Charity Streaming

Charity Streaming

By Joanna Mechlinski.

We’re constantly surrounded by charities that implore us to help. Whether it’s disaster relief for survivors of the latest hurricane or earthquake, or ever-present needs such as animal rescue or homelessness, it can often feel like there are so many more worthy causes out there than available money in your pocket or volunteer time in your day.

Joanna Mechlinski

That’s one reason charity streaming is becoming so popular. Quite simply, a charity stream is when an individual or team goes online with some form of entertainment, urging viewers to donate to a specific charity. While video games with commentary are popular, a charity stream can be literally anything that a person chooses to broadcast, from live music to dares (e.g. shaving one’s head if a certain amount is raised). Some streamers choose to attract viewers with contests or rewards.

“The biggest benefit to charity streaming is the ease of it,” said Katherine Waddell, who currently serves as promotions manager for 1UpOnCancer, a gaming-centered nonprofit that helps adults fighting cancer with their medical bills. Although the organization is based in Dallas, TX, any U.S. citizen aged 18 or over is eligible for assistance.

Waddell first got involved in the concept when Twitch Texas’ community meet-ups did a 30-hour streaming marathon for Hurricane Harvey relief through Tiltify. “Anyone can stream from a number of different platforms (gaming-related being Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube Gaming and Mixer) and can go live at any time. Social media also makes sharing events with friends and followers simple.”

Chris Haslage, 1UpOnCancer’s vice president and program manager, agrees.

“Streaming benefits simply are 21st century awareness,” he said. Haslage relates charity streaming to the popularity of telethons in previous decades.

“People would watch these because something special was going to happen,” he said.

According to PR Newswire in 2017, the live video streaming market is estimated to grow from $30.29 billion in 2016 to over $70 billion by 2021. Facebook estimates that live content on their site receives approximately 10 times more comments than previously recorded videos (Business Insider)

With so many obvious advantages, are there any negative aspects?

“It’s best to spread out charity streams,” said Waddell, who compared it to kids trying to sell their school’s fundraising items when other kids are doing the same.

Interested in charity streaming but not sure how to start? Some great resources include:

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Authored by: Joanna Mechlinski

Joanna Mechlinski is a former newspaper reporter who now works in education. She is a chronic pain sufferer who lives in Connecticut and is a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report. You can follow her on twitter @castlesburning.

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Kathleen Kaiser

This reminded me of when I worked for our local school district for 10 years. Every single year we were asked to donate to United Way. If we did donate we pledged a certain amount to come out of our paychecks to go towards United Way. It was voluntary but if you did not want to donate then you were required to fill out a form saying you did not want to donate. I thought this was not only an invasion of my privacy it was judgmental at best. I should not have to fill out a form because I do not want to donate to the cause that the school district decided on. I refused to sign that form for years and got away with it. But the last 3 years I could not get them to accept that I wasn’t going to sign a paper saying that I was not going to donate to United Way. I even tried going to my union and their opinion was that it was no big deal just sign the form and move on. This was being held against my employment! I did my own donating my own way to my own groups and it really was nobody else’s business but my own.

One thing I can say about helping someone you don’t know is there’s a feeling you get that money just can’t buy! My choice of people to help are the homeless and children. When it’s an issue close to your heart I think that plays a big role as well. Weather we have only a few dollars or hundreds of dollars to spare, it’s just a wonderful feeling that you’ve helped someone. God always gives you back what you’ve given any way. That of course is not the reason to do it. We have a recently new Aldi’s in our town. It’s the grocery store where you have to put a quarter in your cart in able to unlock it from the others, therefore it helps the store in making the grocery prices lower. One of the first times I went it had been a long day and a hard one at that. I was ready with my quarter to put it in and get my grocery cart. Out of nowhere.
a man appeared and said, “Here you go” I tried to give him a quarter and he said, “No, just have a great day!” An act as small as that helped to indeed make my day so much better. Of course after I was finished with my cart, I did the same thing. I gave it to another and said, “Have a great day, please pass it on.” Since then I’ve had to use very few quarters in which to get my grocery carts for there’s most always someone saying here, “Have a great day” or simply, “Pass it on please”, with a smile attached. When I do use my own quarter I continue the act of kindness to this day. Even if it means leaving an empty shopping cart with a quarter in it slid into the other ones, but not chained. So the mere act of charity, be it great or small is a most wonderful thing for not just the reciever but the giver as well!

Barbara Mills

I run a chronic pain support group on FB and we do not allow anyone to post fundraisers on the site – to many of us are low income and it would be unfair to the members coming for support to allow such fundraising posts on the site – it makes people feel guilty that they cannot afford to contribute to each worthy cause because they do care about these causes – its not fair for members coming to a support group for support to be faced with constant requests for their already short funds to be faced with requests for those funds so we don’t allow them in our group. Once in a while someone feels this is unfair but for the most part, everyone supports this stand in our group. There are too many demands for our money already and we just need to learn how to say NO.