Want to Try a Gaming Telethon?
Nonprofits are experincing success with charitable livestreams targeting the gaming community
Over the past couple of weeks, as wildfires in Australia started sweeping across the continent, fundraising efforts to help firefighters and others battling the blazes began to crop up in social media and other platforms. One of the more unexpected, and successful, initiatives came from the world of gaming.
Over the weekend, a group of streamers—those who play games in a livestream format—held a live event that raised more than $300,000 in Australian dollars ($208,000 USD) for wildfire aid. It’s far from the first time that gamers have stepped up in a telethon-style format, and the trend proves that philanthropic appeals don’t need to be served on a television set to be effective. Often, a highly engaged niche audience can do the trick.
In particular, two gaming fundraisers have picked up attention over the past decade and more. Awesome Games Done Quick, held twice a year, targets fans of “speedrunning” and has raised millions of dollars for various charities. Desert Bus for Hope—based the intentionally terrible minigame Desert Bus, where players must drive a slow-moving charter bus in real time—has raised $5.2 million for the charity Child’s Play since 2007.
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