In the last few weeks, we’ve been focusing on the how younger generations are pushing nonprofits to move beyond the traditional way of doing things and what nonprofit leaders can do to ensure they’re engaging them. If you missed our previous posts, here they are again for you:
- Millennials Don’t Care About Your Nonprofit Unless You Do This
- How Nonprofits Can Engage Millennials
This week, we’re exploring how gamers are making a difference. We’re betting that you probably know Millennials or Gen Z people who enjoy video games.
Did you know that there’s a real movement with gamers toward social good?
Millennials and Generation Z value the group and society as a whole, as opposed to just the individual. They’re much more inclusive than earlier generations, and if you know that, then it shouldn’t surprise you to know that gamers born to these generations care about making a difference in the world.
Fun and games for philanthropy
We all know that in today’s digital world, asking followers to support a good cause using fun and games can work. The most famous one that raised over $100 million was the Ice Bucket Challenge that befitted the ALS Association. It was a global phenomenon that reached not only the young, but also the likes of global leaders such as Bill Gates and President Obama (he did not take the challenge of throwing water on himself, but donated).
While these types of fun and games can be impactful, Belgian gamer, Bachir Boumaaza, who is known in the gaming world by Athene, realized that it’s just not sustainable. After he challenged his 750,000 followers to give to charity after he shaved parts of his head, once Athene was bald, he realized that while raising $180,000 was great, fun and games could only go so far.
How gaming helps philanthropically
Twitch is one of the most popular platforms for gamers to get financial support from their followers who donate to their favorite players. Just as a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign helps people raise money for people and causes they care about, Twitch is a platform targeted to people who are passionate about gaming. The funds that are donated can help support the career of a gamer, but it also can be designated for charity, which is something that AthBoumaazaene has sought to do with his fan base to make a positive social impact.
Philanthropy and giving to others doesn’t stop with donating to gamers because of Athene and other gamers like him. If you do an internet search for “gaming for good,” one of the first results you’ll see is GamingForGood.net. This platform has thousands of gamers, including its founder Athene, and fans donating as they’re mobilized by gamers to make a positive difference.
Their Humanitarian Emergency Response Team was started by famous gamers, such as Athene, who mobilized fans to help address needs in response to disasters. It then led to the GamingForGood platform to open up for donations for gamers and also for charity in response to “the most devastating natural disasters on the planet.”
On GamingForGood, when there is a natural disaster, Athene travels to the affected location and personally provides people with live updates to help raise awareness for the need.
Think that gamers like Athene are not making a powerful difference?
Athene and the GamingForGood community have raised more than $20 million for Save the Children. Other charities that have benefited from the donations coming from the gaming community include $12.7 million to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, $2.2 million for Doctors Without Borders and more than $9 million to St. Jude Hospital.
In other words, technology and gaming have provided opportunities for charitable causes to get funding from groups in ways that are creative and untapped. St. Jude is an example of how a nonprofit has aggressively gone to the gaming community for fundraising dollars to help save children with cancer.
Another leading nonprofit that has leveraged the gaming community is the Children’s Miracle Network. Extra Life, which is powered by Twitch, has provided over $50 million through Children’s Miracle Network to help children who are sick or injured.
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