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Alyssa Sweetman

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! 

Ep 3. What is Tiltify?

Episode Description
The first step to innovating your fundraising is getting on board with fundraising platforms that are innovating how fundraisers and donors interact. One such platform is Tiltify. Tiltify is the fundraising platform for the digital generation, providing live, interactive telethon-style technology that engages donors to invest in the cause. This week we are joined by founder and ceo of Tiltify, Michael Wasserman, who discusses with us just how he innovated fundraising.

The following transcript is done by Temi. Temi is an ai robot based transcription service.

INTRO
Alyssa:
Thanks for tuning in, I’m your host Alyssa Sweetman and you’re listening to Influencer Fundraising the Podcast. A podcast for the curious nonprofit professional who wants to take their digital fundraising strategy to the next level. Each episode I’ll bring on a guest to discuss a question as it relates to influencers and digital fundraising.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Hi, thanks for joining us today, Michael. You’re very welcome to get us started. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So, um, my name is Michael Wasserman. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Tiltify, which is a fundraising platform. Um, very well known for livestream and content creator fundraising, um, in the space on sites like Twitch and YouTube, uh, tic talk now and others. Um, before that I was, uh, a consultant in the charity space for a while with my own firm, used to do events and galas and poker tournaments and, um, all sorts of, sort of live things. And before that had a strange life and movies and music, um, that oddly, I think prepared me well for the kind of stuff that content creators do on fundraising live, live streams.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Where are you in anything? We, uh, we could go spot you in,

Michael Wasserman:
Um, a few things that I had done. Um, so probably the most popular and find-able movie is, uh, a movie I produced called the final season, um, that Sony released in theaters with, uh, Sean Aston, Tom Arnold, uh, Rachel Lee Cook, James Gammon, um, Powers Boothe. That was a true story. Baseball movie, about a high school baseball team in Iowa, um, which is probably on Netflix or Amazon prime or something like that. And if you find the, uh, like the cut with like the director and producers commentaries and stuff, I’m on all that stuff.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Oh, that’s pretty cool. I didn’t even know that, we’ve been friends for a few years. I guess I never asked that question before.

Michael Wasserman:
Secrets.

Alyssa Sweetman:
So talking about Tiltify, how did Tiltify get its name?

Michael Wasserman:
Uh, it was kind of a weird trend story. So we were, when we created till the five, we were trying to think of something, A we’re trying to think of to name it and anyone who’s done a startup knows you play this weird game, especially when you’re a, uh, technology web based startup. You play this weird game of what, uh, domain names are available and you can get and what you should call it. Um, and we made these like endless lists of like hundreds of names. And back then, um, we were very focused on fundraising on Twitch and bringing that out. And you can only stream games on Twitch at the time. And I was very much into old games and in one of the brainstorming sessions, we started talking about pinball and how you’d tilt the pinball machines. You know, you’d kinda like basically push it into doing something that you wanted and doing something good. So we kind of looked at as like, well, you can kind of like tilt things for good. You can kind of make the games, do what you want in a good way. And we kind of all sort of like, like the idea of the word tilt, um, using it in a positive way. Um, and then, but we wanted it to then be an action. So we worked on all these, like, you know, tilting, tiltify, tilt arise, like when did this whole phase until we was like, until Tiltify, just a better word. And like, we were talking about things like waze and like other than Spotify and other types of sites that kind of like, you know, we wanted a brand that was kind of original and not just call it like livestreamfundraising.com. Um, so we were trying to think of something original and like action oriented and kind of just like brainstormed a bunch of names. And, you know, it kind of grew on us over time. We kind of go back and forth as to like, why did we name it that? And then we’re like, Oh yeah, that’s why

Alyssa Sweetman:
That’s that’s. I mean, that’s a really cool story to, to think about. I would say that’s a little bit different than other people’s. And when thinking about getting into this, you were, you mentioned that you were doing your own consulting firm and helping folks with these kind of in person live events beforehand. How did you segue from that to fundraising through the internet?

Michael Wasserman:
So I got very into the black tie dinners and the poker tournaments, a lot of celebrity driven stuff. That’s really where I, how I got into charity was through working with celebrities and bringing them to charity events, and then ultimately producing those charity events from my experience in producing movies. Um, so what I started to realize from doing a lot of that is you’d spend a lot of money on an event a lot of time. And if you did well, you’d make a 200, 300 hundred and 50% ROI. Um, and I just, you know, as the internet started to grow, as I did this, I started thinking about better options. And we started to consult some clients on online platforms. Like I knew the people that ran crowd rise at the time that was a relatively new platform. Um, and we would consult on people to get on there and do more fundraising.

Michael Wasserman:
And we started creating probably some of the first online auctions. I partnered with sites like Gilt. I don’t know if you remember guilt from back in the day. Um, they might even still be around. Um, we would do things like we were some, probably the first people to create, like go to the set of like entourage and hanging out with Jeremy Piven, um, you know, by like purchasing some sort of ticket through guilt. Um, that’s now sites like Omaze and prize. You kind of do that more widely. Um, so, uh, we started doing this kind of internet sort of testing, I would say. Um, and realizing that the return on investment was just a lot better and it was a lot more economical for charities. Um, and then as a weird sort of segue, one of my clients said basically like, I want to throw an event for a bunch of charities, but do whatever you want.

Michael Wasserman:
We had been very successful raising tens of millions of dollars for our clients. And it was at the point where a client was literally just like, I love that you come up with really new ideas, like do anything. So I said, I really want to do a video game tournament. So it actually started with Zac Efron versus Michael Strahan. This was 2011 in Madden. Um, and that was like what launched in the press. And then it became all these, like the head of the, uh, champion of the WWE versus the champion of the UFC. It was like rampage Jackson versus the ms and UFC. And like Snoop came and Chris Evans and MOCAD Brooks and all these big celebrities ended up coming to this event that became way bigger than we intended. And it was all about just playing video games and having fun and also raising money for charities in live event. But as we did that, we started exploring the video game space more because everyone had so much fun that then it got followed up with a bottle of charity RED, reached out and wanted to, this was still when I had my consulting firm reached out and wanted to do something in the gaming space. And we created something with them in 2012 called the Red Rush Games, which was a gaming initiative that you three, where you could donate to have a chance to play with different celebrities and create awareness with Tiesto and Snoop and Kate Upton and all these people. Um, and we just realized that there was a lot of interest in activity, but it wasn’t really until 2013 where I had met Twitch in that year difference that I started making the transition in my head of these online streams, are this, are this hugely untapped future resource that are essentially telethons that no one’s thinking about and should be, it gives everybody a chance to create their own telephone, which would usually be very expensive and production heavy. Um, and really, it was just that I actually went into Twitch’s offices, I think in, in late 2012, early 2013, um, met with the people there was like, I have this cool idea of making like a Kickstarter for live streams, I think is probably what I called it, um, for charity. And they’re like, Oh yeah, that’s a cool idea. Um, and, and really like, we just, I just really felt passionate about it. So we just kind of went, made it happen, I guess, to make a very long story short.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Uh, I always love it. We thought of it. We liked it. We made it happen. Perfect.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. That’s simple

Alyssa Sweetman:
For those of you that are listening, thinking about Twitch and gaming, um, the time period that Michael is referencing is when Twitch existed, but the only thing you were allowed to stream on Twitch was gaming. And I think that really came from the adage of do one thing really well before you expand. And so they really nailed live streaming for gaming. And as, as you know, if you’ve looked at Twitch today, we have, there’s so many more things on the platform.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. And I think that the good thing to note on that same point is for us, it worked really well too because, um, gamers are classically early adopters of technology. Um, so it was a really great demographic to test our Tiltify features and the platform before giving it to people outside of, of that more technologically adept world, um, which really helped us build the platform better.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, that’s, that’s really great. Speaking of the Tiltify platform, what tools, you know, our audience on this podcast is going to be pretty heavily leaning towards nonprofits and folks that work with nonprofits. What tools does stultify offer nonprofits that a traditional peer-to-peer or crowdfunding platform doesn’t

Michael Wasserman:
I think in general, we took a different approach from the start. So one, we looked at our platform as what a fundraisers need. Like, you know, I was in the part of the world that worried about charities for a long time. I think the switch was tilt fly was really, I think the first time in awhile that anybody had said, well, what a fundraisers want? Um, you know, we get the charities one, all this data and tie into their CRMs and send emails and all that cool. But before we even think about that, what are the fundraisers want to do? And so we spent a lot of time talking to at the time, people that fundraised on Twitch, uh, or that streamed on Twitch and realized that they wanted engagement. Um, and that, that wasn’t really happening because most fundraising pages are essentially mailboxes, you know, a donate button, a picture and some text. So we started looking at the interactions that were happening online. And first we created something called milestones, which allowed people to essentially create sub goals. Um, so, you know, typically people would have zero and their goal let’s call it 10,000 and people would get relatively lost in the middle. And the statistics would show that that people would kind of lag in that middle time. So by creating these milestones of saying, cool, well, if I get to a thousand dollars, this will happen to $2,000. This’ll happen, took people’s focus away from the end goal and kept them focused on unlocking this new entertainment, uh, which changed the value proposition a lot. Um, then we created a feature called rewards is probably our most popular feature by far, which allows you to. So every fundraising platform has suggested donation amounts more or less. We decided to put that in the hands of the fundraiser and say, well, you know, your audience, you know, your community, your friends, your fans, you create the donation amounts you want to, and can either create an incentive of your own, like writing them a thank you card or recording something cool for them. Or you can just note, uh, you know, an impact point that goes along with that, you know, at $50, you, you know, buy a, uh, you know, something for an ICU or, you know, blankets for a disaster. So it gave the power to the fundraiser to outline those ideas. And I think that’s that feature alone has made a massive difference in fundraising, um, which until then I had only really seen on things like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, where you give perks for people to buy things. So, um, we’d never seen anybody really apply it to charity that much. So that was a big one. And then from there, we got into things like polls, um, and targets, which are more ways of, of interacting and giving people options of choice. Polls are obviously very self explanatory. You can choose between options. What song do you want me to play? What ingredient do you want me to put in this? Um, and then targets are sort of like mini goals. Like you can unlock me doing this thing if you want to donate to it specifically. Um, but I think overall to all that, which is our, like our feature stuff, we decided to work with social platforms first and foremost, the idea was initially work with Twitch. Then it was worked with YouTube or with mixer that doesn’t exist, work with Facebook, where we’re tic talk. How do we, instead of saying, you have to come to our house, how do we come to where you’re already hanging out? And I think that was a big difference in our thought process and continues to be as we grow out.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, I think that’s really cool. I saw the announcement with TikTok where there’s a direct integration on TikTok now, which I think is stellar. Do you, um, you want to share a little bit about how that came about and what you can share about the plans for the future?

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So, um, that actually came about in a very cool meeting. I give credit to the United way worldwide actually pulled us into a meeting with TikTok who was, you know, a partner of theirs and said, um, you guys are two really innovative companies you should meet. Um, so we did, and we started talking, uh, about things and, um, you know, after about six months of kind of chatting and brainstorming and getting to know each other better, um, we essentially made the deal to, uh, create donation stickers for live stream and videos on TikTok, which, you know, the idea was that people would be able to create a video, put a sticker on it to a charity that they want and be able to collect and accumulate donations from that video and also do live streams. So phase one, which, which is out now, uh, has about 20 charities on it. So far, we’re taking it slow to kind of test the features, add more charities all over the world, uh, in multiple languages, not just the U S but the UK and, uh, you know, Ireland is coming out and Canada and Australia, um, all these other countries. Um, and so first was really basic, uh, much like Facebook fundraising rolled out where it’s curated by TikTok. They choose the charities. Initially they get added to the list and people can choose from that list. Um, the next phase that’s coming out is going to add our milestone features to TikTok. So you’ll be able to create milestones of things that can happen if certain amounts of money or reach. And that will be visually added to the ticktock integration. Um, the cool part of that is it all lives completely inside TikTok, uh, which makes it, you don’t have to go to Tiltify to set up a campaign. You can literally just go to TikTok and start. Um, and then we intend to bring our, all of our other features along and then allow people to connect completely to their fundraiser on Tiltify to TikTok. So for example, like the end goal of ticktack talk and everything is that let’s say you’re fundraising on TikTok, you have your campaign on Tiltify, , you connect it to your TikTok fundraiser, but then if you also want to drop a video on YouTube, you can connect it to that too, and connect through the same fundraiser. And then if you want to go live on Twitch, you can connect it to that too, and also collect it in the same fundraiser. So allowing you to utilize all these tools from the same hub,

Alyssa Sweetman:
I think that’s really cool. And I know, um, you also have an integration with Twitch called the Twitch extension. Do you want to talk a little bit about what that is and how charity setting up for your platform can leverage it?

