DreamHack, the esports and gaming lifestyle convention held across the world, added a new city to it’s circuit this year. DreamHack Dallas made its inaugural debut after the company making the decision to leave Austin, Texas. While DreamHack is mainly known for all their esports tournaments, concerts, and LAN experiences, what people may not realize is that DreamHack also has a variety of panels to attend throughout the convention.
With a focus on communities and the various ways that gaming intersects with life there were a variety of panels from how to market yourself, esports teams as grassroots organizations, and much more. I was able to attend the 1UpOnCancer panel where the charity’s team discussed how to start streaming for charities and some of the problems that you may encounter while trying to start your own charity streams.
If you haven’t heard about 1UpOnCancer, they’re gaming community-based non-profit 501(c)(3) that provides direct financial assistance for adults in the United States undergoing cancer treatment. Through quarterly application windows, if you’re an adult with cancer treatment bills you can apply and if approved they will ask for your bill and then pay your doctor directly. With this kind of direct assistance, raising funds is important and one of the ways the team does it by encouraging charity streams.
All of the panelists were members of 1UpOnCancer in varying degrees. Christina Haslage, president/CEO, Chris Haslage, program manager/Co-Founder, Kevin Wallace, advisor for the charity, Aleezilla, events manager, Kat Dell, Promotions Manager, and Zeenigami, full-time Twitch streamer and Youtuber who has raised money for the charity via streaming. Personally, I have had the pleasure of meeting most of these panelists, first through an interview with them a while back for our podcast, But Why Tho?, and consecutively at Texas conventions. So, I was excited to see what all they had to say about streaming and raising money for such a great cause.
In addition to this, as a podcast, we have also streamed for charities in the past and it was definitely a learning experience. So, being able to attend a panel on the topic with a charity we care for was great to see, since I am sure there plenty of people there that were just like us at one time, unsure of how to start a charity stream and what it all entailed.
The panel started by the founders of 1UpOnCancer explaining their mission and how they go about having people stream for them. This is something that they have been investing in over the past few years, as they now have a streaming studio and seem to be really focused in the streaming space. Which makes sense since gaming connects them and the applicants, as they all love playing video games and helping people. They also made sure to cover some of the FAQs they have encountered over the years from various people that were interested in streaming for them.
Some of the rules of charity streaming that they talked about were just ones that they had established for 1UpOnCancer as a stream community and while they may not be attributed to all charity streams, they were still very good to follow in general. These included not drinking or smoking on stream, watching your language and ultimately making sure that you are representing the charity you are representing in an appropriate way. In addition, the panel broke down Tiltify and how to get your audience involved like setting goals.
I really enjoyed that they had brought in a few of the people that had streamed not only for them but for other charities as well. This helped round out the panel and gave a good perspective of how charity streams work from the charity and streamers side, along with a good set of Dos and Don’ts of charity streaming.
Another major component of the panel that I enjoyed was the discussion of good and bad charities and the importance of streamers researching them. In addition, Wallace, who works with many charities in an advisory capacity, gave a few ways of looking up charities to see how they are rated and if they have any issues in the public space. He even gave some sources to use such as CharityWatch and GuideStar, databases where you can plug in a charity name and will learn how they rate in comparison to other organizations and where their funds go. With that, Wallace and Chris Haslage went over some of the laws that define how charities are supposed to display their information.
First, all 501(c)(3) organizations must display their 501 status on their websites, identifying themselves as non-profits. Secondly, the EID and/or Tax numbers of charities should be displayed on their websites and should be easily accessible for people to find in order to research their use of funds and for them to be properly indexed by tools like CharityWatch. This is something that I don’t think many people know about or even think about since there are over one million charities in the United States alone, with many more acting as such without having the proper accreditation. Because of this, knowing which charities are good and which ones are bad is something that anyone wanting to work with and/or stream for in this case should know about.
Listening to each panelist with their unique perspectives ranging from the CEO all the way down to the streamer really drove home the points that charity streaming is more than just pressing “Go Live.” Research, as in most things, is key to not only working with charities in general but also streaming for charities. With streamers raising thousands of dollars for organizations it’s important that the ones doe legitimate work receive help.
In addition to this, using pages like 1UpOnCancer’s How to Charity Stream page can help any streamer get their charity stream off the ground. Many people don’t realize that just setting up the donation portion of a stream can be frustrating so having a panel that broke down Dos and Don’ts, stream setup, promoting, research sources, and other things were great for anyone that has ever been interested in raising money for a charity. But while all of this information may feel overwhelming the 1Up team was reassuring, whether it’s $5, $100, $1000, more, any amount is important. So don’t get discouraged, keep streaming, and get to researching.
If you are interested in streaming for 1UpOnCancer information can be found HERE.