Online Events Creating Low-Cost Revenue Generation

Livestreaming fundraising is not unlike an old-fashioned donor event – except online. Supporters and donors raise money for your organization but it all takes place live on the Internet.

Marc Almanzor, manager of development systems at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), presented “Livestreaming: Putting the Fun in Fundraising” during the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference at the Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center in National Harbor, Md.

Livestreaming isn’t just about games. There are non-gaming categories on Twitch that have combined average viewers in the tens of thousands. It won’t cost much to get started but will cost you time to learn about streaming and the streaming community, make connections and develop relationships with streamers, and create streamer resources.

There are four types of streaming events:
Do It Yourself (DIY) is low-cost, passive engagement that allows streams to come to you;
Solo allows you to reach out to a streamer and coordinate schedules, goals and promotions;
A marathon relay involves multiple streamers in many locations that coordinate their schedule and “raid” the next streamer for constant coverage; and,
A special event features multiple streamers too but at a single location, which tends to generate high viewership but also higher cost.

Marketing opportunities abound in livestream fundraising, which also provides instant donor engagement and community building. The challenge can be that donor data collection is not always transparent, depending on the payment method.

How does an organization get started? Recruit streamers. Start locally, perhaps with student groups, and meet streamers where they are, like conventions or Twitch Meetups. There also are charity stream teams, such as charitystreams.org and Good4Gaming.

To retain streamers for your organization, Almanzor suggested providing opportunities to meet each other, and you. “The way you meet them initially will be the way you cultivate and steward them going forward,” he said.

“Establishing relationships is one of the most important things to streamers and making sure you maintain that relationship will ensure the future of your livestream fundraising program.”