Michael Wasserman:
Absolutely. So the Twitch extension is, is what Twitch calls our integration with Twitch, which is essentially an on page integrated button. So you don’t have to leave Twitch to fundraise. You can basically create your fundraiser, that’s on Tiltify, and then in your Twitch dashboard, you can actually connect them. So it connects directly into your Twitch account. Um, and then what it is is below your stream. There’s a panel that will appear when you activate the extension that will pull in all the information. It will pull in your, uh, I believe it already does your polls, your rewards, your milestones, your totals are all right there. Um, currently it works with Amazon pay, but depending on when this airs, um, we’re launching on August 15th launching an updated version, which we’re really excited about because the updated version will not only allow additional payment providers, um, into the integration, but that as a byproduct of that, it will allow more charities around the world to access it. Um, because charities that are using like Stripe or PayPal will also be able to access it, not just charities that are initially approved by Amazon. So we’ll now open it up to our UK clients or Australia clients, our German clients, et cetera, et cetera, um, uh, around the world to be able to get more access. So we’re really excited for that. Cause we think that’s gonna create a huge increase in the use of the tool and its effectiveness, because there’s not a, there’s a bit of a, a couple of weeks application process, which is very short comparatively. Um, but you know, it still takes a minute, whereas this will now just allow all charities to go and use it.

Alyssa Sweetman:
And I do believe by the time this episode airs, this extension will be live. So if you’re listening to this now, um, go and check because I’m sure it’s live at this point.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. I mean the list of charities available on it. I haven’t checked it recently, but will most likely quintuple like within a day?

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, that sounds really exciting. And, um, you mentioned global charities where, what charities does Tiltify op sorry, what country the countries do Tiltify operate in?

Michael Wasserman:
So we operate in a large majority of countries. Um, uh, I mean there are some exceptions of charities where, so wherever we can legally verify a charity status and there’s no law against, uh, in American platform processing, uh, you know, basically are the fees that go through those, those platforms, excuse me. Um, we exist. So the majority of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, um, we’re working now on India, um, uh, South Korea, um, Japan, places that we probably will not be in anytime soon, like China, um, couple of the middle Eastern countries can be very difficult legally. So, you know, wherever we can sort of legally function and also wherever our payment providers are widely accepted. So PayPal and Stripe or the providers we use most globally. And we’re probably going to add some, um, to cater to some more countries in, uh, Asia. Um, but our, our biggest, um, I would say our biggest markets right now is North America, uh, UK, Europe and Australia.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Okay. Have had still divide considered working with you, work with PayPal, but also incorporating cash app or Venmo into Delta Phi.

Michael Wasserman:
So we haven’t examined cash app yet, so I can’t really speak as much on, um, what we will or won’t do there. We have looked at Venmo a little bit. Um, there are some security concerns and some tracking concerns that we currently have with Venmo. Um, you know, those may get resolved. Um, obviously Venmo is owned by PayPal and we have a very good relationship with PayPal. Um, it’s definitely something that we have that we have our eye on. Um, but we’re very, we like to be very methodical, making sure that we do two things. One actually introduced something that people really want to use into something that’s going to be safe. Um, there’s a couple things that we’ve learned about Venmo, the way it works for charity currently that makes us a little bit uncomfortable. And if those things get solved in the future, then we’ll kind of look into it more. We’ve been looking a little bit more, to be honest, and to things like WhatsApp and their payment processors and things that don’t have some of the issues that we’re concerned about now.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Oh, that’s, that’s really interesting. You mentioned WhatsApp, especially given that it’s owned by Facebook.

Michael Wasserman:
Yes, exactly. Right.

Alyssa Sweetman:
I will keep an eye on that. That’s that sounds very interesting. Um, and in developing these tools, have you learned anything in particular in the development of Tiltify, that might be interesting to the audience?

Michael Wasserman:
Oh man. I mean, I’ve learned, I mean, so much from so many different levels. I mean, it, I guess it kind of depends on w and from what perspective you want me to touch on, um, whether it’s from a, a charity perspective, a startup perspective, a business perspective. I mean,

Alyssa Sweetman:
Let’s break it down this way. What have you learned from the perspective of a charity looking to increase their online fundraising? And then what have you learned from the fundraiser side that maybe you didn’t consider or think about when you started developing tilt buys tools?

Michael Wasserman:
So I’d say the biggest thing I’m going to take the second one first, cause it leads into the first one. So the biggest thing I learned from fundraisers, so there’s this theory that I always had and I had this theory when I created Tiltfy fly. And the theory was this, most donors, according to the data are 60 plus years old. And that’s where charities focus. And I always had this sort of question that I would ask charities, which was, is that because those are the only people that are interested going people that are financially able, or the only people that you’re technologically catering to. And I always kind of leaned toward the third being the answer. Um, and as Tiltify has grown, it makes me believe more that people in the millennial and gen Z space are very socially active, very philanthropic and have not been as involved because the way the charities have designed their marketing and technology excluded them up until recently. And the reason why I think this has been bolstered is because when things happened, like the Australian wild fires, we at Tiltify were inundated with people reaching out to us, same with the Black Lives Matter movement. People would reach out and say, I want to raise money. And they, they tag charities and tag us. Now all of the charities they’re tagging, whether it’s American red cross or NAACP or innocence project or whoever it might be, um, have their own fundraising pages. And that was the most sort of profound discovery for me until Tiltify because I saw it over and over again, is that it was like, well, all of these charities have purported, you know, DIY platforms of their own and donation pages of their own. Why aren’t all of these people, just not only using them now, but haven’t been using them. And, and why do they insist on Tiltify? Why? And then when we launch it on Spotify, you know, literally million like for, uh, you know, the wild fires, you know, $2 million was raised in a matter of weeks, we launched a couple of charities with COVID with black lives matters, same thing. We saw these demands and we said, cool, now these charities are available. Uh, you know, millions and millions of dollars were raised in an incredibly short amount of time by a lot of fundraisers. So what I feel I learned is the charities are not catering to this massive section of society that wants to support them. And then on the flip side of that, I learned that some charities are incredibly great and responsive and some charities do need a little bit of a push to come over here. Like there’s sort of a, of a mini phenomenon that we sort of, we don’t really name it, but insight tilt vibe. That’s kind of like, you know, I mean, I guess it goes with that sort of the early bird gets the worm theory. Whereas the charities that have joined Tiltify that have been demanded the fastest during a crisis pandemic movement raise the most money. Um, and the charities that don’t don’t. And I think that’s interesting from a charities perspective that they’ve in a way kind of like declined that money, um, uh, by not availing themselves to whether it’s true tilt to fire, not just availing themselves to some of these technologies that are now available.

Alyssa Sweetman:
I mean, that makes a lot of sense. I get asked all the time by people saying, Hey, can you help me get ahold of this charity? I want to fundraise for them, but their current tools, they aren’t great. And if I can’t get them on something that makes sense for me, then I’m going to fundraise for a different charity. So I definitely I’m seeing that same thing across the board. And ultimately why I’ve really started diving into a sort of free public educational thing with my influencer fundraising website. And this podcast is because I see the same thing, charities are leaving money on the table because they are scared of technology or they want to stick to doing the same thing forever. And if you look around in our world, the way we communicate today, isn’t the same way we communicated. You know, even when I was a kid,

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah, it’s changed rapidly. I mean, there’s this sort of chart that I show a lot when I speak, you’ve probably seen it, seen it about how many people use smartphones and how many people use social media in like between 2005 and 2010, and how many people use them now. Um, and you know, we’re talking about a difference of, you know, five to 20% back then, depending on the year and 80 to 90% now. So that massive shift has happened to people that are using their phones, using technology, um, have high speed internet, um, and are on social platforms. But you can like the, the other thing that we do a lot is we go on the way, the way back machine, which is a fun website to look up old websites, um, and we’ll go back and we actually pulled old fundraising pages. And you can’t tell, and I don’t want to call out names of platforms, but you can’t tell if it’s XYZ platforms page from today or their page from 2009.

Michael Wasserman:
Cause they do the same thing. And I think that’s, what’s been missed. There’s been a shift in technology. People are upgrading their cell phone every two to three years, but we’re saying, Hey, use this 15 year old fundraising page with a site, for example, like Twitch, that didn’t exist until 2011. And it wasn’t popular until now. And now there are people growing up. Like my favorite example is I think it’s those fine brothers videos where they take like, like seven year olds and try to get them to use like an Apple Toohey. And they can’t figure out that the power buttons in the back and that you have to put in the floppy disc and they try to tap the screen. Cause it’s not a touch screen. That’s sort of what we’re doing to people now is we’re being like, use this page. And we’re like, why doesn’t this page? Do any of the things that I do? And like kids are growing up with a smartphone in their hands. Um, if you’re not adapting your technology, they literally don’t know how to your site. The

Alyssa Sweetman:
Most interesting thing I learned is that this year in 2020 generation alpha will be entering high school and generation alpha is the first generation to be born essentially with a screen in their face. They have never lived in, they will have never lived in a world where they did not own a screen or interact with a screen that wasn’t touchscreen screen or something like that. And so when I hear things like this and you say you went to a way back machine looking at fundraising platforms, I think about some of the charities that I’ve always supported or thought about or known about. And if I go look at their website and I go look at their website on the way back machine, you know, 10 years ago, it’s identical. Their marketing is the same. Their wording is the same. These long form emails they send out for the support is the same. When I get a long email, the first thing I do is I try to look for that one point that they’re trying to communicate to me. And if I can’t find that one point, usually I respond back and ask what it is because time is extremely valuable and technology has only made it easier for me to get the most out of each second of each day.

Alyssa Sweetman:
And I just don’t see, I don’t see charities making that shift today. Not a lot of them, at least

Michael Wasserman:
I’m with you a hundred percent. I mean, a lot of charities have been doing what they’ve been doing for a long time and, you know, they don’t necessarily know, uh, you know, what’s happening with the younger generation and a lot of things that I think the speed at which technology is adapting now, um, back to when it adapted, like I remember, you know, not to date myself too much, but you know, I remember into the eighties, you know, you get, you got the cassette tape and then we slowly moved into the CD player and then we slowly moved into the DVD and then there was blue Ray and they tried LaserDisc and there was an iPad. Now things like that 20 year span now happens in like two years and technology moves so fast like that. If you’re not adapting quickly and thinking about that, and that’s really what tilts five is trying to provide as a platform. If you’re not thinking about that, your, your you’re going to have a lot of trouble cause you’re going to have farm. And that that’s staggering what you said about, uh, generation alpha. And, you know, we started with the same premise of gen Z that they were at just growing up as digital natives, um, that they at least, you know, they didn’t know life without a Facebook, you know, and, and social platforms at least. Um, but yeah, they’re there, it’s really hard for some charities to get past this new technology and to embrace everything that’s going on. It’s, it’s hard for anybody to keep up generally, but the charities really need, and you know, COVID is exasperating that situation. Um, and, and showing the, um, weakness in a lot of the programs, uh, very deeply.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah. And that not to go too much into another tangent. Um, but I’ve seen most of the emails I get are my black tie gala can no longer exist. How do I make this exact same experience online for these exact same people? And I’m curious to know if your thoughts are similar to mine. Um, what are your thoughts to charities trying to do that?

Michael Wasserman:
Um, I mean, generally I think it’s a mistake. It’s a little bit like putting a, uh, a square peg in a round hole, you know, um, it’s sort of like, you know, to throw back to the old, like, you know, gaming analogy, uh, if we want to go back to where this started, you know, how do I play my Nintendo 64 in my new X-Box you don’t, you have to get a new game. Um, you have to adapt it. You gotta rethink the process. Um, and think about how people are interacting. You can, I believe you can give a large majority of the benefits that the people that look there’s always going to be people that love that handshake dinner in person. I mean, they’re great, right? And they’re great for big money, donors, donors, but you can’t always do them, but there are amazing ways that have been shown from COVID that you can connect with people in huge ways virtually and give them huge experiences virtually and charities really need to rethink. I mean, I’ve never liked most of the event models for years COVID aside because of the expense and time it takes with the money. It makes, there are a few charities that do it fantastically don’t get me wrong, but a lot of charities try to do that model and end up just spending a lot of money to not make enough money to make the time spent worth it. And I think rethinking these strategies in these more sort of what I’ll call like the telethon phase, um, bringing that whole thing back is a much smarter use of time.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah. I fully agree. I’ve been to a handful of black tie style events and what I thought people got out of those and why they liked those was less than it had anything to do with the charity, but the amount of power you’re putting in the room and that’s super great for those types of events. But I think that if we shift the focus like looking at generation Z, looking at generation alpha, coming up, that’s just not going to be effective and it’s gonna continue to be smaller and smaller. Like when a charity is trying to convince me to work with them, they still send me this overwhelming Lee long email and story and pitch stack. And I want to know, I want to know a little bit more straight forward. I don’t need you to tell me a full story. Some people do like the story, but the stories could be told in much shorter formats. I mean, tic talk is short as hell and videos like these long videos, no one is sitting down and watching these long form videos anymore. So I just think that we’re pretty aligned. I also feel like they’re a waste of time and money. And when I see charity spend money on it, I always wonder how much of the money intake from other donors does it take to spend wooing these donors?

