Running Charity Live Streams

Are you tired of just streaming your gameplay? Do you want to bring some social importance and commitment to what you do? Charity live streams can help you with that. When the gamers or creators come together to support some charity aim, good things could happen.

Is It Legal to Make Charity Live Streams?

If you try googling this topic, you’ll find many cases when people abuse the charity idea and just steal somebody's money. In fact, streamers don’t gain anything from charity donations, as long as they are transparent about making the donation and don’t keep money for themselves. There is nothing illegal about the following statement “Give me money and I’ll give them to these guys”. It is a common way to raise money for charities. The only thing that makes charity donations different from other streamer's donations is that they are tax-deductible and removed from the streamer’s gross income. To make your viewers trust in your beliefs and good faith, provide them with some evidences. Leave the links to corresponding charity organization, contact info of people who can prove that you are working with them. Beforehand, contact the charity organization and ask for some verification, such as your personal donation tracking page on their website. Do everything possible to provide your viewers with a possibility to research if the charity gets their money.

What Charity to Choose?

There are so many charity organizations these days to choose from. Think of  one that speaks to you more. It also can be a personal case when you or somebody from your family are organizing a charity to combat whatever has happened. The charity stream should be driven by your interests and passions. Here is a good website Charity Navigator where you can find a charity that fits you. Once you choose a charity organization, make a little research about it. You should understand how much of your donations will actually go for the cause, as there can be hidden costs. Below are some of the most popular charity organizations streamers used to donate to: It is a charitable organization that seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals and domestic violence shelters with the help of video game industry. The program provides an Amazon.com wishlist as well as receives cash donations. It is the program powered by Twitch uniting thousands of players in 24-hour regular fundraising gaming marathons. This charity program supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This charitable organization provides facilities, equipment and software to help kids in the hospitals. All gamers can make a donation to improve the lives of children in the hospitals. Moreover, it is possible to become a fundraiser of a specific hospital you choose. It is also children-oriented program that help cover costs for travel, housing, food and treatment of sick people of St. Judes Hospital. Most St. Jude’s charity programs provide team-trackers, so all donations are transparent.

Tips for Your First Charity Stream

  • Сhoose the date for the charity event, make your viewers know about it beforehand via social networks and other media (Twitter, Facebook, email, game fans forums)
  • Decide on the length of the stream: the longer it is, the more money you can potentially raise. For long marathons (24 hours, for instance), it is better to have a game partner who will replace you for the rest of the gameplay.
  • If you decide to hold the charity event alone, so think about a person to help you coordinate your meals.
  • Set realistic goal for your first charity stream. It should be attainable.
  • Think about how to motivate your viewers for donations. For instance, you can organize a giveaway when a certain (realistic!) amount of money is gathered. Or you can play a game with a viewer who donates most.
  • Tell everybody in real life and social networks that you are doing charity live streams. People who know you personally are more likely to donate and their donations will serve as a proof for other viewers.
  • Search for the ways to display the amount of money you’ve raised during the stream. If you are cooperating with Extra Life, you can use a Streampro.io tool to integrate a donation board into your stream. You can also show your whiteboard in a webcam and update the amount of donations manually.
  • Thank all your donors publicly. The researches show that donors’ acknowledgment increases donations.
  • Think about mods to help you with chat. Spam and trolling still happens during charity live streams.

Successful Charity Live Streams

  • League of Legends #PourJulia campaign, 2016
The story started when an 8-year old girl Julia (she was a passionate fan of League of Legends) was diagnosed of bone cancer. After the girl passed away, the gaming community decided to honour her memory by raising funds for cancer research. In total,  there were raised $140,007.
  • Summer Games Done Quick, July, 2-9, 2017
The marathon raised $1, 792, 632 for Doctors without Borders program. Raised money were received by Minneapolis Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Raising Hurricane Harvey Relief Funds, September 2017
The Twitch community always rise to the occasion when disasters happen. This time, during the hurricane, many Twitch broadcasters united to fundraise for the affected by Hurricane Harvey (in total, $15,008). Moreover, the organization Game Done Quick initiated stream speed runs for charity starting in September, 1 and running through the weekend.
  • Сheering for Charity, September 5-19, 2017
During the Cheer for Kids Charity marathon on Twitch, viewers donated up to $200,000 to Extra Life. From every 1,000 bits in Cheers with #charity hashtag, Twitch donated $2 to help sick and injured kids in North America.

Takeaways

When you are doing charity live streams, you have to do them right. Planning, research, evaluation are necessary parts of the process. If you want to successfully raise money for charity, you need to put in a lot of work. Generally, it is not recommended to make charity live streams for new and small streamers. It is unlikely that people will donate to an unknown person, since they don’t know how credible the stream is. There are a lot of frauds and gimmicks on Twitch to get people donate, and it is naïve to transfer money to PayPal account of a brand new streamer. However, before approaching this question ask yourself first why you want to do charity streams and what you expect to come of it. Would you go to a random small streamer to participate in a charity event? What is your motive? Are you doing this to get your name known and attract more viewers or is it really important to you?

9/21/2017