Today, not only charities and NGOs accept donations online. In the times of influencers, blogging, and esports, online donations have become a way of making a living for multiple emerging occupations, including professional gamers.
Gaming is a fast-growing and promising market now. Experts expect the video games industry will reach $200 billion in value in just three years, up from $155 billion in 2020. Mobile and cloud are two kinds of gaming contributing most to this growth. The latest online fundraising trends in the industry are subscription services and in-game sales, with the latter driven by a frenzy around free-to-play games like Fortnite or League of Legends.
Moreover, professionally playing video games can also be a lucrative field of activity. The global esports market revenue is evaluated at around $950 million in 2020, with a projected growth to $1.6 billion by 2023. These sums are the total of sponsorships, advertising, media rights, publisher fees, merchandise, tickets, streaming, and, of course, online donations.
This article will help you figure out what’s the best way to accept donations online for your gaming business and what the options are. We’ve also prepared some online fundraising tips that might nudge you to uncover new revenue streams aside from collecting donations. Let’s get started!
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3 fundraising tools for gaming businesses to accept donations with
Have you heard a recent story about a teenager spending almost $20,000 of his parents’ savings on Twitch donations? Well, you did now. Although parents have been able to reclaim most of the money, this is striking proof that people often tend to go overboard with their online donations. And this is not to mention millions of fans across the globe who are willing to send small online payments to support their favourite streamers. One way or another, if you’re in the gaming business, online fundraising is worth a shot, and here is how you can get the ball rolling:
1. Stream on Twitch
On this platform, the way to accept donations online for streamers is its built-in currency called Bits. Viewers purchase Bits with real money and send them to a streamer using the cheer command in the chat room. Besides, Twitch allows you to collect donations on a recurring basis if your viewers decide to subscribe to your channel. You should ensure you define an appealing set of benefits for subscribers, stimulating them to support you financially. The rates vary from $5 to $25, providing you with a regular income. However, the platform takes half of the revenue in both cases. Another option for making money on Twitch is connecting a third-party fundraising tool's payment button to your profile.
2. Start a YouTube channel
Although the most popular gamers on YouTube make money mostly on sponsorships and advertising, you can also accept payments by promoting your payment link on your profile, video, or description. To create such a link, you can use one of the payment providers offering such a service. For instance, PayPal is one of the most widespread options.
3. Consider Patreon
This service is all about building a community of your fans and supporters who seek more content from you and are willing to pay you for it. On Patreon, you can create a bunch of one-time and subscription offerings for your supporters. Moreover, you can even make streams available only to your community. This way, you’ll earn money and provide your biggest fans with the exclusive content they crave.
How to accept donations online independently
The abovementioned options are likely to fulfil the needs of solo gamers and streamers who’re just starting to explore donations as a source of income or don’t consider gaming a single source of income. But what if you’ve managed to build a pretty large esports organisation, having a range of activities and gathering many talented gamers? What if your gaming business has many ambassadors and fans and needs a stable, scalable and reliable way to accept payments?
In this case, you might want to accept donations online independently from other platforms.
Adding checkout to your website
If you have your own website with enviable traffic, it’s the best scenario. You can partner with a payment provider or two and add a “Donate” button to your site. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure the provider allows you to accept international payments. The more payment methods it offers, the better, but it’s usually up to you which ones to display on your payment page. The most sophisticated selection would generally include credit cards and a couple of geo-targeted payment options — for instance, GiroPay or Venmo. To make a wise choice, examine where most of your target audience is located. Don’t forget about mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Around 35% of online gaming payments are made through digital wallets, so supporting them is essential for the gaming business.
- There are multiple ways to integrate checkout into your website. Read the article by our CTO, Dmytro Dziubenko, explaining the most popular options.
- Remember that the checkout experience should be flawless so that users want to return and make a new donation. But most importantly, they should be able to finalise the payment without any technical glitches. It is crucial for donations, as the odds that a user will return and retry the payment after a failed first attempt are very low. To ensure smooth operations and get more donations, working with a couple of payment providers is better. But this advice only applies if your gaming business can boast a significant cash flow. In other cases, the costs probably won’t pay off.
- It is better to add support for both one-time and recurring donation options. Some people may prefer to support you just once, while others might want to do it regularly. Your online fundraising income would depend on how you handle the expectations of both categories.
- Choose the provider offering designed and customised checkout. It creates a consistent experience, develops brand awareness and increases trust, as the payment page in your design looks familiar and unquestionable. It definitely boosts your online fundraising.
Accepting donations without a website
If you don’t have a website, or you do but the traffic is low, you can still accept donations without depending on gaming or streaming platforms and their strict conditions. Reach out to a payment provider offering the ability to create payment links. You can place your link wherever you want, for example, on social media, gaming forums and chats, your videos’ descriptions, etc. After clicking on it, the user will be redirected to a payment page hosted by the provider. Voila!
How to raise money on gaming besides donations
Now that you’re a gaming donations and online fundraising guru, here are seven other monetisation ideas for your consideration:
- Create esports events online or locally. You can sell tickets and charge players for participation.
- If you have a team of gamers, participate in tournaments. Consequently, you can not only win the prize but also benefit from a share of media rights.
- Having a famous brand, you can create and sell merchandise to your fans. Similarly, you can produce and sell exclusive content.
- Set a goal and organise a crowdfunding campaign.
- If you have many viewers on streaming platforms, use advertising.
- Partner companies and brands. To illustrate, many large enterprises are seeking influencers in various industries, including gaming, and are ready to pay generously for promoting their products.
- Provide coaching services. You can make money by teaching others to play if you or your teammates master one or multiple games.
How Corefy can help gaming businesses handle payments
Whichever way of making money on gaming you choose, we have the right solution for any case. We provide a technical infrastructure that equips you with limitless payment capabilities, including, but not limited to:
- Dozens of established connections with payment providers.
- The ability to connect payment methods in a few clicks.
- Numerous tools and services that make working with multiple PSPs a piece of cake.
- Sophisticated checkout built with the consumer in mind.
- Handy and versatile payment links.
- Proven expertise and assistance in organising your payment processes.
- Highly configurable and customisable platform.