New podcast dives into why charities should include gaming for good in their fundraising strategy
A documentary-style podcast from Salesforce.org helps charities use the new gaming for good initiative to raise more funds
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 the can connect with others and do more good.
Gaming is everywhere. From slick suited professionals commuting to jobs in the city, mums playing Candy Crush to savvy teenagers clocking up serious marathons, the gaming community is bigger than you might realise. Part of the global entertainment complex, the gaming industry is now as big as tv and movies. Dispelling stereotypes of strange loners, Salesforce.org’s new documentary-style podcast ‘Gaming for Good’ illustrates how charities can embrace gaming for good and work with the online gaming community to amplify their fundraising.
The gaming industry caters to an enormous community and is worth around £137 billion. Beyond gaming itself, streaming games is massively popular too. 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.
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The podcast provides some useful advice, however, as any fundraising plan depends on understanding your supporters. Some gamers might not suit your charity’s brand so it’s important to get to know the community and work with people who are enthusiastic about games and align with your brand too. Although gaming campaigns can yield high gains, it’s important to learn about the complex community and the specialised language they use. Salesforce.org advise charities to tap into their gamers’ passion but warn against playing cool or trying to be hip as gamers can spot fakers a mile away.
Getting to know the online gaming community has certainly worked for the American charity Child’s Play. They help children undergoing treatment in the hospital through the power of play. In 2007, they started their Desert Bus for Hope campaign and have raised $700,000 so far. It is based on the 90s game Desert Bus, based on driving a bus in a straight line for sixteen hours. Affectionate nostalgia for the slightly boring game has inspired gamers to create sketches, musical numbers and even hold auctions. Child’s Play really highlight how you can connect with such passion and drive it towards your charity. Besides raising funds, gaming has also helped cheer up children recovering from illness at home and inspired them to go out.
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The enthusiasm in the gaming community extends from playing games to watching others play. Gamers pay to watch talented hotshot gamers livestream their escapades and around 15 million active users log into Twitch, a live streaming platform, everyday. You could tap into this potentially huge support base by sponsoring a skilled gamer who also cares about your cause. Look up Tiltify, which has been set up specifically to help you raise funds through live streaming.
Learning about how the gaming industry operates could help your charity too. A lot of games provide paid content to help gamers immerse themselves deeper into the game and personalise their experience. Supplying branded items for gamers to enhance their characters and journeys helps gamers connect with your charity, donate to your cause and elevate their profile.