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Contributed by
Women Win

Overview

Women Win, through its GRLS initiative, uses sport and play to help young women build leadership skills and confidence, and become better equipped to exercise their rights. Since 2007, they have worked to support grassroots organisations whose programmes have positively impacted the lives of more than four million adolescent girls and young women in more than 100 countries.

Their mission has historically revolved around physical sports and play, with most of their work taking place in physical spaces, such as football pitches, schools or within community centres. But with children and young people around the world spending more of their time in digital spaces, Women Win wanted to assess if the same gender inequalities girls and young women experience in physical spaces were also present in digital environments.

The world of esports and online gaming presented a good transition point for a sporting charity to make a difference in the virtual environment. While they are not experts in this field, the charity continues to learn about the world of online gaming by immersing themselves in it as much as possible, trying things for themselves, being open to new experiences, and talking to as many people as possible from the gaming and tech sectors. This recipe was developed pre-COVID-19, but the pandemic has accelerated the work. Women Win is using the online fundraising platform Tiltify, as well as popular gaming sites such as Discord and Twitch, to connect with the gaming community and tap into new revenue streams by undertaking awareness-raising and fundraising with an engaged audience of younger donors.

This recipe explores how they were able to build a ‘gaming for good’ programme that has both fundraising and outreach applications whilst navigating these spaces for the first time.

Recipe status

This recipe has been in use since January 2020.

We are not sharing this recipe as the perfect solution to a problem, but we believe Women Win’s learnings could be very useful to other organisations.

Users and needs served

  • As a service user, I need to feel connected to a wider community and to feel empowered as an individual
  • As a service user, I need access to funding that will support the projects and services I use
  • As a service user, I need access to a safe space for gaming and esports, including the right platforms and tech
  • As a staff member or volunteer, I need to engage young people across the channels they use and find creative ways to engage them when the physical world is not accessible
  • As a staff member or volunteer, I need to gain an understanding of the sector and gaming in a wider sense

Software and tools used

Tiltify

Tiltify is an online fundraising platform aimed specifically at live streamers who want to support charities while gaming. In this case, it will be used to fundraise during a Women’s Leadership themed esports tournament. Viewers can donate directly on the content platform without having to navigate away, thanks to Tilitfy's integrations with Twitch. Streamers can include payment options such as PayPal and Amazon Pay in their videos, rather than linking away to separate payment pages. Through Tiltify, streamers can also offer their audience incentives to donate and let donors see how a campaign is progressing towards its goal in real-time.

Cost

There is a platform fee of 5% on all donations for any charity signing up to Tiltify. When a donation is made, a transaction fee may be taken by the third-party payment provider, which currently could be one or more of PayPal, PayPal Giving Fund, Stripe or Amazon Pay, depending on which options the charity has selected.

Considerations

As a peer-to-peer fundraising platform, Tiltify allows charities to partner with gamers and celebrities for campaigns, who can mobilise their online followers to contribute to their favourite causes.

Twitch

Twitch is the biggest platform for watching and streaming online gaming. It is used by more than 15 million people worldwide on a daily basis. It's well known in the gaming community as a space for gaming-related activity, chat, and socialising, so charities fundraising on the platform will benefit from brand recognition within the gaming and esports space. Twitch focuses on the social experience of hanging out with friends playing games. A live video of a gamer's screen plays, while the gamer reacts and narrates their game over the top, and interacts with viewers, who can chat live in a chatroom that appears alongside.

Cost

It costs nothing to sign up and start streaming games on Twitch.

Considerations

In a fundraising context, charities can use Twitch to run their own gaming streams, with a donation promotion and link on the screen and regular call-outs for donations, in a similar manner to a telethon. If you do plan to broadcast, you need to make sure that you have the right hardware and software, as well as a solid internet connection, along with audio and visual technology. Some of this hardware can be costly. More polished and professional streams will attract more viewers, but will require investment in a high quality webcam and microphone. The cost of these must be taken into account. Games can be streamed from PCs, mobile devices, and gaming consoles. It is important to carry out a safeguarding assessment and take steps to protect both staff and service users.

Discord

Discord is a popular social platform for gaming-related activity, chat, and socialising. The platform is designed for gamers as a place for people to talk and create communities around their favourite games. Different communities or ‘servers’ have their own spaces, much like chatrooms. There are live text channels, voice channels, and ways to share videos, links, images, GIFs, and more. It is important to carry out a safeguarding assessment and take steps to protect both staff and service users.

Cost

It's free to start your own servers or join any server.

Considerations

The main benefit of Discord for charities is gaining brand recognition among the gaming community. Fundraisers and service users can share their streams, build a buzz, and share streaming and gaming tips and advice. Discord servers can be set up for specific fundraising events or campaigns.

TikTok

TikTok is a popular social media platform for people to create short-form video content about their passions, with more than 50 million active users worldwide. TikTok was the fastest-growing social media platform in 2020, especially popular with the younger demographic. With the popularity of video games among young TikTok users, the platform has become a major space for creating and sharing gaming-related content, letting users create short, fun videos focusing on specific gaming moments and the culture surrounding their favourite games.

Cost

TikTok is free to use. However, there are paid advertising options for those who want to reach more people, with ads that play in-video.

Considerations

TikTok is a great platform for reaching out and promoting charity gaming activities. Users also create their own content such as challenges in support of charities, and many non-profit organisations have had success with TikTok based campaigns. It is important to carry out a safeguarding assessment and take steps to protect both staff and service users.

Instagram

Instagram is another popular social media platform for short-form video content that has a large demographic of young users and content creators.

Cost

It's free to create and share content on Instagram, with paid advertising and data analytics options.

Considerations

Instagram is a great platform for visually sharing information and telling a story about a campaign. Charities can include a donate button or sticker for users to donate directly in the platform.

Recipe steps

1. Plan your campaign

● Take time to gather information and learn as much as possible about the complex world of gaming and its ecosystem before diving in

● Gauge internal interest and assemble a project team

2. Reach out and make connections

● Stakeholder mapping is an essential step. Identify your stakeholders and their needs early on in the process

● Approach gaming companies and hardware companies to explore different models of partnership and collaboration

3. Launching fundraising efforts

● Launch efforts initially as a pilot project

● Try a few streaming platforms to find what best suits your audience. It is best to do your user research before deciding on a platform, as having to start from scratch after a failed attempt could be demoralising

● As you gather more insights, you can begin to scale up your campaign

4. Assess & gather feedback

● Implement a process of review and revision

● Gather data as you go along. Find out what works and what doesn’t

● Use this information to optimise and improve your campaign

5. Community building

● Build your network within the community

● Look for opportunities for collaboration

● Learn as much as you can about the gaming communities your service users inhabit and how they interact

● It is important to approach these interactions from a place of authenticity. Like any culture, the gaming world has its own standards. As a newcomer in these spaces, it is best to learn how they work before fully-launching an outreach campaign

6. Scaling up operations

● Consider your first campaign a programmatic pilot

● Once you have completed this campaign or got it to an advanced stage, take stock of what has worked well and what you have learned

● Discuss these learnings with your stakeholders and begin mapping your next campaign

Guidance

Be humble when approaching an unfamiliar world like esports and gaming.

Come in with a fresh mindset and concentrate on the value you can bring. Ask the sector what you can do for them and how your charity's ethos aligns with theirs.

Risks

Not having full-buy in from your organisation could be a major stumbling block. This is a resource-heavy project that could wither on the vine without commitment.

Thanks

Many thanks to Women Win for contributing this recipe.

Licence

This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.

That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Women Win and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.

Recipe published on March 5th, 2021. Last updated March 5th, 2021