Twitch unveils built-in fundraising tool for streamers

Twitch creators will soon be able to raise money for charity directly on the livestreaming platform. The company launched a closed beta of Twitch Charity today to a select group of partners and affiliates, according to a . Donations will be processed through the Paypal Giving Fund, and be tracked in both the stream’s activity feed and chat. Traditionally, viewers have made donations through subs and Bits, after which streamers have to rely on a third-party charity portal like Tiltify to actually send money to their chosen organization. By launching its own charity product, Twitch will cut out the middleman and likely make it easier to both host a fundraiser and donate to one.

Fundraising on Twitch has become a significant moneymaker in recent years. Charity streams can easily rake in six or seven-figure sums, particularly if a major streamer or other celebrity is involved. Well-known creators can easily raise millions of dollars with charity streams — last year’s Z Event featured multiple streamers and raised for Action Against Hunger in around 72 hours.

An additional benefit to a native fundraising feature is that creators won’t be subject to the fees of a third-party feature. Unlike Tiltify (which takes a 5 percent cut of of whatever money gets raised), Twitch has decided to let creators donate 100 percent of their revenue and will forgo a tax incentive.

Creators will be randomly selected for the closed beta of Twitch Charity later today. For everyone else, Twitch expects to unveil the feature to most partners and affiliates later this year.

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Windfall nabs $21M for AI that aids nonprofit fundraising

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Windfall, a startup developing an AI platform to help nonprofits engage donors, today raised $21 million in venture capital. The company says the funds will be used to invest in product R&D, the expansion of its team, and the scaling up of Windfall’s marketing and sales operations.

Securing donations remains among the top challenges philanthropic organizations face on a regular basis. Eight percent of nonprofits saw the number of philanthropies competing for dollars as one of the biggest barriers to their charitable impact, a 2019 Statista survey found. Crises like the pandemic threaten to exacerbate this. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, more than half of U.S. nonprofits expected to raise less money in 2020 than they did in 2019, and an equal percentage believe the same will occur in 2021.

Founded in 2016 by Arup Banerjee, Cory Tucker, and Dan Stevens, Windfall offers estimates of potential donors’ net worth at the household level, leveraging data and machine learning to make projections. The platform also delivers contextual analysis, putting donor databases in a framework that can then be used for data science. 

With Windfall, nonprofits can prioritize donors and apply insights to segment the donors and focus outreach. The company claims its platform can sync millions of records with Salesforce, HubSpot, Shopify, and other apps on a weekly basis.

“With a focus on the affluent, Windfall delivers a precise net worth figure, not a range, and a spectrum of deterministic consumer attributes at the individual household level,” the company writes on its website. “Windfall’s proprietary data set is completely rebuilt on a weekly basis, giving customers the best and latest insights on their constituents.”

Windfall’s current round follows a seed round in 2019 that raised $9 million and allowed the company to continue building its consumer financial data products. Windfalls says it had a 3 times year-over-year growth rate in 2020 and that its customer base exceeds 500 organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Make-A-Wish, and the University of Michigan.

“At Windfall, our focus is empowering our customers to access the most reliable data and insights possible, but that’s just the beginning,” CEO Banerjee said. “We’ve built artificial intelligence and machine learning into our platform to drive better decision-making, enable teams to develop comprehensive data-driven strategies and build that into their existing workflows. It’s a truly transformative approach for our customers.”

David Lamond led San Francisco, California-based Windfall’s series A with participation from EPIQ Capital Group and existing investors Bonfire Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Cherubic Ventures, and ValueStream Ventures. It brings the company’s total raised to date to $30 million.


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