21 September 2021 / < 1 min read

Livestreaming: It’s Not All Gaming

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Livestreaming: It’s Not All Gaming

What if I told you that livestreaming has been around for almost three decades? Dating back to 1993, broadcasting livestreams online was created with the first broadcast of video and audio from Xerox PARC. For the next decade, livestream technology continued to grow and eventually brought us to the beginnings of YouTube in 2008 and Justin.tv, also known as Twitch.tv, in 2011.¹ 

Drawing on historical references to the beginnings of livestreaming is a good reminder that the livestreaming space isn’t new and has actually been around for quite some time. So, why does it feel like livestreaming is the newest trend that everyone is just now joining? The simple answer: accessibility. Currently, most people can connect and consume online content through a computer, tablet, or cellphone, at much faster and higher rates than years prior. By 2028, the streaming market is projected to be worth $223.98B. Based on this growth projection, it’s not surprising that livestreaming has grown in popularity.²

As technology has progressed to bringing broadcasts and TV to our devices, so did livestreaming in the gaming industry! Even before people were livestreaming their gaming sessions, they were recording their gameplay on traditional VHS tapes, sharing it with friends, or recording to prove record-breaking personal high scores, as Steve Wiebe did in 2003 on Donkey Kong. Arguably, the main reason livestreaming spread more rapidly within the gaming community is simply because gamers were early adopters to the medium. Even looking at the growth of livestreaming from another angle, gamers often find themselves at the forefront of early adoption because of an appetite for deeper connectivity that, until recent years, was not as accessible. Gaming and livestreaming sound like they just go perfectly together, don’t they? Well, it wasn’t long until people realized they could do charitable fundraising through gaming and livestreaming.

With the explosive growth of livestream gaming fundraisers, it’s only natural to ask yourself “should our nonprofit start a livestream gaming fundraising program?” The answer is yes, and no. Gaming programs are great, however, you are creating a culture of othering when you limit livestreaming to strictly gaming — as outlined in a previous Tiltify blog post.

A equally overlapping venn diagram showing Fundraisers that stream, Fundraisers that game and Fundraisers that support your non-profit

Think of your fundraising efforts in livestreaming like a Venn Diagram; only a portion of fundraisers who livestream will also be gamers, and vice versa. By limiting yourself to only focusing on building livestream gaming, you are only taking the smallest slice of the projected $223.98B market. Even on Twitch, a site originally focused on purely gaming content, the top streamed and top watched category is ‘Just Chatting.’



So, what does this mean for you as a nonprofit? It means you should 100% invest your time into understanding the livestream market. Every day on Tiltify, we see an amazing amount of creative fundraising happening that is not exclusive to gaming. Here are a few of our favorites:

An capture of a livestream of a person with headphone on painting on a blank canvas. On the bottom of the screen is an overlay stating $33,747 has been raised togetehr with the last donor and amount

TheRunawayGuys hosted a marathon fundraiser with friends and YouTubers to raise $434,654 for Direct Relief’s COVID-19 response efforts. During one of the segments, you can see they engaged viewers by giving them an opportunity to sabotage and change the course of a painting. Fundraiser DirtBagBoyfriend (AKA Alex) also hosted an art fundraiser last year for The Bail Project that raised over $3.7K to support protestors during the Black Lives Matter movement.



A screenshot of ChefSteve330's livestream with Chef Steve in a blue beanie sitting in his kitchen. A progress bar overlay shows #39,751.17 raised and a goal of $40,000

What’s better than fundraising for a charity? How about a full stomach of amazing food? Whether he is livestreaming from his backyard, professional kitchen, or food truck, ChefSteve330 has been filling our hearts as well as our appetites while raising over $42K for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Starlight Children’s Foundation. Cooking, baking, and food challenges are no strangers to the livestreaming spaces! In fact, celebrities are also getting involved! In December 2020, we saw Gordon Ramsay and Sean Evan’s take on the “Hot Ones” Challenge for the Make-A-Wish Foundation!



So, what does this mean for your nonprofit as you begin your journey of fundraising in the livestreaming space? It means there are endless possibilities with livestreaming, and you should focus on growing your impact across all categories! From art, cooking, crafts, performing arts, fitness, and traditional DIY, your nonprofit and your supporters will always be able to find a home in livestreaming!

Sources: ¹ Restream, ² Grand View Research

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