With many charities exploring new fundraising initiatives, gaming offers both a lifeline and a way forward
This article is sponsored by Salesforce.org - the dedicated social impact team of Salesforce that delivers technology to nonprofits, educational institutions, and philanthropic organisations so they can connect with others and do more good.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about gaming?
For many people, it will be tired stereotypes of reclusive basement dwellers and sullen teenagers. Video games have long been regarded as the preserve of the young and socially-awkward.
But those attitudes have been slowly changing over the last decade, and COVID-19 has led to many people getting involved with gaming for the first time. Whether it’s Help for Heroes using live-streaming to raise funds, The Kaleidoscope Trust building their own game to support LGBTQ+ activists around the world, or Superman himself building a gaming PC from scratch, gaming has a cool new image.
If you feel like you’re reading more about gaming than you used to then it’s probably because you are. Gaming is big business these days. Bigger, in fact, than Hollywood - with an enormous community worth around £137 Billion globally. Livestreaming is increasingly becoming a valuable fundraising tool for charities. Gaming is being used to promote positive mental health, whilst Humble Bundle allows gamers to get great discounts whilst raising money for charity (the site also offers incredible discounts on digital comics, and currently has an amazing offer on data science ebooks).
There are a number of charities already working with these platforms to interact with potential donors, tap into the online gaming community and raise funds. In their informative podcast, Salesforce.org speak to some of these charities about how they have harnessed the world of online gaming.
War Child UK has won the Institute of Fundraising’s most ‘Innovative Fundraising Strategy’ award for their gaming campaigns and received donations over £700,000 as a result. They collaborated with 11 Bit Studios, the studio behind ‘This War of Mine’ to show the reality of war. The game is set in a siege which the player tries to survive. The studio developed exclusive content which costs under £1 but raised over £400,000 for the charity. They embraced the interactive aspect of gaming to shift perspectives about life in conflict, enriching the campaign to raise awareness too.
The most recent episode of the podcast examines how gamers have been raising vital funds for charities amidst COVID-19. The podcast revisits episode one guests Child’s Play and other organisations at the forefront of gaming fundraising such as Tiltify and streaming platform Twitch.