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. I mean, one of my sort of pet peeves and, and, you know, probably get a little bit of shit for this. Excuse my language. You can beat that. Um, is that I never love the concept of, well, it didn’t cost anything cause we had a sponsor pay for it. Well, but the sponsor’s money came in and you had to spend that money. So, you know, you’re kind of like stealing from Peter to pay Paul kind of thing. So it’s like if that sponsor would give you a hundred thousand, but your event cost a hundred thousand, maybe you could have gotten a hundred thousand and re situated the event where you didn’t have to spend the a hundred, 5,000 that came in. Yeah.

Alyssa Sweetman:
And all of those people getting in the room, if my perception is accurate, that they want to be in the room with other powerful people. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get them in a room. You just get them in a room, can change. It doesn’t have to happen.

Michael Wasserman:
How many people, how many people would just, yeah. How many people would just go to a, like a, you know, a hangout that like, uh, just, uh, any like instead of building this whole cause like, you know, the popular thing is you build out this entire thing in this massive ballroom from scratch. Right. And it’s very expensive. You know, it would be much cheaper, you know, if you just bought at a restaurant for the night, right. Like significantly cheaper and cheaper and brought everybody there. If they wanted to hang out with George Clooney who was coming, like there’s a better way to have them there. And it’s the people want to be the heroes, right. They want to like when they do those big asks in the room, those live auctions, which make all the money and the in room asks and people sort of raise their hands and by their tables, you know, that’s where they make all the money.

Michael Wasserman:
But I think all that needs to be rethought out at this point, because there’s so many great digital ways of connecting with people and delivering people like even like, look at sites like cameo right now that’s blowing up right. Where celebrities are creating messages, right? Like people love these things, like think about it that way, where you could create personalized messages to your constituents from the celebrities that like to thank them for the gala, from the celebrity, it actually takes the celebrity less time. Um, and spoken to many celebrities who hate going to those gals because I used to drag them there. I used to be that guy

Alyssa Sweetman:
Totally kind of shifting gears. Um, what would you say one of the more common reasons nonprofits tell you that they’re not going to sign up until defy or they’re not going to even revisit their strategy is,

Michael Wasserman:
I mean, I don’t usually get great reasons. Uh, a lot of the time it’s we have this platform and we’re not looking right now or we’re too busy, uh, are probably the two biggest responses I get when they say no, I don’t really get a, what I would consider a, a response that makes me say, Oh, okay. Yeah. Um, I mean, I totally get when people are like, we’re super inundated right now. Can you get back to us in a couple of weeks? It happens. Um, and it makes sense. And we are, uh, you know, tilt fight is a platform. Um, but we do allow everybody to join it for free. So, um, so we sort of took away that you have to pay us to come on thing, um, which I get from a lot of platforms and sometimes they may think it’s more sales vehicle than it is, which I get to. Um, and I try to kind of work with our staff to kind of make it, you know, cause usually it’s by request, right. We’re reaching out because somebody wants to raise money for you and we want to be able to make that happen. Um, but yeah, usually it’s just like, I’m not interested. I’m busy. Bless you. Um, and really just trying to say like, Hey, we don’t have time right now or we’re, we’re happy with our platform and we’re not interested in looking at other platforms. Yeah. I’ve never gotten an answer. I’ve never gotten an answer that I’ve been like, Oh man, that’s a really good answer.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah. I mean, that’s really fair and um, real, real quick. Um, since, since you already mentioned that it’s free to sign up to questions aside from just offering tools to fundraisers, uh, what other services or tools to still defy provide and then to, if you mind just bullet pointing out like what the signup process looks like.

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So one of the things that a lot of charities that don’t know us don’t realize is that we’re a, what I would call a full service fundraising platform. So, you know, they’ll have their backend and their admin and their data and, you know, be able to, you know, get the appropriate donor information that we have analytics, uh, geo tracking, all that kind of fun stuff. Accounting, uh, on the backend can create full campaigns and registrations, uh, monthly giving, um, all those types of programs that we have. So whether it’s your DIY prep, prep programs, your peer, peer pro programs. So if I can sort of, how’s all of that on the charities end. Um, and we’re continuing to expand that every month we’re sort of working with our clients and adding new features to kind of make that, um, you know, make it a better home for their fund rate raising, sorry, I forgot your second question.

Alyssa Sweetman:
The other question was if you would just bullet point what it looks like when someone goes to the process of signing up so they can understand how, what the lift is, if they sign up.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah, absolutely. So signing up is pretty simple. So we have a page it’s at causes dot [inaudible] dot com, or if you go to tilt, fly.com, there’s a button at the top, says charity portal, click on that. There’s a sign up form. So you basically fill out your information about the charity you put in your, you know, if you’re in the U S your EIN or your appropriate, uh, government ID, we verify that you’re a legally registered charity in the country that you work. Cause if you’re not, you can’t be on tilt fly. Um, so once we verify that, uh, one of our reps will reach out to you, give you a quick demo of the services, um, turn your, your, your free account on, and then show you some of the additional upgrades you can have if you want, you know, custom pages or more advanced features that’s, um, that, you know, have additional monthly costs, if you want it to go down that route.

Alyssa Sweetman:
That makes a lot of sense. And do you have any final wisdom or parting words for those listening today?

Michael Wasserman:
Um, I would just very much urge charities to continue to look at the technology in the market, continue to look at the social platforms where gen Z millennials now, generation alpha are going where they’re populating and really think about how you can meet them, where they are and think about what fundraising technologies do that and how you can do that. And, and in that same thought process, think about your messaging, go to your own website, try to fundraise for yourself. I’ve done this with charities, and sometimes it’s very eyeopening, you know, or get someone in your family that doesn’t know the website, as well as you do. And ask them to go to your site and try to fundraise for you and see how easy or hard that is based on what you want to do. I think that has shown that has taught us a lot about what’s happening with pretty much everybody under 40 that’s, a little more technologically adept going to a lot of these sites and having a lot of difficulty and how much information it asked for, you know, and is that information necessary? Um, so I would just think about those practices in general.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Gotcha. And if folks wanted to get in touch with you and, or Tiltify, what would be the best route?

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So if anyone wants to get touched, I mean, people are free to reach out to me directly, Michael@tiltify.com is my email, but if you wanted to, um, reach out to like get more general info, but the company, uh, contact@tiltify.com or charity@tiltify.com are both emails that will get you in touch with our staff and our team. Uh, if you wanted someone to reach out to you, give you more information and give you a demo.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Gotcha. Sounds good. Well, thank you so much for coming on and talking today.

Michael Wasserman:
Oh, thank you so much, Ellie. I really appreciate you having me on.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, absolutely. And you have a wonderful day.

Michael Wasserman:
Awesome. You too.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode and if you enjoy the show please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues. You can find Influencer Fundraising the Podcast on Spotify, Overcast and many more. If you’d like to be a guest on the show or have an idea for an episode please head to www.influencerfundraising.com for more information. 

Thanks for listening and stay curious.

Ep 2. Are all streamers gamers?

Episode Description
streamers is that they are all gamers. This tends to lead to a very specific marketing strategy and the start of “othering” gamers and streamers. In this episode we are joined by Ichibadass long time content creator on YouTube and Twitch to discuss streamers and gamers. 

The following transcript is done by Temi. Temi is an ai robot based transcription service.

INTRO
Alyssa:
Thanks for tuning in, I’m your host Alyssa Sweetman and you’re listening to Influencer Fundraising the Podcast. A podcast for the curious nonprofit professional who wants to take their digital fundraising strategy to the next level. Each episode I’ll bring on a guest to discuss a question as it relates to influencers and digital fundraising.

Alyssa:
Hey Ichi. How are you doing today?

Ichibadass:
I am doing fantastic. Aly, thank you for having me on the podcast today.

Alyssa:
Thanks. Thanks for coming on to talk about it. Um, you know, let’s kind of just dive right in. Uh, tell me about yourself, tell our audience, your username, how it came about who you are, what you do.

Ichibadass:
So I’m Ichibadass. I’ve been streaming on the Twitch gaming platform for more than five years now. Uh, I’ve been actually a part of the platform for more than seven, just over seven years. I actually originally started with creating content on YouTube more than nine years ago with, uh, achievement videos.

Alyssa:
Achievement hunting?

Ichibadass:
Um actually doing tutorials on like how to get the achievements of basically, cause I was the achievement whore on the Xbox360.

Alyssa:
Gotcha. And for our audience listening, they probably don’t play video games or understand the achievement systems you might expanding on like what that is for our audience.

Ichibadass:
Um, so basically think of medals ribbon, ribbons trophies, which dates back hundreds of years. It’s amazing what the, uh, a human being would do for a, a piece of metal as Napoleon would say. Um, so those, those original pieces of content was actually just reverse engineering, uploaded content to YouTube that just, uh, optimized it. Whereas like the best example would be civilization. Revolution is actually the first game that I made achievement videos for. And the achievements is for typically fulfilling a specific task. And whether it’s something easy or something more difficult, I originally went looking for the, you know, basically help. Most people use YouTube as a form of, you know, for do it yourselves and everything like that. And the original uploaded content then was like these two hour long videos. Nobody’s got two hours to find the answer, right? If your toilet is clogged, you need to tell me to use a plunger, like straight up.

Ichibadass:
You can’t, you can’t tell me to like, you know, I got to go to Home Depot. It’s the, you know, it’s a third row. And then, you know, you take a left talk, the Joe and be like, nah, nah, that doesn’t work. So I reverse engineers those original videos did my own content on that and dropped it down to like, you know, 15, 30 minute videos instead of like two hours of bull crap, which back then the algorithm was based for, um, kind of anything goes on YouTube where you could have a viral two minute clip and be doing pretty good, which they’ve since then, like change the hell out of that.

Alyssa:
Yeah. I think the internet in general back then was a little bit of a wild West.

Ichibadass:
Yeah, I guess. I mean, it still is back then. We at least had vine, which is now TicTok today. The only difference between the two is a vine. If you sold somebody skit, people would get mad on TicToc. It’s actually promoted to like copy and pasta.

Alyssa:
Oh yeah. Also I’ve most people have not heard of Dubsmash, but Dubsmash came after Vine had died a couple of years later. But the interesting part about it was that Dubsmash is basically what TicToc is today. But TicToc has monetization and better discovery. There was no discovery mechanism with dub smash. It was, you would create them and share them. So it combined vines discovery tools and, um, added monetization that didn’t exist on vine and combined it with dubsmash.

Ichibadass:
Oh, that’s really neat. Actually. Never heard of Dubsmash.

Alyssa:

Yeah. Well a lot of people haven’t, but when Tecton came out, that was one of the things that I noticed is that it felt very much like a combination of two things. So that’s really cool. You started out on YouTube nine years ago. Wow.

Ichibadass:

Yeah.

Alyssa:
That’s that’s a long time. I personally have only been around the online gaming space since like April of 2015. So I’m really new to the space. And in that regard consumed a lot of content, just wasn’t really active. And now you’re, you’re streaming on Twitch. You’ve been doing that for, for uh, five years. Um, what kind of games do you stream how’d you? What were the first things that you streamed?

Ichibadass:
Unfortunately, the first thing I streamed was speed running Minecraft,

Alyssa:
How does one speed run a Minecraft?

Ichibadass:
I, uh I, everybody always asks that. So speed running in general. If you’re familiar with it is just starting the game in a like new state, unless you’re doing something else and finishing as fast as possible, which typically is, you know, the, the credit roll. So the speed run Minecraft is actually to get to the end and kill the end dragon because when you jumped on that end portal, it rolls the credits immediately after it is one of the worst speed runs you could possibly ever do at least back then on, um, five years ago when I started, because it’s so RNG heavy, getting the end pearls with Enderman, it’s just it’s it’s not a good speed run. It could take six minutes, like world record pace, or it can take you like two hours

Alyssa:
So you just restart the game to get better RNG each time. Or the hope is the RNG is better the next time.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. It’s, it’s very, very RNG heavy and not even in an entertaining way either.

