Streaming to raise money for a good cause is a big deal on Twitch, but the platform has always pointed creators elsewhere to manage the logistics of raising cash and getting it where it needs to go.
Now, the company is streamlining that process with Twitch Charity, a new set of donation tools built into the platform itself. Twitch promises that the new features will make it possible to get a charity stream up and running within a handful of clicks.
The beta is live now for a randomly chosen subset of streamers and a limited pool of pre-selected charities, but Twitch promises to add "many more" soon. Anyone in the beta will have an email from Twitch inviting them to try out the new tools and the features will roll out to most Twitch Partners and Affiliates globally by the end of the year.
The new charity tool ties into PayPal's donation system, PayPal Giving Fund, a 501(c)(3) with "hundreds of thousands" of causes and charities registered to its roster. Charities can register with PayPal and the payments platform receives donations directly, issues receipts to donors and deposits the funds into their PayPal account.
Previously, streamers would handle donations earmarked for their cause of choice by transferring Twitch subscriptions and Bits, the platform's virtual currency, into donations — a multistep, manual process. Without a dedicated donation feature, Twitch pointed creators toward external donation platforms like Tiltify or encouraged them to send viewers straight to a cause's own donation page.
"For streamers, it makes raising money for important causes easier and transparent," Twitch wrote in a blog post. "For viewers, it should make supporting those causes simpler, clearer and more impactful."
Creators can find the new fundraising options in a new "charity" section of the creator dashboard. Through the dashboard, creators can select a charity, choose a goal amount and toggle on "charity mode," which activates a button prompting viewers to donate.
When creators use charity mode, Twitch doesn't keep any portion of the money donated and the full amount will be issued to a chosen cause with only payment processing fees deducted.
Huge channels and small-time creators alike regularly participate in telethon-like streaming marathons to raise money for their favorite causes. A multistreamer charity event hosted by Zerator and Dach broke records last year after it raised $11.5 million for Action Against Hunger, a global organization dedicated to treating and preventing malnutrition.