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A community of gamers had a record-setting week raising $3.4M on Twitch

Awesome Games Done Quick's event on Twitch raised $3.4M for the Prevent Cancer Foundation in a week of non-stop gaming. The most they've ever raised in a single event.

What is Games Done Quick?

Started in 2010 by Mike Uyama and his friends, they've gone from running charity marathons from Mike's basement to hosting events at TwitchCon. In 12 years, Games Done Quick has had an amazing run, raising over $35M for various organizations.

Their method of fundraising is to get groups of gamers, collectively called "speed runners", to complete games as fast as possible (hence the name). Games are played around the clock for a week, with a few breaks in between each run, so viewers have the opportunity to watch the event at any time throughout its duration.

To incentivize fundraising, runners and speed run community members provided some arts and crafts to be given away:

Corporate sponsors helped defray the cost of holding the event, but they also provided prizes for donors:

Even without donation incentives, fans sometimes just want to reward pure skill as shown by Michriz's blindfolded run of the game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This run alone accounted for around $200K raised!

Watch the full video here:

What's your takeaway here?

Build your community well, and the money will come. It doesn't work the other way around.

A lot of organizations look at the numbers and start to think, "how can I get this to work for my nonprofit?" If this is you, then the first thing you should do is forget the numbers. You will not come close to these dollars raised unless you develop a community of streamers who are willing to raise money for you. Remember that it took Games Done Quick several years to break $1M, let alone $3.4M. That's the culmination of investments made in time cultivating relationships between the benefiting organizations and GDQ. Moreover, the communities around the speed runners were painstakingly developed by each individual and brought to GDQ events, adding to the overall fundraising capacity and impact.

You have to start from somewhere, right? Thankfully, for those familiar with peer to peer fundraising, then many of the principles around developing fundraising communities should be familiar:

  1. Recruitment: actively identify and approach content creators

  2. Prepare a toolkit: give recruits the multimedia tools they need for social media, stream overlays, custom alerts, etc.

  3. Marketing: set up your campaign page and promote it on social media. The hope is that content creators who you didn't identify in step 1 will get interested in signing up and use the toolkit you've provided in step 2

Once you've got the above set up, then you're going to need to set up a communications hub for coordinating with your community. Slack is a popular platform, but if you really want to meet content creators where they're at, then you're likely going to have to set up a Discord. Discord was originally associated with gaming communities, but has increasingly become accepted at schools and software developers for group communications.

This is just a primer, so if you're interested in learning more about how to create and develop a gaming community focused on fundraising for you, stay tuned for a future blog post on this topic! Got any other topics you want me to cover? Let me know in the comments below!


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