Alyssa:
Um, and you speed round other you’ve speed ran other games.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. So I’m also a speed runner. I have speed ran a variety of different games, including all, not just including Minecraft, but Resident Evil 7 or Resident Evil 3 remake, the recent one that just came out. Cuphead, um, Undertale —-

Alyssa:
These all sound like what people would call try hard games.

Ichibadass:
Try hard games?

Alyssa:
You never heard that term?

Ichibadass:
Oh, I know. I know. Try hard. Yeah. Yeah.

Alyssa:
But, but these games all sound hard to me. Well, what you said, Cuphead, and then you said Undertale and those are two very try hard games for me personally. So….3

Ichibadass:
I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t, I mean, I guess you could say try hard, at least for the fact that like, uh, the routing for casuals would take like substantially longer than speed running it. Cause Cuphead, for example, a casual playthrough is like 16 hours long. I speed run it in sub 32 minutes. World record is 26. So for me to beat in 32 minutes versus somebody casually playing it in 16 hours is substantial. But you know, I played through the games blind first and you know, I take it casual, casual approach before I ever speed run anything because I don’t want to like ruin the experience, but I’ve also speed ran and routed. Uh, We Happy Few you originally when that was an alpha, uh, Five Nights at Freddy’s sister location. I speed ran that, routed. It had three world records. And on that, I have two at the moment, somebody beat one of my world records. Um, couple other things that I’ve speed ran, including doing like a sample runs of like Dark Souls or Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo switch. Actually not on the switch WII U, it was actually better.

Alyssa:
Oh, interesting. I don’t think I know. Well, not many people would say Wii U is, is the console to play on, but I have heard other speed runners mention this.

Ichibadass:
well it’s because with legit has a little breath of the wild, um, when that was released, it was the transition of the Nintendo switch being first released. So it runs better on the, we, you it’s more optimized because it’s more familiar hardware for the developers, then the Nintendo switch at the given time. So in terms of like constant frame rates that Wii U ran better than the Nintendo Switch because they both the, Wii U runs at 720P uh, 30 FPS and the Nintendo switch in handheld mode runs at 720P, but then it upscales, it’s not upscaled. It actually, it runs at 900P um, well docked, for breath of the wild. And since you’re going to be speed running this docked versus like the, Wii U we use just, it’s always technically docked. Um, that’s a problem because you’re not going to be speed running it in handheld mode because you’re not going to be able to stream it in handheld mode. If you’re you’re running it, unless you’re like you’re taking a webcam to the screen and being all, I don’t know.

Alyssa:
I mean, I have seen people do that. These are people who maybe haven’t heard of a capture cards or things like that. And that was before there was the mod that came out for the 3DS handheld for speed running for that

Ichibadass:
Homebrew. Yeah. Well actually actually wait a minute. Oh, I don’t, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. So the 3DS actually has both. You have it, home-brewed where it allows you to broadcast the gameplay over wifi or the physical modification that allows you to like hook it up to your computer and everything for game cap.

Alyssa:
I was definitely think I was referencing the physical modification. You had to send your 3DS off and hope it came back in one piece.

Ichibadass:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
That’s really exciting. You do a lot. And you know, you’ve been on Twitch for five years, so you’ve done. I’m assuming probably charity streams.

Ichibadass:
Yeah, I’ve done charity. What’s a charity Kappa. Uh, I’ve only recently started doing charity in the past three years. The first one was a spur of the moment after I got home from the gym fundraising for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Alyssa:
Would you say that that kind of is what got you into it that…

Ichibadass:
um, it got my feet wet in terms of like, uh, getting started, but didn’t exactly give me the tools or the information at the time to like, you know, optimize it. Speed runner speed, runner strats, whereas, Later fundraising with extra life for kids and even st. Jude I’ve done way more with, cause with extra life for kids I’ve currently raised just under like $5,000, uh, St. Jude raised, uh, just over like $8,200 going into this year.

Alyssa:
Very nice.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. Every dollar counts.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Um, that’s really awesome. And you know, that’s really what this podcast is about is just getting information to nonprofits. So that, and influencers, and I know streamers tend to balk at the word influencer, but —

Ichibadass:
I mean, like, if you look at the word influencer, right. Which is what most content creators are, regardless of platform that you’re looking at, there’s somebody who is an influence that, you know, can convince people to buy a game or an album or a piece of clothing, right?

Alyssa:
Yeah. They, they have influence over, um, dollar power for someone else.

Ichibadass:
I mean, for the perspective of like a charity organization, looking on taking on influencers, you’re looking for, you know, the, somebody who can rally others to a common goal and be a voice to, you know, get the word out there that preferably genuinely cares about the program in question and, fundraise for it. And not just somebody paid, you know, minimum wage to hold a sign outside of an establishment.

Alyssa:
Yeah, absolutely. And actually that’s really at the, kind of the core of what I wanted to bring you on and talk about today is, um, many nonprofits exploring this space. Because we all know the media will portray things in the easiest light possible, and they only things like Games Done Quick or, um, GCX, or even some larger influencers who have done streams. Um, the article is always gamers playing games for good, but I always felt like that was a little misleading because it’s not someone didn’t play a video game for good. Like they didn’t sit at their home. And like the video game is what did the money, it was the, the donate, the donating power. It was their influence on their community and their fans as an entertainer or a content creator or streamer or influencer. And so I just kind of wanted to talk about like, you know, you’re an avid gamer, but you’re also an influencer. And just introduce the nonprofits, listening to the show into the idea that gaming is, uh, is only one part of being an influencer and that if they can zoom out from that idea of gaming, that there’s so much more to explore. And so,

Ichibadass:
yeah, the gaming is just the medium, right? It’s for the, I guess the background entertainment, it’s like an artist working on a blank canvas, you know, whether they’re working with oil or acrylic or water painting, that is their, their medium, but the artist is the artist that has the vision that is trying to recreate something either from their own mind or, you know, something out in the world if they prefer realism, et cetera. So a lot of it’s weird how a lot of companies try to approach it without any form of gaming background. And they’re like, Oh yeah, we’re going to create this program and market it to gamers, you know, gaming for a change, you know, gamers for charity, which is perfectly fine there, it is not wrong, but it is also not optimal because to say, okay, I can take any gamer and they can fundraise the answer is yes. But the difference is taking somebody who is just, you know, just somebody who comes home after work and likes to hop on their Xbox and play video games and shoot the breeze with their homeboys is not going to fundraise as much as somebody who is more connected with their community, who has more experience in being more involved with the industry than just simply playing video games and not seeing anything and just staring blankly at the screen, right? Like you could, you could easily just take anybody that plays video games and be like, alright, here’s the fundraiser that you’re gonna fundraise for. Go forth and conquer. And the likelihood is they’re going to raise nothing, maybe a couple dollars, but the amount that they will fundraise is going to be relatively low. Now you could take somebody who’s a gaming influencer. Who’s never done charity either and give them, okay, here’s the organization you’re fundraising go forth and conquer. And they’ll actually, without even trying, they will generate some revenue to the charity. It won’t be as much as somebody who’s provided with the proper repertoire of tools and marketing tools and, you know, you know, background information to optimally, go about the campaign and create an event out of it and generate hype amongst their community, which either, or can benefit a regular, just anybody, you know, your casual gamer and influencer. If they’re given the proper tools and information, either one could actually do crazy good. So like even when streaming was starting to come up seven years ago, the promotion back then was, uh, hit live. Anybody can be the next top streamer. And it was specifically marketed towards gamers. And it’s like, that’s not true. You’re not just a gamer streaming to a platform. You are a content creator. You are an entertainer, you are an artist. You are, you know, ultimately you are, you who’s putting that content and stuff out there. Cause I’ve seen countless people who think like, Oh yeah, streaming’s easy. I’m just gonna play league of legends and yell at my teammates.

Alyssa:
I have, uh, someone very close in my life. He was like, yeah, it’s super easy. And also really wanted to get into East sports and had this very it’s super easy, but then would message me and be like, why isn’t this working? And then I’d give him some, some thoughts and feedback and he’d be like, I don’t want to do any of that. I’m like, well then your, then your dreams are not achievable if you’re not willing to adapt to the understanding of what it is you’re actually signing up for.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. I mean, can somebody get lucky? Which I don’t, I don’t like to use the word luck, because I believe in luck achieved through skill is if you’re in the right place at the right time. Okay. Then you can just like blow up something. You can just be incredibly fortunate that you’re, you know, you’re the first right. And you just get noticed either by esports organization, if you like doing, you know, playing any of the battle royals: Fortnite, Call of Duty, PUBG, Escape from Tarkov is not a battle Royale, but it is good example of like a competitive scene. Uh, same thing with like Overwatch, for example, is very heavy in esports. You could be somebody who’s just, you know, let’s say you’re streaming new content and you’re, you get to be on the top of the page and you just blow up and get super lucky. And you just started streaming like five minutes ago. That’s cool. Does it happen? Yes. Is it going to happen to everybody? Most definitely not. Um, that there’s a lot more.

Alyssa:
And even if it happens, you know, if you do manage to get that huge influx of viewers, there’s the sustaining aspect of it.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. Can you actually do anything with it for turnover? And the answer to that question is usually no, depending on their, uh, their experience.

Alyssa:
Yeah. And so you’ve, you’ve been creating content for a really long time. And one of the things that I find interesting is even, even as I dived into this space, like looking as a streamer, it just kind of looks like from the outside, looking in, it does look super easy, but do you mind sharing some of the things that you spend time on to get ready for your stream to make sure that when you go to do this live content creation, your prepared and ready?

Ichibadass:
Oh man. Well, that’s like getting hyped up for the stream, but like being ready that makes you more ready and more well-practiced is by actually just doing, because you could give somebody a literally anybody like, even anybody listening to this, you could give them the tools to get started and they can have all the information on the internet to like better optimize, optimize their stream or entertainment value, or you know, how to run their, their charity stream event. But it still doesn’t give them that hands on experience. It’s the same equivalent as taking somebody out of med school who has a lot of textbook knowledge, right. They know how to like make a tourniquet. They know how to, to clean and treat and bandage a wound or perform surgery, but they don’t have the same hands on experience as somebody who’s been a heart surgeon for 75 years.

Alyssa:
I mean, I’m not going to lie. I don’t know if I want the 75 year old heart surgeon operating on me, maybe, maybe in the room, but.

Ichibadass:
Wow. Uh, so yeah, it’s the same thing for, for streaming as, as prepared as you can be informational wise. Uh, it doesn’t beat the actual hands on experience, which before I even started streaming and a lot of things that I do in life included, I’d like to do a lot of research before I dive into anything. I’m just typically not very spur of the moment. So I had, uh, had been on Twitch for about nearly two months before I decided, yeah, I want to try streaming on my 2006 windows, XP laptop and dazzled DVC, 100 standard definition capture card and play console games. Like I had actually, when I first came to the platform in 2013, I did stream the first game I had ever streamed was, um, Dark Souls. Cause it’s actually what brought me to the Twitch in the first place.

Alyssa:
Oh really?

Ichibadass:
Oh yeah. I got stuck in Dark Souls. And back then, YouTube was not the place to look for content in terms of a walkthrough for Dark Souls, because everybody’s played through potentially it can be different because there’s different, uh, routing to Dark Souls. And so I was stuck and YouTube did not answer my question. So I was like, ah, okay, I’ve heard of Twitch. Let’s go, let’s go check it out. Which back then was also, it was Twitch and Justin TV is that is during that transition and just like most people nowadays, I mean, I know it’s substantially been changed up, but you search up the game that you want to watch in this case mean dark souls. And of course, you’re going to see the top casters, right? You’re going to see the person with 10,000 people watching them. You’re not going to scroll down the list and be like, yeah, I’m going to watch this guy who has zero.

Ichibadass:
And it’s a blank screen with some texts on it. So, you know, you go in the first couple of streams that you see on the top and the guy who was on the top of the directory for darks. And so at the time it was the Dark Souls speed runner. So not only did I get the answers to my question of how to get past the thing that I wanted, but I learned so many other tricks involved that made life so much easier. And then I was like, well, I can give this a shot. I can, I can start streaming. And so I’m not understanding the platform and the, the latency between the viewer and broadcaster at the time, because there’s like a 15 to 30 second delay. So somebody says, hi in chat back then, and you reply back as a streamer. Uh, there’s a good chance that they’re not there anymore because they feel like the streamers ignoring them. Right. They don’t get that instant gratification. You know, like an IRL, when you say hi to somebody, you accept, you expect some form of greeting or body language of them being like, yeah, who’s this loser, right, something. Back then, there was, if you were lucky, 15 seconds, upwards of really bad. And if your internet sacked 45 seconds latency between the viewer and the broadcaster, I didn’t know that. Um, but I talked to myself because I was used to, I I’m used to commentating my gameplay and some of the YouTube stuff that I had already done, but I didn’t like the viewer experience. Cause I watched my VODs, which I have clips saved from those, those streams back then. Cause I was doing achievements on dark souls as a part of like the streaming.

