Firstly, congratulations on wanting to stream for the benefit of charities! We’ve all been through an adjusting few years with COVID, lock downs and travel bans. Your urge to help is commendable to say the least. Thousands of people worldwide stream for charities on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and recently TikTok! How can you get started and make the most of it?
What’s the difference between Normal Streaming and Charity Streaming?
When you stream regularly you stream either for fun (with no monetary focus) or for the purpose of substituting an income source. These are both totally fine and legitimate reasons of the same level. The difference between that and streaming for charity is that your attention and energy goes towards making the world a better place. This can be via many avenues, depending on the charity chosen (animal welfare, helping sick kids, etc.).
Stream to share moments with the person tuning in. On the other end of your viewer count, be it 10 or 500, they are all people and can be connected with. When you stream for charity and the viewer resonates with the need to help that area of the world, you create a connection and share moments with them.
Anyone can do it!
Whether you raise $1,000,000 like Pestily or not, just do it to have a good time! The biggest thing you should focus on is the fact that you are flowing positive energy in the right direction. If you bring awareness about the good a charity is doing to ONE person… That's an increase of awareness and it is TOTALLY worth all the effort put in. As you grow as a content creator you will notice your charity campaign goals get bigger so do not stress over figures for now!
"I stream for charity, in short, because I can. I believe in giving back, and with a full time job that I love streaming is a hobby that brings me a great deal of joy and provides the avenue to bring a community together for a good cause (or sometimes good causes!). Every $ that is raised is a dollar that a charity may not have otherwise received, and that is a contribution that cannot be overlooked. Don't let the mega bucks that streamers like Pestily raise put you off, let it inspire you. Chances are, nobody from your community has donated to a mega streamer's charity campaign, but they have a relationship with you and will help out the charity through their relationship and connection with you" - SparhawkGames
Before you get started
Accepting Donations from viewers
There are a few ways to collect donations for your upcoming charity campaign and I think the first option is best practice, most trusted and easiest!
"Using streaming as a platform to help others is really important, It's something that keeps me streaming and something that makes me feel like I am having an impact onto other people. Also seeing/talking to people in the past who may go through experiences that I am helping contribute towards is such an amazing feeling that I would not trade for anything." - Doeker
Stream setup essentials
There are many things that I would personally deem essential for streaming a charity campaign, but at the end of the day as long as you go Live and stream for the charity - you’re doing great!
Alerts & Progress Bar: Having donation alerts that are different to your normal stream alerts make the whole thing an event and something to entice other viewers to also donate. Progress bars do the same, it encourages the community to get involved and really brings people together making them part of the team.
Overlays: Change your setup from what people are used to seeing, this can be a simple colour change or a whole revamp for the campaign time period. This makes it obvious to viewers that something is happening, an event is currently happening. Think about when you drive down the road and a building has been painted a different colour, it makes you look and see what's happening.
Have guests/collaborate: Depending on the type of streamer you are, the games you play or the IRL activities you do, you should try and get other streamers involved. The other streamer doesn’t have to be fundraising with you but it works best if they are. Cross community promotion works and is beneficial to everyone involved when done for charity and in a genuine way.
Stream Kits: Most charities that have done Live Streaming campaigns before will have Stream Kits for you to download. These usually have assets for your overlay, alerts, stories to help promote the charities services, etc.
A good example of these are from WWF Australia and Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia. Both of these charities do multiple Live Stream events each year and provide assets to use freely.
Small donations or Low percentage of your goal?
Don’t get discouraged by low donations or viewers, it's about awareness just as much as donations. You’re doing a good thing and pushing positivity out into the world, it isn’t always monetary :)
Promote, Promote, Promote
Rewards and Prizes for donations
Disclaimer: please be aware of any local/country laws regarding giveaways as some states or countries can be pretty strict.
You can run giveaways for free on platforms such as givelab.com which anyone can enter for free. Streamlabs and StreamElements also have a Ticket feature that you can utilise, these usually are setup so everyone can type ‘!enter’ in your chat for a free entry. If you need any help setting these things up, please just ask and I can show you how or point you to the right videos.
A great way to give back to the community is by giving them something you make, this can be art on a canvas, digital drawings, VIP roles in chat, Discord roles, etc.
One great example that you can do that is free/cheap is to grab a shirt and write every donor name on it, then give it away to the highest donor or display it in the background of your stream.
If you have the time and confidence, you can reach out to local companies or family/friends and ask them to donate to the campaign or provide products to giveaway to entice more people to donate to the charity campaign.
I am putting together a video going over this post and will show you some examples of streamers doing campaigns including some of mine.