaster team aimed at empowering women. As a whole, the team has raised over $180,000 for various charities in the last three years. 

I’m excited to be joining up with Alyssa from Influencer Fundraising for a guest post today. I began streaming myself in 2014, inspired to go live by starting with a charity streamathon. On Team Kitty, I help arrange our charity campaigns; opening doors with organizations, getting our streamers the right information so they can rock their broadcasts, and curating giveaways and prize packs to incentivize donors even further. 

Alyssa asked me to share some thoughts on how our team works with brands to help create those prizing pools, to hopefully help lend insight on how nonprofit organizations or creators could also do so themselves. We’ve found that announcing giveaways can lift our donation total by 15% or more, and even encourage donors who’ve already given to increase their existing pledge to a campaign. 

To start, identifying brands (games, products, or communities) that align well with the mission of the organization is key to ensuring that the prizes or giveaways will motivate the audience. An NPO aimed at raising awareness for health & wellness, for example, may not want to be giving away packages of energy drinks to donors – and the donors who (obviously) care about health & wellness probably don’t want them, either!

It can also be immensely helpful to look at the broadcasters’ demographic information when planning a campaign’s giveaway options. We’ve found a great deal of success working with gaming peripheral brands or game studios for product, since typically a gaming streamer’s viewer is also a gamer, and would want high-quality accessories to go with their existing gear. 

Whether you’re reaching out to a brand as the organization or the creator, being able to present key metrics to the brand can help to curate an appropriate prize pool. For example, in Team Kitty’s most recent giveaway, we presented to potential brand partners exactly how many streamers were participating, along with up-to-date information on their concurrent viewership, watch time, and a few other social media metrics to help the companies understand exactly what kind of attention this campaign might bring. We also provided examples of other charity events we’d done, with specifics on how much they’d raised for the campaign and what similar prize donations had helped to create. In our case, this allowed companies we’d already worked with (and even some we’d just pitched to for the first time) to decide on the quantity of product they’d offer for our donor prizes. 

After you’ve determined your prize pool, the next step is to make sure the dollar-value for each prize pool entry makes sense for the item, and properly incentivizes the chance of winning something, without making the donor feel like they could have just gone out and bought the item themselves instead. This might be something a sponsoring brand wants to determine, or they may leave it up to the creators. This will vary heavily based on the incentive, the number of expected donors based on the channel’s size, and the value of the item itself. The key is making sure the community feels comfortable giving that amount of money to the campaign, even if they don’t end up winning the prize in return. (And, of course, check applicable platform guidelines and regional laws for how to appropriately run this sort of giveaway!)

Finally; you’ve arrived at the campaign. Whether you’re representing an organization, or you’re a content creator looking to fundraise, there’s a number of things you can do to help out the ‘other side’. From a nonprofit’s side, giving clear talking points, deliverables, & media assets for the streamer to use can help them create even clearer calls to action for their community. For influencers, clear representation of your channel’s metrics during and after the campaign, and maintaining communication with the organization helps keep visibility clear & your channel supported. No matter what, you’re building something awesome together. 

I sincerely hope my little slice of experience in this space has been helpful to you as you plan your next influencer fundraising campaign. If you want to connect with me, I’m always happy to answer questions. You can find me on Twitter, Twitch, LinkedIn, and YouTube – where I’m about to launch a series on community management for creators. I want to give a big thank-you to Alyssa for inviting me to guest post, and wish you all the best of luck with your next charity campaign!