Alyssa:
Would you then take that content and put it on YouTube?

Ichibadass:
um, actually yes. Cause the idea was to create content for again, achievements in Dark Souls specifically. And that was just more straight to the point. Instead of watching these like hour long videos, I don’t, I like those videos back then. They did answer the question of like eventually, but you like YouTube is today now, right? It’s instant gratification. People want an answer now they want to see the cat video. Now! They, they don’t want to watch this hour and a half long video. Nobody’s got time for that unless they really love the content creator. Right? Like if you’re watching ASMR and you’re trying to fall asleep, all right, let’s go five hour video. Let’s do this. But for everybody else, who’s like in that moment and that’s, you know, what’s in their thought. They want it, now. So same thing with like those touching on like achievement stuff. I was like, okay, well I’m going to stream running through like specific areas that Dark Souls will knock it out achievements. But the quality of the viewer experience, because I, you know, VODs is like one of the best tools to have if you’re getting started, because then you can do your stream and unless you’re getting live feedback from a friend or, you know, a new member of the community, you look back on the VOD and you can like, okay, how was the audio quality? How was the video quality? How was your interaction or whatever likelihood if you’re just starting off, like there’s going to be literally no interaction, right? There’s going to be nobody in there. Especially if the directory is very saturated with like, you know, everybody and their mom is streaming Fortnite. Um, so the video quality and stuff was awful for, for, for streaming, with a dazzle bag. Then on a, on a seven year old laptop, it was not good. So like I tried streaming random things back then seven years ago and I was like, eh, I’ll wait until I build a basic PC and get a decent capture card, which I had the, uh, the El Gato game capture HD as my first HD capture card. Love, hate relationship right there

Alyssa:
So we talked about on-hands experience. The best thing you can do is to kind of just do it, but you’ve been doing it for a while. And so now, now I think we can officially say you’re an influencer.

Ichibadass:
Mmm. Okay.

Alyssa:
What types of things do you do? That’s not just the go live part as part of your whole brand, if you will.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. Like the background stuff or additional content

Alyssa:
All the additional work you put in that most people would not be able to see or maybe even discern. .

Ichibadass:
Yeah. So other things, other platforms, I guess I create content on, but also for like background stuff is background stuff would usually involve like, you know, reworking the panels, the emotes, which is a representation of people’s emotion used in chat for Twitch mixer, YouTube. I don’t know Facebook gaming uses them. I have no idea, um, are things that are, I guess, design aspects that I look at, but also changing up the overlay appearance of how my stream looks on screen and fun effects that actually can apply there without making the stream suffer. Like there’s some really awesome transitions and stuff that I’ve added to OBS and background stuff. Not only involves creating new things for that, but also like, I guess the education I’m always thirsty for knowledge when it comes to like, well, how can I improve the quality of the stream? How can I improve the encoding and eating video content from YouTube to like, you know, have inspiration, I guess, from other content creators, who’ve left their feedback to improve the audio, improve the video, uh, improve that onscreen presence of like overlays, et cetera. I also like to meme on my social media for Instagram and Twitter and very, very rarely I’ll upload something to TicToc. Cause I love the concept of skits. Skits are great. I love it so much.

Alyssa:
Short form is, is going to be the way that we’re going to go. Short form, going to be to me, to be a part of every influencer’s toolkit in the future. I believe whether it’s TicToc or something else that comes out. Um, like we like to laugh. We like to consume short pieces of content. We, that younger people have even shorter attention spans because they’ve got all these shiny lights and shiny things on the internet. So…

Ichibadass:
I think it also has to do with like content looking at YouTube is the best example. Example is we’ve been spoiled with instant gratification. So we kind of expect it from our content and that is not the fault of like any streamer or anything like that. But you look at mainstream media, you look at movies, TV shows, comedy, skits. What is it there for? It is there for entertainment to distract you, to take your mind off any garbage that has gone through your day. And you just want some cheap thrills, good laugh, maybe a jump scare, right. You’re looking for a specific kind of content. And that’s where like the short form content is fantastic is because then it highlights on your personality or the, the funny instances that happens on streams such as like clips on Twitch or like how the short content is for TicToc or once upon a time vine. Um, but I think that the mainstream problem there is like, you know, YouTube wanted to pull away from that from the little one minute, six, second videos uploaded to their platform that had like a billion views.

Alyssa:
Yeah. I think the minimum upload now is two minutes or something like that.

Ichibadass:
I think, I don’t know. Uh, I know they changed it because they made it really weird because you weren’t allowed to upload like long videos. If you weren’t a YouTube partnered, however, the hell they were to, it’s not verified. You get verified at a hundred thousand subscribers, but I think it’s partnered or something where you can get ad revenue off your YouTube content. Now, if you have X amount of watch time and whatever. So I think you can do the short videos. You can’t do long stuff. I can, I can do all of it. So I’m like uncertain as to like what specific changes were were made. Uh, because I grew with both my YouTube channel and Twitch channel at the same time. And then as there was like growing exponentially, I decided to focus on Twitch rather than YouTube, which I should have focused on both, but it’s so much work because so when you’re creating live content, which is more organic and natural creating, establishing that connection with your community, there is no editing involved. Sure. You can put on a facade and you are a character and be perceived a certain way. But when something happens, live on stream it’s live. Right. Whereas if something happens on a YouTube video, I, as the editor of my own content, have the opportunity to remove it, right? Like, let’s say my cat like decides to just jump out of nowhere and attack me and like cut off my arm or something. I can at least edit that out of the YouTube video. So it doesn’t get demonetized. Whereas if that happens on the stream, unless I press something to transition to a different scene, uh, yeah, that’s not so good.

Alyssa:
I mean, I don’t know, chat chat would probably love it.

Ichibadass:
Chat. Everybody would love it. That’s like modern day gladiators.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Chat chat is definitely this, this interesting thing. And I think it’s kind of amazing the different pockets of communities that are, are built on various platforms and the people who support another person, uh, all come together in some kind of way. And like, they become like a family of super fans where they’re like, we both like this same thing, so we’re going to like it together. Then it multiplies. I think it’s just so kind of fascinating. And you’ve streamed a few things that are not gaming related as well. Right.

Ichibadass:
Oh, let me think about this. I have streamed racketball, which I’ve been playing that sport for more than nine years. Uh, I have streamed painting my wall for charity and just because I needed a green screen at the time I have streams, I haven’t really streamed much IRL. I do love the concept of streaming in real life broadcast, a little bit of event stuff, kind of like PAX. Let me think. What else, what else is I have a stream outside of streaming I’ve streamed, restringing racquetball equipment. I’ve also streamed making art, like when I was doing the postcards and stuff, hand drawn postcards for people for, for my community. And then later I’ve done some for, for charity. Loved them, the postcards. Those are, those are really cool.

Alyssa:
Yeah. I, uh, I haven’t, I don’t actively stream now because I’m, you know, it’s, it’s not my main form of income or really even something I have a lot of time to do, but someone who I haven’t, hasn’t been in my channel in a long time that I haven’t talked to you messaged me on discord, a picture of the postcard. I sent them like three years ago.

Ichibadass:
Oh wow.

Alyssa:
And they were like, look what I just found. And so it was, it was a cool moment. Um, so people, people definitely love the personalized postcards.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. It’s definitely, it means a lot, especially when something’s actually being created specifically for them or any form of like, you know, I guess kindness that’d be appropriate to apply. I believe that I think I’m going above and beyond.

Alyssa:
People want to feel valued and validated. And often we go, I think, seeking it online because either we’re not sure how to communicate to the people in our lives in person or maybe we have, and nobody was listening. So we seek it out where we can find it. So I think it’s technology is, is agnostic good or bad. And I think it’s really cool that even though we, we see things on the internet that are great, that there’s lots of places where people find each other.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. It’s a way to connect and find other like-minded individuals.

Alyssa:
I think we could talk forever on that actually. But to kind of wrap up here, I went in to see if there is any additional thoughts maybe you wanted to share for any nonprofits that are listening and thinking about joining this space and looking at, people who create content on Twitch or Mixer or YouTube and thinking, you know, gamer versus influencer, if you had any parting thoughts.

Ichibadass:
I think the biggest point to make there is, has an organization hoping to put together a plat– uh, a program to take on whether it’s casual gamers, intermediate professional gamers, influencers, to educate themselves on the individuals that they want to collaborate with. Now I’m not going to say like work with, because yes, in a way, if you’re running a nonprofit, you’re looking at a business relationship, but you also want to establish a program that the individuals that you’re working with, these influencers, these gamers feel a part of, they feel moved to follow the banner in which you are carrying. That is why some of the, the current charity organizations in the gaming space do so well is when you mentioned them a lot, even, even casual gamers on the streaming platforms will be like, Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that charity thing. I don’t know a lot about it or how to fundraise for it. But yeah, I know it that like any new programs being introduced into this space can take advantage of the thought process of that. Anybody can raise money for charity. Anybody can start fundraising today. Although it wouldn’t be as optimized as somebody who’s seasoned fundraising charity, right. But with the right education and tools in place, it is true that, you know, any gamer can raise at least a dollar for the charity. And that’s, that’s still money that that organization didn’t have before right now, times that by the countless number of gamers in the world, you know, if, if what is it there’s more than 700 million gamers, uh, just playing, what is it if it wasn’t world of Warcraft,

Alyssa:
I know that PUBG is I think one of the biggest games in the world because it got picked up really huge in the Asian market. And for those of you listening, we’ll be doing an episode in the future to discern like, what’s it like working with an influencer that makes gaming content versus working with a game company or the gaming industry to really take advantage of the number of, of gamers there are.

Ichibadass:
But it’s like, if you took all the gamers, I was like, hey, just raise a dollar. Right. And there’s 700 million gamers that are interested in your organization and they all just raise a buck, that’s 700 million dollars right there, like,

Alyssa:
yeah. And in this regard, you know, it’s not even that they have to raise it themselves. Are you working with maybe a game developer that can help with something that’s willing to donate proceeds from, from something in game, but we’re going on a tangent there.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. So this is definitely covered a wide range of subjects and not just gamer or influencer or, uh, I guess more so not being just a gamer, like not just a gamer.

Alyssa:
Yeah. That’s, that’s going to be a new hashtag. I’m going to, I’m going to trend, not just a gamer.

Ichibadass:
That’s true. That’s true though. That’s just the gamer for charity. Yeah. Or any organization.

Alyssa:
Absolutely. I mean, marketing firms wouldn’t look at, at folks playing video games on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, or Mixer and offering them brand deals. If they thought that the only thing they were capable of is just playing a video game.

Ichibadass:
Cause it’s more than just gaming.

Alyssa:
Yeah. So thanks again, Ichi for joining us on the, on the show today. I see us as if there’s another person. I think that’s just an inclusive language I’ve adopted. Um, but thanks again for joining the, the show today and for the folks listening, if they wanted to check out your content and see what you’re about, where could they find you?

Ichibadass:
The best place to find me would be on Twitter, actually Twitter.com/IchibadassTV, Or they can check out my streaming platform that I play video games on and entertain my community at twitch.tv/ichibadass. Ichi, as in Japanese for number one, Ichi bad-ass and not itchy that you might require a cream for.

Alyssa:
And so if you’re interested in learning about speed running or, or joining the cast and the chat, I will say that having been a part of, um, each is community for a while now, uh, it’s chats, very welcoming, lots of memes, mostly wholesome, pretty great experience. And thanks so much for joining us today.

Ichibadass:
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Outro
Alyssa:
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode and if you enjoy the show please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues. You can find Influencer Fundraising the Podcast on Spotify, Overcast and many more. If you’d like to be a guest on the show or have an idea for an episode please head to www.influencerfundraising.com for more information. 

Thanks for listening and stay curious.

Ep. 1 What is an influencer?

Episode Description
This week we dive into the topic of influencers. What they are and how gaming (and technology) helped to shape things. I’m joined by James aka Jimothy who handles EMEA Partnerships for PUBG.  If you’d like to be a guest on the show or have an idea for an episode head to influencerfundraising.com for more information.

The following transcript is done by Temi. Temi is an ai robot based transcription service.

