Help Level Up These Gaming Nonprofits For #GivingTuesday
Just like I did this year, I’m sure you bought and received plenty of new goodies thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Receiving things is great, of course, but giving things is even better. The power of giving is really unlike anything else as it can truly make someone’s day.
While there were plenty of excellent streamers, video game developers, and publishers that I chatted with during TwitchCon, I was pleasantly surprised to find so many wonderful gaming-focused nonprofits that are making a positive difference for thousands of people around the world. For #GivingTuesday, I’d like to share these nonprofits to raise awareness for them and help them level up. If you’re wondering what #GivingTuesday is, below, you can find more information on it.
What is #GivingTuesday?
It’s a global day that connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations around the world for one common yet effective purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. Since 2012, #GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the biggest shopping events of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
Participating in #GivingTuesday is easy. You can choose to give a helpful donation, volunteer, or simply help spread awareness.
Gaming Nonprofits List (in alphabetical order):
1,000 Dreams Fund’s BroadcastHER Intiative
1,000 Dreams Fund (1DF) is a nonprofit organization that supports talented young women following their dreams across a variety of industries. Donate Link
1DF’s BroadcastHER Initiative and grant programs are designed to support women who are pursuing their dreams in content creation and gaming, while also raising awareness for the continued gender gap in financial funding for young women in the gaming and broadcasting space.
The organization has already supported numerous streamers and content creators, and I hope it can continue to do so.
1UPOnCancer is a gaming community-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to direct financial assistance for adults in the United States undergoing cancer treatment. Donate Link
For streamers, 1UPOnCancer has a streaming studio at the NōD in Dallas. The studio is completely free, and it’s open to all streamers who want a break from their routine or need a powerful gaming rig to play the latest games.
The organization began on July 11, 2015, after Chris and Christina Haslag learned about the passing of the President and CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, who died of cancer.
Cancer treatment is ridiculously expensive, so I’m glad that 1UP On Cancer is helping out with this.
Anxiety Gaming is a community-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing free mental health resources for the gaming community. Also, Anxiety Gaming conducts research to better understand mental health issues. Donate Link
The organization does so much to support the gaming community, such as donating video game consoles to foster homes, matching gamers with a therapist, and even completely covering the cost of mental health care for those that couldn’t otherwise afford it.
Donating, whether it’s money or used games, is one way to support Anxiety Gaming, but even just playing video games with someone who may not have many friends to play with helps too.
The Call of Duty Endowment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants to the best performing charities that prepare veterans to compete for high-quality jobs. The organization is supported by Activision Blizzard, and to date, Activision Blizzard has donated more than $25 million to the Endowment. Donate Link
It was initially co-founded by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick — who in 2007, during a veterans initiative in Los Angeles, realized that veteran projects focus too much on symbolism, such as creating monuments and naming public parks.
Only a select few veteran projects actually support veterans with what they need, such as jobs.
Extra Life unites thousands of players around the world in a 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since it began in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $40 million for sick and injured kids.
This year’s Extra Life has already passed, but you can still sign up today and dedicate a day of play for kids in your community! Sign Up Link
Gamers Outreach is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that provides recreation to children in hospitals through the power of video games and the gaming community. Donate Link
Since hospitalization can often be a lonely, isolating, and scary experience for young people (I’ve never liked going to the hospital), it’s nice for them to have video games to help make things a bit better. I’ll never forget how happy I was to play Spy Hunter on PS2 during my time at the hospital.
Gamers Outreach began as a group of high school students who enjoyed hosting video game tournaments, and as their tournaments grew, they began donating profits from their events to charity.
GaymerX is a San Francisco Bay Area-based 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on celebrating and supporting LGBTQ+ people and culture in the world of gaming, with a focus on video games. Donate Link
It began in 2012 as the first-ever LGBTQ-focused gaming convention. GaymerX has since grown into a yearly event in San Francisco, New York, and Australia featuring an expo, entertainment, and panels focused on queer culture and issues in gaming. Also in 2017, GaymerX became a fully fledged nonprofit organization and expanded their programming to include opportunities for LGBTQ+ game developers to participate in professional conferences and other gaming events.
I love how GaymerX has truly made space that’s open to everyone, and can’t wait for the next GaymerX in San Francisco.
I Need Diverse Games (INDG)
I Need Diverse Games is a 501 (c)(3) foundation that seeks to bring projects, works, and research by marginalized folks to light. The organization is able to do so thanks to the power of social media. Donate Link
In addition to bringing awareness, INDG also seeks to discuss, analyze and critique identity and culture in video games through a multi-faceted lens rooted in intersectionality.
Having really enjoyed how recent games highlighted diverse characters and themes, like White Owls’ The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories and Mulaka from Lienzo, I hope that more diverse games can be brought into the world, and get into the limelight.
Player vs Hunger is a video game charity organization focused on creating a space for gamers and the gaming industry to give back to at-risk communities struggling with food insecurity and hunger. They believe that everyone deserves good nutrition, a full stomach, and the relief of not having to worry about where the next meal is coming from. Donate Link
In 2017, there were 53.6 million online console gamers in the U.S. With 21.4% of children in the U.S. at risk of food insecurity and 1/4 people who are food-insecure that are unlikely to qualify for federal nutrition programs, it’d be great for millions of gamers to pitch in to help people in need of food.
Founded in 2015, Stack Up is a military charity that brings both veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming through multiple programs. Donate Link
Stack Up puts together video game care packages for troops, helps troops attend gaming and geek culture events, and supports veterans with their transition back to civilian life. If Stack Up were a video game character, they’d be the ultimate, loyal support unit.
AbleGamers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization that wields the power of gaming to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for children, adults, and veterans with disabilities. Donate Link
Thanks to custom gaming setups including modified controllers and special assistive technology from AbleGamers, people with disabilities are able to play games and have fun with their friends and family. Recently, AbleGamers teamed up with Microsoft’s Xbox Accessibility Team to create the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is simply incredible and I’m glad that so many more gamers are able to have the chance to play.
There are so many other fantastic nonprofits out there that you can support, but this is just a short list of gaming nonprofits that I learned about at TwitchCon. Please feel free to let me know to add any other nonprofits to the list, I’d be happy to add more.
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