Forbes: Twitch Streamers Raised More Than $83M So Far In 2020: Are They the New Philanthropists?

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A new article on Forbes reports on how many nonprofits have transferred their efforts to using peer-to-peer platforms and says that tens of millions are getting raised by a new generation of 'joystick philanthropists' on Twitch.

Professional gamers and their fans are changing the donations landscape during the pandemic. Charity fundraisers like DrLupo, Pestily, and Nick28T are all getting on board a new trend for raising cash online - and it's massively benefitting charities all over. Michael Wasserman is CEO of Tiltify:

"We have worked with Twitch from Day 1 of Tiltify in 2014, and it continues to be a home for so many amazing and unique communities that we have seen are incredibly socially aware and philanthropic. From major events like Yogscast Jingle Jam and Stream Aid to the power of every creator, big or small, Twitch has been a massive platform for growth in the charitable industry. I'm continually blown away by the generosity of these online communities."
Nick28T is a Canadian Twitch creator who has raised almost $1 million for cancer research via Twitch. Aly Sweetman is Director of Creator Social Impact at the platform:

"Charity has always been an important part of Twitch, a place where anyone can find a shared sense of purpose with a community as passionately dedicated to causes as themselves. Our creators on Twitch, regardless of their following and across all categories, have been engaging in philanthropic pursuits."
The gamer DrLupo, whose real name is Ben Lupo, runs an annual stream called 'Build Against Cancer' to raise over $3.68 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Lupo says:

"Charity streams on Twitch are important to me because it provides an opportunity for gamers to come together for the greater good. There are tons of wonderful causes being championed by pioneer content creators across every platform, and to be able to be a part of that has nothing but a positive impact on the industry. It's a chance to show that gaming truly does good."
Pestily is an Australian gamer and runs 'Gaming for Sick Kids,' raising money for the Starlight Children's Foundation. He's generated AU $1,214,918.72:

"I come from a large family and have always wanted to help others - first through serving in the military and working as a firefighter, and now through community building and fundraising on Twitch. I heard about the Starlight Children's Foundation Australia from a few friends personal experiences of their help through difficult times, and after some research of my own and believing in their goals, it was an easy choice to partner with them for the year. Twitch has given myself along with my community an opportunity to do something larger than ourselves - raising over $1.2million AUD in 2020."
Nick28T has a million followers on the platform, and he's used them to raise more than 230,000 Canadian dollars for the BC Cancer Foundation:

"Doing charity work has always been important to me even before I started streaming on Twitch. Once streaming started to take off, I wanted to give back to charities that mean a lot to me. Myself and my family have been deeply affected by cancer and are still being affected, so most of my charity efforts are centered around cancer research organizations and treatment hospitals."
Twitch says it doesn't share individual viewership data but averages 26.5 million viewers each day, and many of them are donating. Sweetman says:

"Having already raised over $83 million for charities during this tumultuous year, we are excited to continue working closely with our creators to help them surpass their fundraising goals and support their favorite causes."
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    Interesting trend - imo speaks to a broader (ie not just Twitch) trend of digital-born talent leveraging the platforms they're on, and the fanbases they've cultivated thereon, to generate substantial revenue in other categories using brand new approaches. "MrBeast" of YouTube fame is another one who's done this (believe he's raised over $20M for charity). Suspect there will be more interesting efforts both in philanthropy as well as other categories to come...
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  • Platforms made philanthropy easier and more accessible. I think another reason why people on platforms like Twitch are more willing to give is because even small donors are recognized. Your name is going to show up on screen even you only giving $1. There's a chance your favorite streamer will read your name even if you only give $5. You don't have to give millions to be acknowledged.
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