[INTRO]
Alyssa:
Thanks for tuning in, I’m your host Alyssa Sweetman and you’re listening to Influencer Fundraising the Podcast. A podcast for the curious nonprofit professional who wants to take their digital fundraising strategy to the next level. Each episode I’ll bring on a guest to discuss a question as it relates to influencers and digital fundraising. 


For the purpose of this episode, I’d like to go over some terms you’ll hear me reference in this episode and in future episodes:

  • Content Creator – somebody who creates content with the intention of consumption. 
  • Streamer is a content creator who creates and streams live content, usually interactive.
  • Sometimes you might hear others refer to streamers as gamers. While this is true that a lot of streamers play video games that is not their sole role as a streamer. Nor do all the gamers in the world stream. We’ll have an episode on this in the future.
  • Sometimes you’ll hear references to a specific program on Twitch called the Partner Program where individuals who qualify are called Partners. Twitch describes the Partner Program as being for those who are committed to streaming and are ready to level up from Affiliate. You can learn more about it on Twitch.tv slash P slash Partners. 

This week we’ll be diving into the question “what is an influencer with our guest?”

Alyssa:
Hi, thanks for coming on the show this week, James.

James:
Yep. No problem at all. Happy to be here.

Alyssa:
Yeah. So we’ll be, we’ll be tackling the question today. What is an influencer with our guest, James, but before we do that, James, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself, your history and what you do now?

James:
My name is James. Um, I’ve worked in the games industry for roughly seven or eight years now. Uh, started out at a mobile company in Germany. Uh, I then worked at Ubisoft as a community manager for a couple of years, and now I work at PUBG as an influence manager.

Alyssa:
Very cool. Very cool. And, how are you doing today or this year?

James:
Okay. All things considered with the state of the year right now? Um, yeah. All right. I’d say all right.

Alyssa:
That’s all we can hope for with a year, like 2020. Yeah.

James:
I mean, I’m still alive. That’s a good thing.

Alyssa:
What, a bar to set!

James:
Yeah, exactly. I’m alive. It’s fine. Yeah.

Alyssa:
Well, thanks again for joining me to tackle a topic. What is an influencer? And I think this is really perfect. Um, so to get started, how would you describe what an influencer is to somebody who’s never heard the term before?

James:
So at influence, uh, is it’s pretty much just in the name. It’s pretty much in the title. Um, they are people with a large platform usually that can influence the decisions of others.

Alyssa:
It’s pretty simple,

James:
Pretty straightforward. Yeah. It’s uh, it’s, it’s, it’s one of those it’s, it’s, it’s just in the name.

Alyssa:
So simple. That it’s hard.

James:
Yeah, exactly.

Alyssa:
And in your role at PUBG, do y’all work with different sizes of influencers?

James:
I mean, like influence sort of has a scale, you know, like someone can have their own smaller community, but still be an influencer in their own. Right. You know, and we work with, we work with a bunch, like we work with a bunch of people from like low level, I’d say low level, even small people, um, to the larger sort of, you know, more mainstream, um, influencers, but they all have their own, you know, they all have their own platform. They all have their own communities that look up to them. So they’re all influencers in their own. Right.

Alyssa:
Yeah, absolutely. Um, and when working with these different sized communities, one of the questions asked is, are influencers that are micro sized or nano size, the smaller influencers, um, are they capable of moving the needle with their communities?

James:
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that regardless of the size of someone there, they, as I say, they still have a bunch of people who look up to them. And so, you know, that they are part of that community and they respect what they have to say like that, as I say, influenced by what they have to say. Um, so I think regardless they can absolutely, um, they can absolutely have an effect.

Alyssa:
And what, what are some, I guess, learnings you’ve had working with influencers, like along the way, some things you wish you knew, some things that you never would have thought of.

James:
Um, one thing that I think is it’s something that I kind of, um, learned very early on. Um, and it’s something that I know a lot of companies don’t really understand, um, that the, although influencers do a lot of marketing work, you know, um, but at the end of the day, they are people running their own job. Um, they’re doing their own thing. They are all people with their own sort of, um, views, their own, uh, backgrounds. So I think it’s important to keep that in mind, um, when it, you know, whenever working with them. Um, yeah. And it’s, I’m trying to think of over the main learnings, to be honest with you, like, it’s been pretty, pretty good so far, to be honest, I, uh, I enjoy working with them, but that human element is a big thing because, you know, you can, you can pay an advertising agency, you can pay a marketing agency, you know, like, and that’s just, you know, that’ll just get done. Whereas with this kind of stuff, you really need to remember that these are people at the end of the day as well, you know, you, you’re working with them and you need to collaborate with them and talk to them.

Alyssa:
Yeah. So, um, what I’m hearing is there’s, there’s a big opportunity to lean into that authenticity and the fact that they’re human and not a faceless company.

James:
Absolutely. And I mean, I know a lot of, um, a lot of influences that I’ve worked with have of prided themselves on, you know, working on things and promoting things that they themselves, um, believe in, or, you know, even if it comes to a product it’s usually like a product that they enjoy or something that they enjoy, like, uh, in terms of the game stream is games that they enjoyed playing. Um, so I think, yeah, it has that real sort of authentic human element to it.

Alyssa:
Yeah, absolutely. So what’s some of the, if you, if you can recall any, some of the cooler activations you’ve seen influencers do either, either that you’ve worked on with yourself or just in general,

James:
Um, this is a difficult one. Let me, let me, let me think on this one.

Alyssa:
No worries. Um, I think some of the ones I like seeing are the, the edited Twitter posts people do, um, there’s a Twitch partner named friskk that does some really cool edited videos. I remember when she first got partnered with DXRacer, she made this video like that she was getting ready to go on a date with her chair.

James:
Yeah. I think the more creative ones in general, the more creative campaigns, whether that’s sort of, you know, from our side as companies or from the sort of mind of the influencers, themselves are always the most interesting ones because, you know, it’s, and it’s not a slight on and like anything, that’s just an advertisement, you know, like people have advertised or promotional streams and stuff and, you know, that’s grand like it’s completely fine. But I think that the creative ones are definitely like, I like to give people creative freedom, especially when I’m working with them. Um, because you know, these at the end of the day, a lot of these influences are creators and that’s kind of where they built a platform, whether you know, where they got their fans, where everything is as a career for them. Um, so that they’re the creative minds. So I like to give them, you know, maybe like a foundation, but give them like a real chance to be creative and do the, you know, do their own thing.

Alyssa:
Yeah. I think, I think that’s a big, a big thing. Not, not even just, um, nonprofits or charities that I work with. One of the bigger things I see, well specifically with nonprofits and charities is these, they get these creative agencies that don’t really know how to work with influencers. Um, they’re kind of more like celebrity talent, um, less authentic, authentic type programs. And then these nonprofits will hire them to do an influencer fundraising campaign with Twitch, streamers or YouTubers. And it won’t do very well. And what I find is that they just, they give so very specific instructions. It, it doesn’t matter who the influencer is.. it’s not going to work.

James:
I think when you do that, when you sort of, you know, really make things super specific and sort of, um, you, you, you, you cook creativity in that way. You know, like giving just a baseline of like, obviously, um, as a company, you, you know, you have something in mind that you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve with this campaign. Like whether that’s to, you know, advertise a new update, advertise product, you have something in mind. But I think giving this creative freedom, you get so much better results, like so much better results because at the end of the day, I feel like you could give anybody, um, a script and say, Hey, do that. And it’s, it doesn’t have that authenticity to it. It’s just like, you know, hi, I love the product. It’s great. You know, it wasn’t really a doesn’t have that human element. I think the human element is the big thing about influences as a whole. It’s the big surrounding bubble.

Alyssa:
Yeah. And I would, I would say that also it’s internet influencer, that idea, I think YouTube is probably where people started really getting a following. I remember in high school, my friends would show me these YouTubers with crazy amounts of followers. That would be the most annoying things. And they’d be like, I love this. And I’m like, why? They’re like, because it’s funny. And I’m like, Oh, okay. And I was like, this isn’t going to last well….here here we are.

James:
I feel like, um, I mean the, the space has grown so quickly. I remember the same thing. I remember being younger, you know, just at the start of the YouTube days when there was, I mean, even things like new grounds and stuff like that, you know, and people were starting to transfer all these flash animations and stuff over to YouTube. And the space was so much different than it is now, but still back then, you know, it was people with a platform like people follow these people and we’re like, you know, I like this guy’s videos. It’s whether that’s dancing baby or like, you know, some sort of music video.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Before. And I remember even before, um, YouTube, there was flash websites with edited content. Like there was joecartoon and illwillpress

James:
All the classics

Alyssa:
All of, all of these things that if they started today, probably, you know, with the technology to make them even better. And I know illwillpress still making content.

James:
Um, they’re, they’re all still a lot of people from that phase that sort of do keep going. Um, and I think it would be entirely different with the sort of social media driven, um, industry that we have right now. Like if they had started now with all these platforms and ways to sort of, you know, spreads the sort of, um, content I reckon, it’d be like insane. Some of these people would be on, you know, ridiculous follow numbers.

James:
Oh yeah. That’s a, that’s a good point. Because back then it was really, must’ve been really hard to get the word out

James:
I mean, I’m just, I’m just remember it from being younger myself, you know, it was very closed space. It was just, you knew someone at someone you knew at school or something would say, Hey, have you seen this? Or, you know, have you checked out this website? Oh, you you’d go on new grounds and see what was like the daily animation or something. And you go and check that out. I think it was all, it was all word of mouth pretty much. Like we didn’t have much contact with each other across the net.

Alyssa:
Yeah. And tabletop games started via email and in forums on the internet, but that’s a really cool one. Someone told me that the first multiplayer online games were all through email and I was like, what? They’re like, yeah. It would be a chain email, and people would just take turns and just forward it around.

James:
I just remember back in the day, like role and on forums, you know, and just you go to bed and like, Oh, it’s if they replied, if they someone done the next move yet, you know?

Alyssa:
Yeah. For me, I’m excited for NeoPets

James:
It’s coming to mobile Neopets.

Alyssa:
It is. But they do their website because their website is garbage.

James:
It’s super old. If I had, if I had had smartphones as a kid, especially with, uh, like Neopets on well that would, my time would have been gone, I would have been like sunk in that forever.

Alyssa:
Yeah. It was, it was crazy. And there is even, I remember there is even, um, rankings of people who played Neopets. So in a way there was kind of Neo pet influencers that you could reach out to and trade with.

James:
And again, I imagine, imagine if that was in the sort of space we had now, you know, like if it had launched, now there would be Neo pets channels, like dedicated channels with either information or entertaining content. Yeah. There would be like, like there is for Pokemon like this, you know, people who focus entirely on Pokemon,

Alyssa:
This is true. The internet is a crazy place. And technology is growing at an exponential rate. If you think about the time it took us to get from the industrial while pretty much everything after the industrial revolution has been ramping up very exponentially. But before that technology was really spaced out.

James:
It’s one of the things I always think about my childhood is that I grew up in a time where technology was just every single year. Pretty much. I felt like we had some sort of major advancement. I just, I mean, obviously I really, everything that games, consoles, like as I was growing up, I remember having the game boy with the sort of like, you know, having these a little torch to be able to see it at night. And then two years later it’s like, okay, here’s a cooler version of that. Like, Hmm. Okay. Yep. They had to wait. I remember the SP I’m getting the game boy advance SP back in the day.

Alyssa:
I think the last Game boy I got was game boy advanced. It was the pink one and had a backlight. It was super exciting. Played the heck out of some harvest moon.

James:
Good times…. Hiding it under the pillow. When my parents would come into my room and see if I’m awake.

Alyssa:
That’s funny. Did you ever have those… They were called scanners.

James:
I vaguely remember that. Are they the ones where you scan barcodes and you get like monsters out of them? Yeah, I remember that. .

Alyssa:
My, my, my aunt got me and my cousin now, but then she hated it because he’d always wanted to go to the grocery store. Right. We’re just scanning random things.

James:
To be honest, I don’t envy the kids now because I think everything’s just in like, you know, one place really like, everything’s so connected that you can have like a mobile or like a games console and you have everything, but there was so many of these, I think like, I mean, if you grew up in a similar, to me, it was all these attempts at making interactive stuff. And a lot of it revolved around just basic things like barcodes. And I remember I had a, I had a monster rancher game on the PlayStation one where you would put CDs into the PlayStation and it would generate a monster from like the CD.

Alyssa:
Okay. I had a PlayStation 1 but I have no idea what you’re talking about.

