Peer-To-Peer Perspectives

Adding Mobile to the Mix

Learn why Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals incorporated the Boundless Fundraising Mobile App into its Extra Life and Dance Marathon event fundraising programs, and how the results exceeded expectations. 

Can livestreaming lead to fundraising success?

For Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the answer is most definitely, YES! Through its Extra Life peer-to-peer fundraising program, the organization has developed a strong relationship with the video gaming community and activated them in support of their local children’s hospitals.

What is live streaming, you say? Think of it like a modern-day telethon. Extra Life participants stream live video content (playing a video game, for example) in front of their network of supporters and at the same time they can show their passion for the cause — and elicit donations — in real-time. That immediacy has translated into an incredible rise in fundraising revenues: Extra Life expects to raise $12.5 million this year through live streaming.

Watch our latest peer-to-peer perspectives video as Michael Kinney, Managing Director for Digital Fundraising shares how Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is exploring the untapped fundraising potential of live streaming.

Video Transcript


“My name is Mike Kinney – I am the Managing Director of Digital Fundraising over at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. What that means is that I oversee our online fundraising platforms to run our peer-to-peer events, that targets the gaming community and activating them in support of their local children’s hospital.

The history of Extra Life.

Extra Life started in 2008 as a local fundraiser for Texas Children’s Hospital, and at that time in its first year, it raised just over $100,000. In 2008, live streaming wasn’t a thing yet, and Extra Life was baked around that run, walk, ride model. And in 2011, when Justin.tv, which is now Twitch, really kicked off, that’s when we started exploring the live streaming space, but we weren’t really doing it intentionally, it was just happening organically among the community members. And it wasn’t until 2013 when we said, “wow – this is a trend that is not going away, we need to get involved, we need to understand the space, we need to know the ins and outs, where we can be supportive, where we can fill the void so there’s a value to the community member.” And since we’ve been able to really align it to that modern day telethon mentality, we seen fundraising grow from $1.1 million, to $2.2 million, to $4.1 million, to $6 million, to $8 million, to $11 million, and then this year we will pass probably $12.5 million through live streaming and gaming.

The ABC’s of live streaming

So everyone is familiar with the YouTube model, where you watch a video, people produce the content, they edit the content, they upload it, and you get to consume it whenever it works for you. That is called VOD, or video-on-demand. Live streaming is the more interactive way to do that same process. So it’s more interactive during the content creation, as well as when people are consuming it. So live streaming is where someone goes live from their homes – it’s like the modern day telethon. So you flip open your web cam and say “hey guys, coming to you from my live room, or from my office”.

Enhanced Engagement via Live Streaming

Live streaming is taking that social post, that text message, that e-blast, and it’s leveling it up a bit, and it’s allowing our participants to be raw in front of their network of supporters. It’s allowing them to show that they are so passionate about this cause that it gives the opportunity for the donor to feel that same emotion.

Stewardship and Live Streaming

With our latest integration on our fundraising pages, people are able to link their livestreaming channels to their fundraising pages, and it gives us the data we need to say “I’m going to go pop into that channel this random Tuesday, from the Extra Life account, and say “hey, we noticed your Extra Life stream is coming up. Is there anything we can do for you? Have fun, good luck, we appreciate you!” And that form of stewardship means so much to that community.

The Future of Live Streaming

I think we’re going to see live streaming not just inspire new forms of peer-to-peer fundraising, but I think it’s going to be used to reignite some of the programs that you just mentioned – the ones that have been seeing declines year-over-year-over-year. And really allow for some really powerful in-event fundraising. I know that here at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals we’re really going to study the industry, and not just the gaming industry, but the live streaming industry, because it’s that big now. It is its own thing, right. We’re going to study those trends and we’re going to help cross-pollinate those best practices across all of our peer-to-peer programs.

Unlimited Fundraising Potential

I came from an event yesterday that raised $1.4 million in 24 hours and it’s just amazing what live streaming is allowing, not just participants in the individual sense, but also brands to bring in their community members, to reach their consumers and really rally them around our cause.

Mike Kinney, Managing Director of Digital Fundraising, – Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals