How to Get Started With Twitch Charity Streams
In the summer of 2022, Twitch launched its latest built-in charity tool: Twitch Charity. Prior to that, the online video game streaming service raised $83 million for charity in 2020 alone. And with charitable donation tools now more accessible than ever, Twitch is well-positioned for record-setting fundraising levels in 2023 and beyond.¹
Although it first launched in beta with only a few charity options, Twitch Charity now connects with the PayPal Giving Fund, which offers a catalog of hundreds of thousands of registered 501(c)(3)s.² This development allows streamers to switch into “Charity Mode” to choose a nonprofit from the catalog, set fundraising goals, and control how the donation button appears to their viewers.
Twitch entertains a global audience of over 31 million daily active users, 72% of which are between the ages of 16–34.³ This young and highly engaged audience presents a prime opportunity for charitable partnerships and peer-to-peer donations.
The bottom line is that Twitch Charity streams present a mutually beneficial partnership for brand awareness and fundraising. Since this is likely new territory for many nonprofit leaders, we’ve compiled a guide to help you get started.
What Is Twitch?
Launched in 2011, Twitch is an interactive livestreaming service for content, spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and more. Although your nonprofit may not have experience with the platform quite yet, Twitch is extremely popular among streamers, content creators, and general viewers:4
- 44 million Twitch viewers (20% of which are in the U.S.)
- $2.8 billion in revenue in 2022
- $970 million was the price Amazon paid for Twitch in 2014
- 95 minutes is the average session length on Twitch
- About 2.5 million people watch a Twitch stream at any given moment
Users can watch streams from the main Twitch site, mobile app, or even directly within their gaming console. There’s a live chat feature within every channel as well, so users can engage with the streamers in real time.
How to Host an Effective Charity Stream on Twitch
Before the launch of Twitch Charity, users would donate to charity through third-party fundraising platforms. Thankfully, the natively integrated Charity feature streamlines the donation process for streamers, viewers, and nonprofit benefactors.
Giving back is actively encouraged within the Twitch streaming community and the platform itself. Donating to a worthy cause gives people a reason to watch other than just video games.
To host a successful stream, Twitch recommends:
- Choosing a nonprofit that means something to you
- Setting realistic fundraising goals and tracking milestones along the way
- Using incentives to motivate your audience to take action
- Using your personal Twitch channel and other social media platforms to promote your stream and the cause
- Leveraging all of Twitch’s built-in features to make the most of your stream
It’s helpful to learn from experienced Twitch streamers as well, who understand what it takes to pull off successful fundraising campaigns. For example, streamer DrLupo raised more than $2.3 million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in only 24 hours on Twitch back in 2019.5
5 Tips for Connecting With Twitch Streamers to Further Elevate Your Cause
It may seem like a long shot to connect with influential Twitch gamers interested in supporting your cause. Still, about 78% of these users actually want to see more charitable connections in gaming.6
Since livestream fundraising is a proven, effective way to rally supporters around your organization, it makes sense that Twitch charity streams are another tremendous opportunity to capitalize on for your nonprofit.
1. Reach Out to Streamers Directly
Take the time to explore Twitch and learn which streamers might be a good fit for your organization. Segment each Twitch channel by where streamers are geographically, what types of games they prefer to play, and other general categories that feel relevant to your organization’s campaign.
Once you find someone that might be a good fit, reach out to initiate an introductory conversation. It’s easy to find their social media channels and other potential ways to contact them in their profile.
Understanding the basics of influencer marketing for nonprofits is a good first step as you contact these streamers.
2. Build a Trusting Relationship
Be upfront about why you’re reaching out and your ideas on potentially starting a partnership. Take the time to help them understand more about your cause and why you believe they would be a strong fit to represent your mission.
