In February 2021 my team (the Hachikrew) and I raised over two thousand dollars for the American Red Cross to support their relief efforts after the Texas winter floods. We used the program Tiltify.
In writing this article, I in no way take credit for the majority of the fundraising effort. The credit goes entirely to my team, the Hachikrew, who went above and beyond in their efforts to support the people of Texas. In writing this article, I intend to highlight the strengths of my team that allowed this effort to be successful. If you want to get to know the rest of the Hachikrew, please visit our Tiltify fundraising page.
What is Tiltify?
Tiltify is a program external to Twitch that allows you to fundraise and collect donations using the native Twitch platform rather than an external site. Donations are integrated into an overlay that allows for stream notifications similar to Twitch’s native subscribe and bits feature.
The advantage of using Tiltify is that streamers can focus entirely on streaming content rather than organizing the mechanics of their fundraiser. They aren’t responsible for handling the money donated to the campaign, which is a major downside of fundraisers that use subs and bits. This is by no means something that has to be unique to Tiltify – it is simply the only program that offers the ability to handle the money for you at the time of writing this article.
Alternatives to Tiltify wouldn’t be a bad thing. Tiltify also has a major downside in that you’re limited to fundraising for campaigns that have already applied for Tiltify, rather than any 501(c)3 registered organization. A program that could offer the same ease of use that Tiltify offers that also allows smaller, less-funded organizations to fundraise using the platform would fill an important niche.
What makes a fundraiser successful?
Before you read on, please note that if you haven’t filled out every single possible option on your fundraising program – or at least given them all a look over to see if there’s any features that would be right for you – then your fundraiser is still incomplete. If your program offers the option for further customization, whether that be a splash image or custom notifications, please take it.
People support the things that they care about.
This is important both when collecting donations (explaining to people why they should donate and how their contribution makes an impact) and when motivating your team. If your team doesn’t feel passionate about the cause that they’re supporting, they won’t be able to perform at their full potential.
No outside observer can decide what’s right for you or your team. Leadership is responsible for figuring out the underlying motivations of the people in their charge. I, personally, have no relatives in Texas and no particular ties there, but a member of our team does. The respect and admiration that people had for that team member helped humanize the anonymous mass of huddled victims on the news.
When they realized that there were people in Texas that needed their help, my team answered the call. But they did so because they believed that they had the power to answer it.
What about those who refuse the call?
Ultimately the specific details of why people refuse to answer the call are unimportant. The refusal of the call comes down to a feeling of powerlessness.
People don’t fundraise for their communities because they think fundraising will be impossible, and that all of their effort will be for nothing.
While the reasons are unimportant, they can come in many forms, and all of them are different heads on the same undermotivated hydra. When the issue of money management is taken off the table, personal fears that would normally be explained away by a lack of desire to do the paperwork come bubbling to the surface. Therefore, these are meant as general affirmations.
Why is my small action as part of a team capable of making such an impact?
We are incapable of knowing the true impact our actions have on others. Something that we find easy to accomplish ourselves can be impossible for someone else. When separated from the reward of validation for our actions, it’s hard to see our place in the larger ecosystem of volunteers.
For myself, I would describe my work style, pathologically, as an unyielding plowhorse walking ceaselessly towards my goal. I have my blinders on – I am incapable of rest – I must work harder. While I’m capable of getting an immense amount of work done, sometimes having a soft hand and a gentle voice guide me away from my work and force me to the rest is the one thing I need in that moment. While an action like that may seem small, it allows me to get the rest I need and not burn out.
I have encountered many people who needed one small act of kindness, consideration, or sacrifice to motivate them. I base my social engineering on a backbone of small sacrifices that I have made. I am the largest crab at the bottom of the crab bucket, and once I tip you all out, you can come back for me. People who see me make these small sacrifices are motivated to join me.
Finding the quality within you that is capable of motivating others comes from time spent introspecting and collaborating with people that you trust. It is an answer that will also change over time as you grow more experienced and capable. But in order to understand what makes you a valuable member of the team, you have to dare accept the possibility that you are capable of helping.
Why should I take the mantle to lead?
Groups of people constantly experience shifts in leadership. These changes in power are natural and necessary. They reflect the fact that we are human beings with complex and intricate social lives where our attention is constantly divided. Power vaccuums breed confusion where there doesn’t need to be – the role of a leader is not to make all of the decisions, but to know when to say yes and when to say no when other people need help making decisions.
Sometimes someone needs to step up and be the one that takes the responsibility for saying no, but that’s arguably the worst part of leadership.
There are no specific societal roles for leaders and followers, and there never will be.
I failed before, what if I fail again?
Those who care the most about helping others in their community are also those who are most likely to focus on their own failures. After all, failure has a much greater impact on someone else’s life than success. Unfortunately, we are predisposed to remember our failures as opposed to our successes, and see our failures as having much greater impact than they should.
Sometimes failure is expected. Necessary. What’s important is that you just try.
Trying in the face of certain failure is the bravest thing you can do. Walking into a situation where you know that you will certainly lose everything and daring to try anyway is the moment in which you are the most aware of your place in the world.
Life is knowing that you will one day eventually lose everything. It is up to you to defy your fate and carve out meaning with the time that you have left. You will be unable to help everyone at the right time. You will be unable to even help most people. But the people you can help with the time you have left are capable of carrying your effort forward exponentially. You may not be able to comprehend your own impact, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter what you understand about how other people think. What matters is what you do for other people.