For this week's "How-To Tuesday", I'm going to be talking about something a little bit different compared to last week's subject on Repeated Acts of Courage. (look at this guy keeping it fresh!)
Unlike before, where I was basically able to condense everything down to a singular post, I strongly feel this one deserves much, much more attention to detail. And so for the next couple of Tuesday's (hopefully no more than 3 given my current personal blueprint), I'm very excited to be diving into a rather unique topic that has been such a monumental part of my past - not to mention, something that has provided one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever felt in my entire life.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is...
How to perform a Video Game Charity Event. And raise a ton of money for a good cause in the process..
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Now, for starters... I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that a lot of you probablllllly don't know WHAT a Video Game Charity Event is. And my dear, dear reader, if you're silently nodding your head right now or sitting still for fear of judgment... that's more than okay! Hell, it's understandable!
Because, well... a few short years ago, I had no idea what it was either.
The truth is, I don't think enough people DO know what a Video Game Charity Event is. And honestly? That's precisely why I'm writing this. Simply put, the world needs ore and more "good people doing good things" each and every day. And for most, finding new and creative ideas to get involved with philanthropy proves challenging... so, I'm hoping that the sooner you learn what I'm talking about, the sooner you'll be motivated to want to try and do it as well! Because that's the crazy thing about Video Game Charity Events....
ANYONE can do them. Even if you "suck" at video games, or don't know a THING about them... ANYONE can do it.
...Don't believe me? I went into my first event with my (amazing) friends back in 2010 with absolutely zero experience under my belt. And guess what? It still became a success. And the results from the other two we did back in 2011 and 2013? Over $30,000.00 raised for charity. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, namely.
I firmly believe that Video Game Charity Events are one of the greatest ways possible to make a huge difference in a short amount of time in the charity world. And most of all, to have a heck of a lot of fun every second while doing it too.
Sounds appealing, huh? Now that I can sense your ears are perking up, let's dive right into the basics of WHAT EXACTLY a Video Game Charity Event IS:
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In essence, a Video Game Charity Event is when a group of individuals gather together for an extended period of time (typically during a weekend when most people aren't working) and broadcast LIVE over the internet:
- Video Games being played on screen
- The people in the room playing the video games and commentating during them.
To get a better picture... think of a YouTube video that automatically loads on your screen. Except, everything you are seeing is happening LIVE in REAL TIME and you get to see/hear the people involved for each and every second of it.
The fact that this is all happening LIVE means it allows people from ALL ACROSS THE WORLD the opportunity to DONATE at ANY TIME.
Typically, the charity of choice (we chose St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for our last event back in 2013) will be conveniently placed on your screen with the TOTAL AMOUNT raised so far during the event and HOW MUCH they are aiming for ("the goal", essentially)
By clicking that simple, "Donate" button... you will be streamlined to a page where you can enter ANY amount you want to contribute to the cause. This could be $5. This could be $100. This could be $1. It doesn't matter because in the end, it's ALL GOING TOWARDS HELPING REACH THAT GOAL.
This is the best part...
When you donate, the people AT the event will be informed of it practically immediately. And they will shout out your name, how much you contributed... and give you a grand ol' round of applause too! (well, we did, anyways...)
I should also mention that when you donate at Video Game Charity Events, you have the opportunity to leave a comment to your donation as well. Whether you're leaving the donation in memory of a person you lost to cancer or just to say "good job guys!" everything gets read out loud to the rest of the world! And for those few seconds, from behind your computer screen on a Friday night, you managed to be a part of it.
And that's a great feeling, let me tell you...
The first time it ever happened to me, I was watching something called "Mario Marathon" (to see their website, go to www.mariomarathon.com). It was the first time I had EVER seen a Video Game Charity before and within an hour of being sucked in by how much fun these friends were having together beating every single Mario game, I decided to play my part and donate... I didn't think they would read it. I didn't care if they did.
...but they did. They read my whopping $15 donation (I was in college, okay) and gave me a round of applause from across the United States. And that, reader, was a moment I'll never forget.
In fact, looking back, I think that's probably the moment I realized just how badly I wanted to do something like this myself one day.
I saw how much good they were doing and how many other people's donations were following my own. It was a domino effect. You see one person donate, you want to donate as well. And before you know it, playing a video game raises thousands and thousands of dollars for charity.
I think one of the other best parts of a Video Game Charity Event, however, is the fact that there is ALWAYS something happening. I could get home from a "hot date" feeling great about myself and start brushing my teeth getting ready to go to bed... and then, out of curiosity, I go back to the Video Game Charity Event's website and.......... BAM!
Something is still happening! It's 3am on the east coast there, and they're still going at it! They're still getting donations! And I can't help but notice that the amount of money they've raised since I went out to the movies is a few thousand dollars higher than when I saw them earlier that afternoon.
So, in summary, Video Game Charity Events have:
- People playing video games LIVE nonstop (even during the wee hours of the night) in the name of charity.
- People talking, laughing and interacting with everybody across the world from chat (I had an Australia donation my first event), praising donations and making them feel like a part of it... because they ARE a part of it, even if they're not physically there.
- A set donation goal for the particular charity that they are trying to REACH before the END of the event itself.
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...Of course, there are more elements that simply this... prizes, raffles, donation incentives, challenge rounds, milestones, camera work, technical equipment, sleeping shifts, commentators, players themselves.
And let's not even START with promoting the event itself, getting sponsors, social media, website management, event location, and so on..
Now do you see why I want to make this multiple parts...?
For now, you hopefully have a much better idea of what a Video Game Charity Event.... Next week, I'll start going into the things you will NEED for the event itself BEFORE you can actually start doing it.
Have a great Tuesday everyone!