The internet is and always has been a growing world of innovation and connectivity. In the last 15 years, online influencers and content creators have become a new form of celebrity. These content creators are ever expanding – now into live interactive content such as video live streaming on platforms such as Twitch. The internet makes it easier than ever to create content and become an influential individual…since its founding in 2011, Creators on Twitch have raised over $115 million for over 300 charities across the globe.
Is your organization interested in harnessing the new power of Twitch Creators?
Let’s start with a primer on exactly who Twitch Creators are and how they raise money for charitable organizations:
What is a Twitch Creator?
Anyone who creates content on Twitch is considered a creator and plays a part in making the greater Twitch community complete. Creators have the chance to grow their own communities, connect with an audience, and even earn money sharing what they love with the world. You can learn more about what it means to be a Twitch Creator on Twitch.tv/CreatorCamp.
How do Creators raise money?
Creators encourage their viewers to donate during their live streams using incentives, interaction tools, and a unique campaign page. There are four main ways Creators fundraise using Twitch:
- Single Creator live streams
- Multi Creator efforts on a single live stream (virtually or in-person organized events)
- Multiple Creators on multiple channels raising as a team
- Selling merchandise with proceeds going to charity (this is handled on the merchant side).
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.
- Examples: St. Jude Play Live, Extra Life Game Day, Pride Month, Women’s History Month
- They are incentivized to join a campaign.
- Creator raises x amount and is rewarded (e.g. thank you package, shirt, hoodie, gaming chair, game codes).
Why do viewers donate on Twitch?
Viewers who donate are motivated by two main factors on Twitch:
- 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 or the charity. Incentives can be goods or an action on stream.
Now that you understand how Twitch Creators can raise money for your organization, here’s how you can get started with engaging them:
Approaching Twitch Creators:
It is recommended that you do not reach out to a Creator through their chat while they are live for the first time. This should be utilized after you have established an open relationship with the Creator.
- E-mail: A lot of Creators 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.
- Attend gaming and fandom conventions: Attend conventions like PAX, Gamescom, TwitchCon, and RTX. There is likely a local convention within driving distance of a metropolitan area. When you attend the best way to get the contact information of a streamer you’re interacting with try asking for their business card first.
Building a YoY Fundraising Program Objective:
Provide a plan of action for your organization to create a year over year fundraising program. Considerations should include:
- Date and length of campaign
- The dates selected should be selected with growth for year over year in mind.
- Date selection ideally should not overlap with other major fundraising efforts in the Twitch community (e.g. St. Jude Play Live, Extra Life Game Day)
- The length of program should be created in mind with the amount of support your organization can provide (e.g. day, weekend, week, or month). Longer time does not necessarily equal more money raised, particularly if you can’t fully support the program.
- More than 50% of our Creators are gaming focused, but that is not the only type of Creator on our platform. When creating a marketing strategy keep it Creator-focused over gamer-focused.
- Plan to begin promotion about 2-4 weeks prior to the start of the event.
- Create a one-pager with relevant bite-sized information.
- When possible, provide 30 to 60 second videos that Creators may show on their stream.
- Incentivizing Creators to Get Involved
- Prizes at milestones (opportunity to involve corporate partnerships)
- Recognition (social media, website, newsletter)
- Celebrations – Once your program has launched continuously celebrate Creators who are fundraising.
- Keep it Creator-focused. Creators should be able to create a campaign that connects to their already available tools (e.g. alerts and tracking).
- Donation alerts also encourage and excite viewers to donate. Donating should be a quick and smooth process that takes less than 5 minutes.
- Make it easy to donate.
- Viewers should be able to donate with the least amount of clicks.
- Less collected information is better.
- Suggested you sign up on both of the following platforms:
- Tiltify.com (Charity@Tiltify.com)
- Justgiving.com – Justgiving is currently building out a new set of tools for Creators.
- Growth: When looking at growth year over year, focus on increasing the number of Creators involved each year.
Gaming has historically been stigmatized and the reality is that if you play a mobile game, you too are a gamer. The idea and image of content creation and gaming is slowly changing with the rise of news stories on charity events like Games Done Quick and GuardianCon. Charities are starting to take notice as Extra Life and St. Jude raise millions of dollars each year on Twitch. There is a new face to gamers and online content creators.
Co-Author: Rosalyn Lemieux
Roz Lemieux is the director of Blackbaud Labs. Prior to Blackbaud, Roz was CEO and co-founder of Attentive.ly (a Blackbaud company) and founding partner at Fission Strategy (now Do Big Things), a creative agency that has helped over 200 organizations “ignite social action for good” using the latest social, web, and mobile technology. Roz also previously served as Executive Director of the New Organizing Institute (NOI), a training institute for tech-enabled grassroots organizers, after gaining experience in large-scale grassroots organizing as an early member of the MoveOn.org team.
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