What Awesome Games Done Quick teaches nonprofits

Playing video games has never been as charitable.Playing video games fast has never been as charitable.

Last week, just outside Washington, D.C., a large group of video game players and fans gathered for a week-long event called Awesome Games Done Quick. It was a marathon streamed live on the Internet that had gamers finish video games as fast as possible using skills and a variety of exploits, a process called "speedrunning." You may think that this event seems ridiculous and unrelated to nonprofits. However, by running it like a telethon, AGDQ raised $1.56 million in donations through various channels in that week for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Such an incredible fundraising drive helps us provide valuable insights on using the Internet as way to hold events and raise money. Here are four lessons you can learn from this experience, especially as it relates to using nonprofit CRM software.

1. Educate people on your cause frequently

AGDQ and its summer variant Summer Games Done Quick work closely with their charities, the PCF and Medecins Sans Frontieres /Doctors Without Borders respectively. During the course of the marathon, hosts would regularly discuss which causes people were donating their money to, similar to a telethon. When you're hosting an event, you should remind people why they're watching or participating and why they should donate. Similarly, you should display your logo as much as you can. The stream consistently and conveniently displayed PCF's logo at all times.

2. Allow multiple fundraising channels

Gamers and viewers didn't have to donate money directly through the AGDQ site to contribute to the PCF. They could also purchase a special T-shirt through clothing site The Yetee. These people could also purchase several of the games being demonstrated through the gaming site Humble Bundle through a pay-what-you-want model, contributing their own cut to the charity. The two combined raised more than $245,000 for the event. Similarly, your nonprofit should also be able to use more than one channel for directing donations, working with other companies to yield the same result. CRM software can help you manage these donations.

3. Create fun incentives for donating

Along with special prizes, AGDQ and SGDQ offer donors the ability to bid on certain events happening for the games played. This includes file names, how the game is completed, and sometimes adding games to the schedule. Some incentives may be more successful than others. For example, more than $350,000 – more than a fifth of the donation total – was raised in a competition to determine whether gamers racing the Super Nintendo game Super Metroid were to complete an optional objective of saving some animals in the last 15 seconds of the race. While that is a highly specialized yet completely absurd example, giving such entertaining incentives provides donors a jolly reason to put their money in.

4. Have effective software to manage donations

AGDQ's donation tracker was run on software custom built by some of the gamers in the event, themselves computer engineers. However, the donation tracker was sometimes being difficult. It was so finicky this year that at the end of the event, organizer Andrew "romscout" Schroeder announced that more than $1.5 million was likely raised, and that a few hundred thousand dollars, while received by the PCF, weren't recorded in the tracker. This number was later confirmed to be close to $400,000, which raised some concerns. While the event organizers were able to clarify matters, your donation software shouldn't fail in the same way,  as that can annoy donors. By using effective CRM software, you won't have to worry.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at 3:32 am and is filed under Online Fundraising, Web Trends & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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