Playing Games While Raising Money
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is grabbing onto the huge popularity of video games. The Memphis, Tenn.-based nonprofit launched a 12-week video game fundraising campaign. Gamathons were happening organically and the organization wanted to provide a platform for the gamers to support St. Jude. The first weekend event on June 13 attracted over 100 registered teams and 800 players. St. Jude marketing SVP Melanee Hannock says no fundraising goal has been set since it’s a pilot program.
St. Jude, which treats children with deadly diseases for free, requires $1.9M a day to run. It has attracted big names in video games as ambassadors, including Johnathan Wendel, Danielle Mackey, and Zelda Williams (pictured, who’s also Robin Williams’ daughter). Melanee says St. Jude is always looking for new ways to raise money and says the organization encourages all employees to innovate and think creatively about it. When the institution was first launched in 1962, founder Danny Thomas believed that it was better to receive $1 from one million people rather than $1M from one or two people, especially since 75% of its funds come from the public.