If you’re not in any online gaming or streaming community, you might not have heard of Thankmas, a charity campaign created by the popular YouTuber and streamer. Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, but its successful launch and year-over-year growth gives us some insight into the evolution of social fundraising.
Thanksmas is an annual holiday feed hosted by McLoughlin, described as “the one day of the year on which all people, regardless of family, race, gender, culture or religion, come together to thank their community and adopted families to raise funds. for a good cause’. In an interview with us, he states that “Towards the end of the year everyone gets in the mood to give because it’s time to give gifts and help each other. All you have to do is to do is steer this ship a certain way. “
In 2020, Thankmas partnered with UK charity Red Nose Day, raising more than $ 4.6 million (exceeding the target of $ 1.5 million) to help reduce child poverty and l food insecurity. In fact, last year marked the first time Thankmas has become a group effort, with McLoughlin, who had previously hosted Thankmas as a solo annual fundraiser, reaching out to other creators of content on platforms like Twitch and YouTube to help the cause.
As a result, other big names like Valkyrae and CrankGameplays have also helped fundraising efforts, turning Thankmas from a one-man operation into a community-based charity that’s not much different from charities like the aforementioned Red Nose Day, albeit instead of plugging in. your TV, you sit down to watch, and sometimes participate in your favorite content creator feeds.
We spoke to McLoughlin shortly before his own Thanksgiving stream and its explosive evolution. When we mentioned the success of last year’s efforts, McLoughlin said, “You said I almost raised $ 5 million last year, but I only made a small fraction of it, and even then, it was my community that helped raise this amount. Having so many creators and so many different people fundraising … it’s going to get huge eventually. “
There is no ‘I’ in the team
This is far from being a niche, as evidenced by this year’s efforts which raised nearly $ 7.5 million to fight homelessness, with all funds raised being donated to the association for purpose. non-profit. New story in partnership with tilt. We asked McLoughlin if he thinks social media and content creation platforms could be the future of community fundraising.
“While we, the creators, might be seen as ‘pioneers’ of the format, even large companies who have raised funds in the past using more traditional means are joining us,” he replied. “There are so many platforms now and so many eyeballs… YouTube and Twitch only grew during the pandemic because people were at home, and not only that, but also spaces like TikTok now that are increasing. faster than any other platform at the moment. “
“The amount of eyeballs on these platforms at any given time is tremendous, and people do such a good job with these platforms with the audience that they’ve provided that a lot of it gets overlooked. such a vast space, I really feel it’s just going to keep growing and growing ”.
For those who missed out on this year’s efforts, the creators are raising funds this Thanksgiving by hosting dedicated feeds or fundraisers for the cause, adding donate buttons to their pages, and involving their own community in the efforts. wider. Your grandparents or much of the non-digitally literate population is unlikely to know about the charity campaign, but there is a huge audience for this type of entertainment, especially the younger generation.
And as McLoughlin discovered, that audience is growing. “I try not to raise my expectations too high because you never really know, but I really feel like as the event grows it has definitely spread beyond myself. . When I contacted people before, I had to explain what Thanksgiving was, but it is no longer the case.
Associations are also evolving
Traditional methods of fundraising are unlikely to disappear overnight and more likely to coexist with community feeds for many years to come, but when charity campaigns use modern technology and apps, charities themselves do not. ‘also adapt to rapidly changing times.
New Story, the charity of choice for this year’s Thanksgiving efforts, doesn’t just build houses – it prints them. Using giant 3D printing machines provided by Austin-based construction technology company ICON, an entire house can be printed in 24 hours (in increments over about seven days). New Story states on its website that “there are over a billion people around the world who are living in safe homelessness. To reduce that number, we have to build differently. Building 3D printed homes is faster and has the potential to make quality, more affordable homes than the current industry standard.
We asked McLoughlin if there was anything that led to choosing this particular charity. “We change charities all the time, that’s good but I don’t want to tire my audience either. There are so many causes that I think I deserve a voice and awareness so we try to spread our word.”
“It was really important to us because it was such a new technology that I had no idea it was possible to 3D print a house before I spoke to them. You’ve heard about it in the news over the years, when 3D printers came out, that it sounded like a pipe dream. But then they said “no, we are literally doing it right now, $ 10,000 is building an entire house for a family in need” and that blew me away. “
Outside of the technology used, it is clear that this was motivated more by the desire to help build houses, with McLoughlin saying that “during the pandemic I feel like homelessness has become more prevalent, and those who were homeless before have now been hit even harder because of what is happening. It’s a strange subject because there are so many different paths and solutions to different parts that nothing is unique. “
“But some people see that and don’t tackle it at all, thinking that if they can’t help everyone, they won’t help anyone. Hearing what New Story has to offer and what they can do, it seemed like a no-brainer to get involved “.
Thanksmass Reader 2021 means nearly 750 homes can be built for those in need with donations from gamers, content creators, and their watching fans at home. Donations are still live on Tiltify for anyone looking to try and increase that number, but if the past few years are any indication, Thanksgiving 2022 could be an even greater force for good.
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