James:
It was super cool. I remember, um, cause my mother had like a big collection of CDs. Um, and I would just sit in front of the console, put one in a at a time. It would do like the whole loading screens, like okay. Put your CD in, you know? Okay. It’s scanning. I don’t know. I don’t know why, like each CD wasn’t even random. It was all, it was almost like assigned, it was super weird. Like certain CDs, you know, were guaranteed to have certain things on them. I remember using my mom’s CHER CD and it had like this amazing giant like rock golden thing. And I was just like, can I have this mom, can I have this CHER CD in case I need to use it again?

Alyssa:
That’s, that’s hilarious.

James:
I think innovations because things are still, you know, innovative nowadays. But I definitely think, um, if I think back then there was a lot more sort of attempts at trying new stuff. It’s probably super lame nowadays if they’re released it you know.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Yeah. I, I do think that like, it was kind of cool to grow up when they were still trying to get everything going out and now I look at some of the stuff and it’s cool, but it’s all super technology based. It’s like learn how to code as a kid. And it’s like, okay, but which one of these things is going to get them outside?

James:
I mean, and in a way it’s a, in a way it’s kind of, you know, it’s, I guess, I guess for this generation growing up with it though, it is just what they know just as it was with the same with us, you know, like it was just what we know. Um, I, I’m definitely, like, I definitely think that kids have a lot more opportunity to learn things, um, with the sort of power of the internet and the stuff that we have nowadays, you know? Cause I would, I would just read books. That like my dad had lying around or I would just hear stories from my mother and that’s how I was learned stuff, you know, outside of school.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Oh man, that makes me think of like kids today also have their own version of influencers. Like there’s YouTube kids.

James:
It’s one of the biggest turning people on YouTube, like a kid with a toy review channel.

Alyssa:
Yeah. He started it when he was like five and now he’s got a tv show

James:
I’m 28. I’ve got nothing where’s mine.

Alyssa:
I’m right there with you

James:
Yeah. I hate that kid.

Alyssa:
I’ve never been jealous of a five year old before but…. Yeah. And we also live in a, like a hypersensitive generation too, where I think our generation having kids now is trying to figure out how to make their kid famous and totally can understand, you know, the pluses to that. But also I’m like recently, um, my partner John is really big into the data hygiene and data democracy and protecting it. And as I’ve gotten older, I’m like, you know, as much as I would love to make a million dollars off my kid, I also don’t want everyone to know every little thing about them before they can talk.

James:
Yeah. For me, I mean, it’s like, it’s one of those things that I personally, um, I don’t feel it’s very like ethical, uh, in, in my eyes anyway. Um, just because I, I dunno, I think having a kid is a very, like, it’s a special thing. Right. And I don’t know, I wouldn’t feel comfortable. So I, I don’t, I don’t know. I feel like it’s the same way. It’s like a, you’re trying to live out your dreams for a child. Like, Hey, I could, I, I was never a big content creator, uh, his, uh, his Fortnite and I think it’s his YouTube like, go, go nuts.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Um, another influencer I saw, she talked with her kid, her daughter, she had been posting about her daughter, but I guess, um, a story she’d shared about her daughter and her Twitter, her daughter, wasn’t okay with it. And I thought it was really cool. One that she shared her story of her daughter letting her know, like I really would have preferred not to have that story shared on the internet. And her daughter I think is, you know, like 10 or 12. And so, you know, and this influencer shared that all posts now are cleared by her daughter if they reference her and things like that. And I think that’s a really cool way to one, you know, teach consent about posting things. Because I think since we grew up with it, this idea of, I remember you would take a photo when Facebook first came out and people would be like, don’t post it and then they’d be like, well, I’m going to post it anyways. So I think that’s a really cool thing.

James:
Totally agree. I totally agree. I think it’s, um, it’s also, it’s, it’s odd, but very interesting in a way that, um, to think back and think, you know, when I was growing up, um, all the sort of, you know, photos and all that stuff, my family just have them that physical, that just things that we have at home. Um, but there’ll be kids like in this generation that will reach a certain age. And you know, when they’ll start to learn about that, you know, the internet and how it works and stuff, and it’s like, Oh, that’s like my childhood pitches are all in this like, folder on like a computer, like all they’re all on the internet. Like, Hey, that’s, that’s me, you know, like,

Alyssa:
Yeah. And, and when you would bring home your school photos, you would mail one to all your relatives. Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting. I still enjoy getting photos printed, but they don’t, it’s not, it’s still just like those instant ones getting like high quality full of photos developed as a little bit harder.

James:
Yeah. And I think, I mean, I like the fact that nowadays, um, we can sort of take pictures and document things a lot easier. Um, I mean, you know, like when, when, when I was growing up, my parents had to take a proper, proper camera with them. If they wanted to take a photo or something and then get it developed. Whereas, you know, nowadays it’s like, Oh, Hey, here’s this cool thing. I take a high quality picture, bang. Yeah. It’s crazy. It’s like, I, it’s just, it’s so weird to me that we can like, especially my, I have like a very decent phone now. Um, I’ve been taking pictures with it, just, you know, just walking around or like pictures of food that I’ve cooked or whatever. And it just, it’s so odd to me that I can just click and I’m like, Hey, it looks pretty good. I can just press the button one time. Like I don’t need to edit that. Like that’s all right. It looks kinda good.

Alyssa:
I’m trying to picture like 30, 30 years ago, my parents being like, Oh, this this meal looks good go get the camera

James:
And then going to develop next week. Yeah.

Alyssa:
Yeah. It’s so, so funny. You wouldn’t think of wasting a photo of on something like that

James:
Yeah, exactly. It’s like, how many photos do we have left? Like we have, okay. We have 20 left in the role, make them count.

Alyssa:
Yeah. That’s, that’s so crazy. And I think, I think, you know, the documentation, the connectivity, the internet, the overall desire to connect. And I think one of the things I like about the internet is all technology, in my opinion, is it’s agnostic. It’s neither good nor bad. Just how people use it. What I love about the internet is that people may feel in their lives that there’s nobody, that they can connect to you on a one and an in person level, but they’re able to find, you know, other people like them on the internet. And I think that’s what makes influencers so powerful is that ability that human element

James:
Absolutely. I mean, um, I grew up with myself, um, you know, always sort of having the sort of less cool hobbies, uh, growing up, you know, you really like me and my friends are, there’s like a group of about three or four of us. And we spent every lunchtime, like in the library playing magic, the gathering, playing like, you know,Warhammer with our maths teacher as to what got, you know, like probably as lame as you can get. But then as soon as, uh, you know, and that started becoming more of a bigger thing, we started getting involved in sort of like online gaming communities. I remember trying to explain it to my parents when I was younger. It was like, you know, like, Oh, who are you talking to? Oh, this dude from Norway. He’s like, who’s that like, how are you doing that? Like,

Alyssa:
Yeah. Um, I will, I will say I definitely learned a lot about how I should have been guided being on the internet, you know, it’s new the idea of being able to do bad things wasn’t really on people’s minds. It was new and fancy,

James:
I think. So I think it’s, I mean, that’s always been one of those things. It’s like, um, it’s brilliant, but also, you know, there are a lot more sort of, uh, dangerous and stuff that we’ve opened ourselves up to for it.

Alyssa:
Yeah. It’s like, it’s like driving a car. No one actively thinks very much anymore about all the dangers that are involved and because you do it every day. And I think that’s the same thing with the internet. It’s so a part of our lives, we don’t think much about it.

James:
It’s all to think of a time. Um, when we didn’t have the internet, when it wasn’t just a core part of my life, you know, like even like a smartphone, like waking up in the morning just to check the news and, you know, see if I got any messages I don’t. Oh, I see. I’m trying to, I’m trying to stay away from my emails. Like when I’m, when I’m, when I’m not at work, I’m usually like, okay, you know, unless I’m waiting for a package, if I’m waiting for a package, I’m checking my emails every five minutes. Cause I was trying to see where, where it’s at.

Alyssa:
I don’t know what it is about email, but I just want it so badly to stay at zero. And every night I go to sleep, it’s, it’s a low number. And then every morning it’s like, I didn’t do anything

James:
I’m so bad for that. Uh, I leave my emails, um, and I don’t even Mark them as read. So, uh, yeah. My personal Gmail account right now is a 2,718. unread emails.

Alyssa:
It hurts.

James:
I mean, I could mark all as read

Alyssa:
Yeah. I think, uh, I just like to be really on top of things. And the one thing I liked about email is it’s so trackable. It’s all there. And so I tend to like steer pretty heavily to communicating via email. And I know like we’re reaching a generation where they’re like email that’s archaic.

James:
Exactly.

Alyssa:
It’s still the most effective internet form of communication because yeah.

James:
Yeah. That’s the thing it’s like, it’s having that paper trail. Right. It’s having that paper trail just yeah,

Alyssa:
No like, but Snapchat me. And I’m like, I’m gonna forget midway through our conversation, what we’re talking about on Snapchat and I’m not going to be able to read it. I don’t want your Snapchat.

James:
That’s like all these platforms. All right. I guess so I sound like such a boomer right now. There’s like, there’s all these, there’s so many platforms. It’s like, Oh yeah. Hey bro, get me on, get me on this. I’m like, yeah, but I use this. Yeah. But I use that. So, you know, if you want to talk to me. Yeah.

Alyssa:
That’s old we don’t use that anymore. It’s it’s came out in the last five years. What do you mean? Don’t use it anywhere also. Snapchat is just one of those things I just don’t get because it’s like you can send messages and photos through your messaging app on your phone.

James:
You know, it’s, it’s its own thing now. I mean, I I’m, I’m kinda, I’m kinda glad that the online gaming community is all embraced discord because it’s nice to have one platform. But when, um, when I was growing up and playing a lot of games online, it was always okay. What, what we connect into? Oh, we, we use TeamSpeak. Oh, we use mumble, you know, we use ventrillo and you got all these applications. Okay. For that group of friends. Which one was it again? Like

Alyssa:
When I got really into online gaming, it was late 20 end of 2014 and it was through a Facebook group and there is like a small number of people that we were always talking. And so we were like, we’re going to get TeamSpeak. And so one of the people in the group set up a team speak, but he would be at work and it, his server would update in the middle of what we were doing every time. So that’s when we started on the downloading, everything we can think of. And we tried them all until we landed on discord. So I’ve actually been on discord since shortly after they launched. And I couldn’t, it didn’t have hardly any features when we first downloaded it. I don’t even remember what features it had, if any, other than connect to voice and type in chat.

James:
I like that. I remember the text, the text to speech though.

Alyssa:
Uh, when that first came out and people started doing it, I hated it. I turned that off automatically and every single, every single Thing. And I totally get, it’s a free accessibility feature for anyone that might be, but too many trolls you’d be, you’d be streaming or doing something and forget it would be open. And all of a sudden, some random comment and you’d be like … where is that coming from?

James:
I remember that was like a, I don’t know if it was removed for those a part of discord right. Back in the day, I say back in the day as if… it’s still there. I remember I remember being on discord and then you just, you know, you would just hear some it’s like, wait, where’s that coming from? You checking all your tabs. So I do I have a video, open something like, Oh, I, Oh no, we don’t like, it’s just someone typing things.

Alyssa:
I think either it either got phased out of being the troll thing to do or it’s not on by default anymore.

James:
Yeah, I think it might just be off by default. Yeah. But it’s a communication platforms are changing. Yeah. We’ve been, we’ve been chatting about being old for a while.

Alyssa:
Uh, yeah. Uh, welcome to boomer one Oh one for millennials.

James:
Although I, all the zoomers man I there, I talked to like my younger cousin. So like how, how do you know that? Or like, why, you know, why, why are you downloading all these different apps and stuff? And like, ugh you just won’t get it your old. I am not all like, I am not old. I am young and sprightly and

Alyssa:
Knee high to a grasshopper, Okay. Yeah. Well, it’s, it’s a good thing to do zoomers. Aren’t the target demographic to this podcast…because they would have already turned it off.

James:
Very true. Because they’d be like like a minute in and you know, I haven’t said like lit or smash that subscribed yet. And so they’d be gone.

Alyssa:
You heard it folks. Don’t forget to subscribe.

James:
Smash that like.

Alyssa:
It’s yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s insane. Um, so James, thanks for, thanks for coming on today. It’s been a lot of fun.

Alyssa:
Um, and if you just had any last parting wisdom that you wanted to share with our audience, with working with, um, influencers.

James:
Yeah. I mean, so in terms of working with influences, I would absolutely reiterate what I said before. Um, and just remember that there is that human element, you know, like build connections with people, um, people aren’t tools, they’re not just, you know, advertisements. Um, these are actual people doing a job, and I think it’s super important to remember that and to work with them, um, like on that level to really connect with them. And I think getting into like, you mean getting slightly industry as a whole or like this kind of work.

