Gaming for Good: Q&A with Autistica

Gaming for Good blog

We recently hosted an awesome gaming Q&A live webinar (which you can now watch on-demand) with Jake Mackey, Gaming Partnerships Manager at Autistica. We know that, despite 2020 being a HUGE year for virtual events, many charities still feel unfamiliar with the world of gaming and how to organise their own gaming fundraising challenges. Well, it’s time to charge the controllers and dig out your headset because at the end of January we saw a 340% increase in the number of streaming and gaming Fundraising Pages created on JustGiving vs January 2020. This tells us that your fundraisers have a growing appetite to take on new gaming focused challenges.

Jake is a gaming for good triple threat – he is a personal gamer with experience of working in both the gaming industry and the charity sector. He shared lots of great advice throughout the webinar and we’ve rounded up a couple of his top tips on how you can get started and why a limited budget shouldn’t stop you from creating great virtual campaigns.

It’s a long game

“I think one of the key learnings for anyone, whether you’re a large or small charity, is it’s definitely a long game. It’s not a quick win. I see a lot of people saying, ‘I see the success so it must be easy, but I just don’t know how’. It wasn’t as easy to translate and to get people to support as I thought it would be, so I think that was definitely a big learning for me.”

Jake Mackey, Gaming Partnerships Manager at Autistica

Like so many fundraising campaigns, you often only hear of the big ones that raise millions or become a viral sensation. This can create a false sense of how easy, or how hard, it can be to launch a gaming event that will meet your fundraising expectations. It’s important to go into the planning process with a mindset of this is a long game, not a quick win.

One the big challenges that you’ll face? Getting your supporters onboard. Just because someone enjoys or understands gaming, doesn’t mean that they’ve ever used it to fundraise before. It’s new territory, and often people will wait to see if something is successful before they involved. Autistica have a great gaming portfolio now, but it’s taken Jake two years of hard work to reach this point. Start small and make your goal to grow the number of supporters, participants and donors with every event you hold.

You don’t have to have a massive budget

Jake is a team of one, but he hasn’t let that stop him from creating great new gaming campaigns. He shared his advice for how charities with a limited budget can also get started.

Twitch

Twitch is one of the world’s leading live streaming platforms, loved by gamers and those who enjoy live chatting whilst broadcasting activities. It’s completely free to set up a channel and use, plus it has an integration with JustGiving. This means you can easily set up a Twitch stream that is on brand and linked directly to a Fundraising Page. The best part about Twitch is that it really is a platform for all types of streaming, so if you want to dip your toes in then you can start by trying one of their most popular genres – Just Chatting. The format is very similar to a live webinar or presentation, and often all you need is you and a guest or two for a discussion. It can be a great way to tell supporters more about your cause, or to teach them new skills, and ask for a donation in exchange.

“We’ve done a few streams on our Twitch channel Autistica Play. We have panel conversations, it’s me and, for example, a few autistic people from the games industry talking about their experience, what challenges they face and how research could change that. Underneath Twitch videos you can add graphics and links that people can click through. I pre-set up a Campaign Page on JustGiving, so whilst I was doing the stream I could direct people to just click down below to donate.”

Jake Mackey, Gaming Partnerships Manager at Autistica

JustGiving Campaign Pages

JustGiving offers lots of value-added features and tools that can help to unite gaming and fundraising, and whilst platforms like Twitch might be unfamiliar, JustGiving is a platform that so many fundraisers already know and love.

Team Fundraising Pages If your fundraisers would like to have a gaming tournament or play as a group, then they can set-up Team Fundraising Pages that brings together all their individual fundraising. Plus, they still connect to your Campaign Page and fundraisers can even nominate a team captain!

Livestreaming In 2020, we enabled you and your supporters to livestream video content on your Fundraising Pages on JustGiving. You can connect to well-known streaming platforms, such as Twitch, and any activity is broadcast directly onto the JustGiving Page. This makes it even easier to encourage friends and family to donate whilst watching.

“The one thing that I know streamers love to do is fundraise together. When we have our events, we also set up a JustGiving Campaign Page with a totaliser so people can fundraise and interact with their communities on their own JustGiving Fundraising Pages, and any funds they raise go straight towards our campaign total. It’s very helpful to have that, and I’ve found that JustGiving is obviously one of the most popular platforms in the UK for fundraising, and I think for a games communities and for our games partnerships, JustGiving is what they are used to.”

Jake Mackey, Gaming Partnerships Manager at Autistica

Ready for more gaming tips from Jake and JustGiving?

The full webinar was a jam-packed hour-long gaming chat, and Jake shared a lot of helpful tips and advice for charities of all sizes. If you’d like to find out even more about getting started with gaming (and why wouldn’t you!) then you can now watch it on-demand.

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Toni Gregory is a Content Marketing Specialist and B2B copywriter at JustGiving. She is passionate about creating content that shares and showcases the incredible work that charities do.