Twitch charity streams are most successful when the streamer you work with invests in your mission. As a nonprofit, you also need to spend time getting to know that individual. Ask questions about their previous levels of involvement with nonprofits, what causes they feel most connected to, and other questions that can help you understand who they are better. Think of this partnership like any other sponsorship opportunity—mutual respect is a must.
It’s also worth considering if there is anyone within your organization or community of donors with a strong following on Twitch. You might have an avid gamer in your midst and not yet realize it.
3. Make It Easy to Partner Together
Make your nonprofit stand out, as the most popular Twitch streamers likely already receive requests for promotional opportunities. It’s critical to be an accommodating partner. Use your fundraising team and experience to help organize the stream, leaving the streamer to focus on what they do best.
Here are some resources to provide to the streamer to make their job easier:
- Talking points about your organization and mission
- Relevant links, like your website, donation page, and social channels
- A brand guide, including your logo, colors, and any branded graphics
- Answers to frequently asked questions that might pop up in the chat
- Social media posts and blurbs to add to their channel
Offering something in return for their time will help that individual feel valued and hopefully help nurture a lasting connection. You can also offer to send them some promotional swag from your organization. These are things they can wear or have in the background during their stream to elevate your brand.
4. Promote Your Charitable Stream
Help streamers grow their audience and make the charitable stream a success by promoting the online event. They often have large channels with a built-in audience, but you can’t rely on them to drive traffic and donations. Here’s how:
- Highlight the event on your website
- Talk about the stream on your social channels, using the appropriate hashtags
- Reach out to your sponsors and provide them with resources to help promote
- Send an email to your donor base
- Ask your staff and volunteers to spread the word online and in person with their networks
Charitable streams aren’t limited to just one gamer, either. When you recruit multiple streamers to participate, it can increase the number of potential viewers and donors. Just be sure there’s a cohesive and consistent message coming from this cohort of streamers.
5. Track Your Results
Ask streamers to provide you with some of the large amounts of Twitch user data, like subscribers’ names and profiles, to help you follow up with anyone who participated in your charity event. Just be sure to discuss this with them upfront to help them prepare to collect that information for you.
You’ll also need to determine which metrics are most important to gauge your relative success. Figures like total funds raised and the number of viewers are crucial. This also gives you a benchmark to start from when you plan a repeat of the live stream again in the future.
Using Twitch Charity Streams to Boost Your Nonprofit Fundraising
Twitch’s user numbers are impressive, and the platform continues growing. Membership in Twitch’s partner program has increased by 68% since 2017, and the number of viewers and revenue has grown year over year.7 This makes Twitch Charity streams an increasingly attractive fundraising opportunity for nonprofits of all kinds.
- “Trillion Minutes Watched One of Twitch’s Several Wild 2020 Stats,” Dexerto, last modified January 30, 2021, https://www.dexerto.com/entertainment/trillion-minutes-watched-one-of-twitchs-several-wild-2020-stats-1504715/.
- “Twitch Users — How Many People Use Twitch (2023)” Demand Sage, last modified January 19, 2023, https://www.demandsage.com/twitch-users/.
- “28 Twitch Stats to Know in 2023,” TrueList, last modified January 10, 2023, https://truelist.co/blog/twitch-stats/.
- “Charity Fundraising on Twitch,” Twitch Creator Camp, last modified March 24, 2023, https://www.twitch.tv/creatorcamp/en/paths/growing-your-community/charity-streaming/.
- “DrLupo raises $2.3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 24 hours, surpassing goal for third year in a row,” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, last modified December 21, 2020, https://www.stjude.org/media-resources/news-releases/2020-fundraising-news/drlupo-raises-2-3-million-in-24-hours.html.
- “How I Hosted My First Charity Stream, and How You Can Host One, Too,” The Verge, last modified July 2, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/21309833/twitch-charity-stream-guide-donations-thermometer-guests.
- “Twitch Statistics 2023: How Many People Use Twitch?” Earth Web, last modified January 29, 2023, https://earthweb.com/twitch-statistics/
Why America Gives 2022
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