May 14th, 2024

Level Up: Charity Gaming

Read the highlights from the NEW Charity Gaming Paradigm Shift

Gaming has come a long way from being a niche hobby, stereotyped by pale teenage boys gaming for hours in their bedrooms, to being an inescapable part of our day-to-day life. From a wildly competitive Monopoly game night which ends with someone flipping the board, doing the Wordle while you eat breakfast, or a year-long intensive Dungeons and Dragons campaign, to the gamification of your daily step count. With 3.2 billion gamers worldwide and 44 million in the UK, gaming has gone certifiably mainstream.

Games are a compelling creative medium that can distract you for weeks in a saga worthy of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, or fill that 5 minute moment of time whilst your lunch heats in the microwave. Add onto that, that gaming is an incredibly lucrative industry, generating a whopping $406b in revenue worldwide, and it’s no wonder that charities want to get in on the act.

The obvious first step for many has been dipping a toe into streaming. Partnering with professional and amateur streamers, or running charity-led streams to generate income. And there have been some big successes in this space. 

But we believe there’s so much more potential as yet untapped by the charity sector to both generate philanthropic and commercial income through gaming, engage a global audience in your mission, and deliver services in new digital spaces and through new technologies.

In talking to charities who have embarked on this journey or are thinking about dipping their toes in the gaming waters, we’ve heard a bunch of shared challenges.

  1. Leadership: How do you get leadership on board with the opportunity when some of them may be working with old myths about gaming / not see the potential of the market?

  2. Coordination: How do you get the whole organisation behind the opportunity? How do you coordinate activities across income and impact?

  3. Long-Term Position: How do you position gaming as more than a short-term cash grab? How do you manage expectations in an uncertain financial climate so people don’t lose faith at first failure? 

  4. Building a Portfolio: How do you find your USP in the gaming space? What makes you different from the other brands, players and causes out there? What does your gaming portfolio look like?

  5. Case for Investment: Finally, how do you get this off the ground when resources are tight? When you’re limited on people and cash, how do you make the case for investment?

We think that, in order to unlock this new universe and address the challenges, you need a market entry strategy. One that unpacks the full potential of gaming and answers the who, why, where, what and how. 

  • Who: Gamers are not one audience. They reflect the diversity of society, so work out which communities and which audiences you want to prioritise and engage. Don’t lump 44 million people together into one segmentation bucket. The who is also vital to who you have in your team. Build your internal talent and expertise of people who already understand and inhabit some of these spaces. Don’t rely on one poor soul who has a Twitch account to answer all your gaming questions.

  • Why: Why would gamers, brands, developers and streamers want to partner with and support your work? But equally, why are they the right partners for you? Go multiplayer; find experts to help guide your journey and inform your decision making. 

  • Where: As much as gamers are not one audience, gaming is not one medium. From video games, to board games to LARPing. There’s also a myriad of different platforms and channels to choose from. We recommend setting up camp on a platform like Twitch and learning the landscape before you dive in. 

  • What: What are your goals? What do you want to achieve through gaming? Is it brand awareness, income generation, community building, data collection, citizen science, safeguarding, lobbying, or a bit of everything? And which element of this is the most important? 

  • How: This is where your strategy can get creative. From brand activations in the metaverse, to gaming telethons, charity gaming Cons, owned-game development, content collabs, around-game merchandising, sponsorship, events. The list goes on and on. How do these link together and ladder up to deliver on your goals?

To help charities understand the gaming landscape and scope out the potential, we’ve written Level Up: Charity Gaming - an intro guide to the gaming market. The report is split across three chapters: who is playing and creating, what stories they’re telling and how, and where’s the money. If you’re a Good Futures subscriber you can download the full report in the member's area of


If you’re not a Good Futures subscriber don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. We’ve created a case study deck packed full of examples from inside and outside the sector of gaming inspiration. (Plus, there’s a CYOA hidden on each page of the deck).

Finally, if you want to have a chat about how Good Innovation can help you level up your gaming offer and overcome those challenges, please drop daisy a line at

So, player, if you’re ready. It’s time to suit up, strap in and LEVEL UP: Charity Gaming.

Daisy O’Reilly-Weinstock

Senior Director of Big Bets