Alyssa:
I would say that it’s more about, so nonprofits listening to this podcast are going to be thinking about how can I work with influencers? How can I work with gamers? How can I work with streamers? And so kind of demystifying what it means to work with those groups. And so when thinking of an influencer, thinking of just, um, that’s probably the most asked question is how do I work with influencers? How do I identify them? And I always just tell people if their emails are public just email them.

James:
I absolutely agree with that. I mean, just reach out to the, a lot of them, you know, a lot of influencers, a lot of content creators, um, have these email addresses or just ways to contact them, like in their Twitter bios, um, in their Instagram, you know, they, they, they usually have some form of contact, whether that’s for their management, for the larger ones or directly with the sort of smaller, more midtier ones, um, just reach out. I think it’s always just good to reach out. I mean, you know, like the worst that can happen is someone who’s just not interested, which is fine, completely fine. Um, and you’ll, you’ll find a lot of people are very, very interested just to speak to you about it. You know, people like to do like to do things for charity. They enjoy that. It’s, you know, people, especially in the, um, the streamer space, there’s a lot of good charity drives a lot of good things that go on on that space. Um, and people are very willing to, um, you just have to reach out to them, you know, just as I say, remember that these are people as well, and they just want to have a chat like that. They should be down for a chat.

Alyssa:
Yeah, absolutely. Everyone is extremely helpful and James, where can our audience, if they wanted to get in touch with you or PUBG what would be best.

James:
So you can find me on Twitter, um, uh, @JimothyTv, um, or you can find me on Twitch, twitch.tv/jimothyz I’m on Twitter. I have my DMS open as well. So if anyone actually does, you know, want to get in touch, um, has any additional questions, I’m more than happy to answer them.

Alyssa:
See, he doesn’t like email.

James:
I mean, well, I have so many unread emails that I usually just like, you know, pizza promotion.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Over, over 2000 unread emails.

James:
Yeah. It’ll take me a while to get for, you know, the Amazon orders, like the Domino’s pizza receipts. But yeah, if anyone, if anyone does have any additional questions, do you feel free to reach out to me I’m more than happy to, we’re happy to talk. Always happy to talk about like my job to talk about the industry, just to talk in general, you know, I’m lonely (joke).

Alyssa:
That is a note to end. Thank you again for coming on.

James:
Thank you very much for having me.

Alyssa:
While I hope this gave you some great insights I’ll be using Influencer Marketing Hub’s definition that you can refer to when you think of the word Influencer on this show.

An influencer is someone who has:

  • the power to affect the purchasing decisions (or in this case affect donations) of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
  • a following in a distinct niche, with whom they actively engage. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche. I will often refer to three main types: macro (or more commonly called mega) influencers, micro influencers and nano influencers.

It is important to note that these individuals are not merely marketing or fundraising tools, but rather
Individuals with a social presence who if they believe in you and your mission can wield their audience for good. 

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode and if you enjoy the show please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues. You can find Influencer Fundraising the Podcast on Spotify, Overcast and many more. If you’d like to be a guest on the show or have an idea for an episode please head to www.influencerfundraising.com for more information. 

Thanks for listening and stay curious.

Early Covid-19 Charity Education Panels

When Covid-19 first hit hard with shelter in place, I was all of a sudden inundated with charities wanting to understand charity and Twitch. I hosted several panels with influencers and one with Tiltify.

These were hosted with speed in mind over production. The panels were recorded using Google Meet after a federal mandate of social distancing and IRL events were cancelled – please excuse the tech issues.

Join Alyssa Sweetman as she moderators a panel with Twitch streamers TheOnlyRyann, PleasantlyTwstd and DMPeyer. The streamers discuss what goes into their preparation for when they do a charity stream and what things they like to see out of charities
.
This was recorded on March 17, 2020.
Join Alyssa Sweetman as she moderators a panel with Twitch streamers GamrEnchantment, PleasantlyTwstd and DMPeyer. The streamers discuss what goes into their preparation for when they do a charity stream and what things they like to see out of charities.
This was recorded on March 25, 2020.
Join Alyssa Sweetman as she moderators a panel with Twitch streamers GamrEnchantment, PleasantlyTwstd and DMPeyer. The streamers discuss what goes into their preparation for when they do a charity stream and what things they like to see out of charities.

This was recorded on March 27, 2020
Join Alyssa Sweetman as she moderators a panel with Twitch streamers TkBreezy, PleasantlyTwstd, DMPeyer and special guest from LATINX in Gaming, Cristina. This panel dives into what their experiences have been like working with organizations as people of color in the gaming and content creation space.

This was recorded on April 2, 2020
Join Alyssa Sweetman as she moderators a panel with Tiltify Charity Success Managers Daniel “iKasperr” Bong, Ashley “Ashleeeeen” Mandel and Brian Montgomery. Listen in as we discuss some frequently asked questions by charities new to the space.

This was recorded on March 27, 2020

Influencer Fundraising the podcast

I’m excited to launch my podcast Influencer Fundraising in July 2020. This podcast we will explore what is influencer fundraising, why is it successful, and how can nonprofits leverage this growing trend in the charitable giving and fundraising space.

Each episode we’ll explore one question with a guest from the industry. If you’d like to be a guest or send in a question to be answered on the podcast fill out this form.

Starting off we’ll record two episodes a month and you can listen to Influencer Fundraising the podcast on Spotify or where ever you enjoy listening to podcasts. Looking forward to learning together.

Listen Here

Hire an Influencer Fundraising Program Manager

One of the best things you can do when your organization starts down the path of creating an influencer fundraising program is to hire a person to manage that program.

Anecdotally, each charity I have worked with that invested in a program manager saw results faster than those who did not, and they saw more repeat fundraisers than those who did not. While organizations may call the role something different, the role is roughly the same across most organizations.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that I have received regarding hiring an influencer fundraising program manager:

What exactly is an influencer fundraising program manager? The job of this individual is to work with online content creators/influencers, online communities, and organizations to recruit digital fundraisers and execute custom fundraising activations.

What’s the difference between an influencer fundraising program manager and a community manager? A community manager is similar to a program manager in that they both focus on working with external parties and executing programs; however, community manager is a relatively new title and is concentrated in the gaming / influencer sphere. In general, a program manager often has additional responsibilities beyond a community manager’s role such as exploring fundraising opportunities with any and all digital influencers rather than just gaming. That said, many use the terms interchangeably.

Does the individual I hire need to be a streamer? No, they just need to be well versed in social media platforms, general marketing strategies, and why they care about your cause.

What background would be ideal for candidates? Good starting places include Influencer Marketing, Community Management, Brand Campaign Managers, and (non-technical) Program Managers. You’re looking for somebody who has strong communication skills and a high emotional intelligence.

Who would this person report to in my organization? The same person your social media manager reports to (but not the social media manager directly). It’s also important to note that community managers are not social media managers. You can learn more about the difference on Sprout Social.

What kind of goals should I set for this position? While output goals can be a good metric (number of fundraisers in a year or amount raised in a year), the best goals to measure the success of this role are input goals. Examples include:

  • Number of new influencers reached out to over a given period.
  • Number of returning influencers reached out to over a given period.
  • Prepare monthly / quarterly reports.
  • Specific initiatives such as working with a team of influencers on an activation once a quarter
  • Identifying key events to travel to and the goals for each trip.

If I hire an influencer part-time to take on this role, what kind of boundaries and expectations should I have?

  • Workload expectations – You may decide to hire an influencer that is still in the throes of their career, and without setting expectations your cause may not be a priority. Be very clear on the boundaries and expectations as well as the goals you’d like to work towards.
  • Consultant vs community manager – If you hire a part-time consultant, note that you’re paying for a review of the work you’re doing and feedback on how it may be received by other influencers. Consultants are not expected to act as community managers or represent your organization on their social media.

At the end of the day you’re going to have to decide what you want this role to be at your organization. As long as you remain flexible and open as the role develops within your organization, you’re set up for success.

Sample Job Description

The Influencer Fundraising Program Manager (or Community Manager) will work with online content creators/influencers, online communities, and organizations. The ideal candidate has a customer service mentality, rich history with awareness campaigns, charity events, or influencer campaigns, a passion for working with influencers, and the desire to combine those qualities into an exciting career.

Responsibilities

  • Assist content creators/influencers, online communities, and organizations in creating and executing upon a variety of content opportunities
  • Educate content creators in best practices for utilizing our tools and resources
  • Manage and strengthen relationships with existing influencer fundraisers
  • Identify key ambassadors for the organization.
  • Work with the Marketing team to identify brand safe content creators/influencers, online communities, and organizations events.
  • Work with brands in gaming and influencer marketing to identify possible campaigns.

Requirements

  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively and accurately under pressure
  • Detail-oriented, organized, flexible, and highly motivated
  • Excellent collaboration skills and proven ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Polished communication and customer service skills
  • Love of content creation and influencers
  • Ability to travel to various events as needed
  • Love of learning and growth mindset

Bonus Points

  • Experience with organizing or coordinating live-streamed charity events
  • Familiarity with the fundraising platform Tiltify 
  • Familiarity with Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, and TikTok
  • Strong existing relationships within the online community
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university

Interested in connecting with influencers who want to take on this role at your organization? Shoot me an email at alyssa@influencerfundraising.com with the subject: Influencer Fundraising Program Manager Role. If you’re an influencer and you’d like to add your resume to the pool, please email me your resume with the same subject line.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital pivoted when Covid-19 canceled their annual summit and you can too!

On March 9th St. Jude announced that the annual in-person Play Live Summit would need to be replaced with an all new digital experience due to the growing concerns of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. 

The St. Jude Play Live Summit is a tradition that started in 2015 with 15 individuals (crying and) walking the halls of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Since then the summit has become a gathering kindred spirits who believe in the mission of St. Jude.

The fist St. Jude Play Live Summit | Spring 2015

That belief in the St. Jude mission and the impact of seeing the work and research done at the hospital has given thousands of influencers the power of authentic story telling and last year in the month of May those same influencers crushed a $2 million community goal.

So with the summit cancelled St. Jude pivoted quickly and created an amazing “summit in a box”.

Inside the box are tools to learn about St. Jude, things to share with your community, and fundraising challenge tools.

St. Jude didn’t need to go as far as providing fundraising challenge tools (incentives/rewards). They could have sent a much smaller box focused on just providing learning materials focused on St. Jude and their mission.

The VR experience showcasing a “no more chemo” party (my personal favorite) and AR patient artwork was more than enough to pull at my heartstrings.

Instead of just asking influencers to fundraise for them, they took the time to set them up for success. You likely have heard me talk about impact statements and St. Jude arms their influencers to the teeth with them.

The summit in a box included all the supplies for influencers to include the fundamental donation incentives. Most seasoned influencers already have these items on hand.

Take aways

It is unrealistic to expect that a “summit in a box” is something your nonprofit will be able to execute on right off the get-go; however, there are key learnings you can take back to your team.

All of the creative ideas you have ever wanted to try are now possible with influencers.

One of the biggest wins you get to experience when it comes to working with influencers is all of the crazy online fundraising ideas you have wanted to try are within reach. This does not mean they will all be a hit success but it opens the door to outside the box programs.

St. Jude created an experience that, while it replaced their in person summit this year, has the ability to be recreated and used in during other influencer fundraising campaigns.

Setting up influencers to succeed is key.

Perhaps one of the most asked questions I get is, “The information is freely available on our website. Why would I need to create separate or additional resources for influencers?”

First – if you do not make it easy for influencers to fundraise for you they are likely to pick another charity who has taken the steps to set them up for success.

Secondly – just like you would create a package of fundraising tools and information for your run/walk or birthday program demographics you would also create a package of tools that would fit the demographics of the influencer.

Influencers know their audience better than you do.

St. Jude took the time to prepare a bunch of tools and information and some influencers will use exactly zero of the tools provided. Maybe it doesn’t fit their style but it is important to provide all the resources for those who might use the tools.

For example, when I work on fundraising campaigns I personally take the time to curate my list of impact statements and build a campaign around them. I am unlikely to use the charity’s logo or even need to communicate with the charity.

In other cases the influencer may want to run everything they do by you even if only to validate their efforts.

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, their approaches are far and wide but in the end they know their audience better than you do. They built it.

So take a page out of St. Jude’s book and brainstorm ideas how you can take your program to the next level.

If you’re looking to connect with Twitch you can reach out directly using charity@twitch.tv. If you’d like to discuss your program in more detail outside of how it works with just Twitch please feel free to reach out to me outside of Twitch.

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.