What if games actually could make a difference in the real world? Tuun and the International Medical Corps made that happen this year.
Like many kids growing up in the ‘90s, plenty of my time was spent out-of-doors – countless hours riding my bike with friends, playing catch with my dad and brother, even just taking walks.
However, I also played a lot of games.
With the help of my siblings and dad, I was fed a steady diet of different games, both console and PC alike – Sonic the Hedgehog, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and, yes, ALL of the Marios. My favorite, though, was the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – I logged hour after hour on the Nintendo64 console, exploring the fictional world of Hyrule. I was, and still am, hooked – I’ve followed every iteration of the Zelda franchise since (Breath of the Wild 2, anyone?). But nothing compares to those early days when I tried in earnest to help the characters in the game bring peace to their home.
At that age, the NPCs (non-playable characters) were real to me, and my ability to help them was limited only by my gaming skills … which were admittedly pretty poor, but that’s beside the point. Now, as an adult, I know that in some ways this fictional world is all too real. There are people around the world going through similar hardships like conflict and natural disasters – but minus the magic, time travelling and chosen hero to fix it all. The problems are the same, but the solutions are much more difficult – in reality, helping isn’t as simple as finishing all the sidequests or beating the final boss.
But what if games actually could make a difference in the real world? Tuun and the International Medical Corps made that happen this year.
A (fundraising) strategy guide
Established last year as a result of the pandemic, Tuun’s goal is simple: To become a bridge between video games and causes in need, between the virtual world that has given us so much enjoyment and the real world … that has given us everything we know.
As quoted on the Tuun website:
“The COVID pandemic arrived to threaten the life we had known for so long. People all around the world were suffering, bringing an estimate of an additional 150 million people into extreme poverty, according to … UNICEF. While this was happening, we had the privilege of seeing the gaming community grow and unite to help people and charities in need. That’s when Tuun was born, aiming to expand this movement and reach as [many] people as possible, by uniting streamers, gamers and brands with the rest of the world.”
Tuun runs campaigns that involve Twitch streams and giveaways where the majority of proceeds go to charities. They work with pro streamers and celebrities to help get the word out and access more potential donors. Here’s a breakdown of the process to get involved:
- Choose a campaign. Whether it is a streamer or a celebrity, choose the person you would like to have a gaming session with. Have fun, learn and show the world what you’ve got.
- Support a cause. Each sweepstakes supports different organizations of the pro-streamer’s or celebrity’s choosing. Let’s create a better world together by connecting through gaming.
- Win! We have our finger crossed so that you can win this amazing opportunity and be able to have the stream of your life.
With Tuun’s model, 80% of the funds raised goes to the charity involved. Only 10% goes to marketing and fees, while 10% goes to Tuun to cover operational expenses and the launch of future campaigns.
One of their most recent campaigns was in support of International Medical Corps. As a leading global humanitarian organization, International Medical Corps’ focus is first response in the aftermath of emergencies. They work with those affected by conflict, natural disasters and more to “recover, rebuild and gain the skills and tools required for self-reliance.” So, they don’t just swoop in and provide temporary aid – part of their format is to drive long-term, lasting change in the communities they help (Want to know more about their work? Read on).
We have a relationship with both Tuun and International Medical Corps. Tuun came to Global Impact to explore fiscal sponsorship – through these services, we receive funds and then distribute them to the charities in question. This ensures that the donors receive a tax deduction for their pledge. Learn more about our fiscal sponsorship services and apply today.
International Medical Corps, on the other hand, is one of our Charity Alliance partners. We work with them to boost their workplace fundraising initiatives and visibility so they can better offer support to those in need after disaster strikes – and we saw a huge opportunity with Tuun.
We connected the two organizations and their campaign with SuperEvan and Cairo Santos was born.
Streaming to make an impact
Tuun and International Medical Corps partnered with each other to offer something unique to gamers (and potentially some of International Medical Corps’ own repeat donors) who want to make a difference and support emergency response – and they involved pro Call of Duty: Modern Warzone streamer SuperEvan and NFL Chicago Bears’ Cairo Santos to do it.
What’s the top prize, you ask? A gaming session with SuperEvan and Santos!
A donation wasn’t required to enter the contest, but you could increase your chances of winning through several donation options (100 entries for $10, 250 entries for $25 and so on).
Participants could win a 1.5 hour gaming session, limited edition HyperX Cloud Alpha gold headset or Playstation 5.
The campaign launched on April 13 and officially closed on April 30, running 17 days before game day went live on May 2 at 4 p.m. EDT. Two drawings were held – one on the final day of the campaign, and another on game day during the stream (which you can now watch here).
The results of the campaign are in: A total of $4,000 was raised for International Medical Corps! Following the success of this campaign, Tuun plans to run two to three campaigns a month, and Global Impact is working on connecting them to our other Charity Alliance partners.
The potential for these out-of-the-box approaches to fundraising knows no boundaries. I, for one, was impressed at the creativity in reaching out to gamers through the Tuun campaign to help bring in more recurring donors through the gaming community – a group that is both vast and diverse. I look at this method and I see only opportunity for both nonprofits and individuals. Here are my takeaways:
- Nonprofits, consider your untapped potential donors – gamers might be among them! – but also think further than that. What other groups of people out there may not be reached by your conventional social media and advertising? How can you reach them?
- Individuals – You can make a difference! Especially if you have a following on social media (whether it be Twitch, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), you have the power to harness that following to move mountains – so tap into it! And that goes for gamers who dedicate so much time to their virtual worlds, as well. Remember that there are ways you can use these skills to help real people and create a better future.
As the International Medical Corps Tuun campaign slogan said, “It’s our world, let’s play to save it.” So when you’re thinking about how to approach your fundraising, take a page out of Tuun’s strategy guide. Find out how you can partner with International Medical Corps or Tuun – start a conversation with us today.
If you are a streamer or a brand reading this and you would like to launch or contribute to a similar campaign you can find more information at https://tuun.tv/ or email Tuun.