We explore how charities can find gamers to become involved in good causes and fundraising
This ‘Gaming for Good’ strategy involves targeting gamers to link up with charities to raise funds, often through sponsored live streams and other gaming events.
But how can charities find gamers and streamers to help raise money for good causes?
The Twitch platform is key to staging live gaming fundraising events and reaching donors within the gaming community.
The platform is easy for gamers to use to livestream their gameplay. Their followers can watch and comment in real time. Playback of previous streams can also be watched.
Twitch is also a great database of streamers and in particular their strong following among Generation Z.
Charities are advised to search through Twitch to find potential fundraising gamers, who can earn more than £100,000 a month though streaming.
Big names can often be found on Twitch’s front-page carousel, which the platform showcases each day.
Some of the biggest accounts have several million followers. Tyne ‘Ninja’ Blevins, for example, has 16.8 million followers and is the most popular gaming streamer on the platform.
Other major accounts include Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney, who is popular among those playing the games Fortnite, Minecraft, and Warzone. Another is Michael ‘Shroud’ Greziek, who is popular among first-person shooter gamers.
Other ways to search include using game categories. Searching Twitch also offers charities a chance to gauge the type of person the streamer is and whether they are likely to be a good fit for their good cause and mission.
A range of free tools are available to help charities search for streamers. This includes PowerSpike, where searches can be filtered by genre, average views, geographic location, as well as community activity and community sentiment. This also allows users to search to find out if they have mentioned the charity’s brand name before.
Gaming streamers and influencers also regularly use social media. Searching Twitter using hashtags such as #Twitch and #gaming can also prove useful.
Charities are advised not to only target the big-name gaming streamers. These famous names, with thousands of followers and subscribers, may already be targeted by charities globally.
Instead, a successful tactic used by charities already is to target a wide range of gamers, irrespective of the number of subscribers they have.
Presenter on the Cane and Rinse gaming podcast Leon Cox urges charities to “temper expectations” when identifying and approaching gamers for fundraising activity.
He recalls how talks started with one charity that got in contact “but nothing ever really came of it”.
“They were very nice but they needed a bit more from us than we were able to offer in terms of time and commitment, as we’re part time,” Cox said. “Smaller outlets will be incredibly keen to get involved but also can’t offer what the big players can”.
Another successful tactic for targeting gamers is to tap into the knowledge within charities’ own organisation. Many in the charity sector, from volunteers to staffers, will play games and already follow streamers. Use their knowledge.
Cox said this is a common way charities have targeted the team at Cane and Rinse.
“When we have been contacted before out of the blue before it’s usually been someone at the organisation who is aware of us already,” he adds.
By staging interesting and engaging gaming fundraising campaigns, charities can more easily target gamers. This can be through creating a buzz via social media to bring gamers to charities, rather than the other way around.
One recent example has been the Paws 2 Play campaign by animal charity Blue Cross.
This is targeting all gamers, whether big names, small-scale streamers, or gaming members of the public to offer a range of gaming challengers across a variety of platforms, from Playstation and PC to Xbox, as well as offline gaming challenges involving board games.
Those taking part are urged to promote the campaign on social media using #Paws2Play. It also urges those signing up to join teams based on their favourite animal using hashtags such as #TeamCat and #TeamDog.
This form of engaging coverage has been crucial to finding gamers to take part.
Among those taking part in Paws2Play, through fundraising and promoting on social media, is Twitch streamer Dani, known as MotherAfDragons.
She has less than 1,000 followers but is among hundreds of streamers successfully targeted through the campaign. Her involvement shows the benefit for charities of targeting all gamers rather than only the major names on Twitch.