Get the Most from your Extra Life

Hello, dear readers! Welcome to what was going to be next week’s post! My computer ate the post I had been working on for today (which is sad, it had a love story and there was a bit with a dragon in the middle) so I rushed to tidy this up for you all. Don’t worry, we’ll see that other post another time.

Extra Life season is upon us once again! If you haven’t already, you are going to see graphics similar to the one on the left all over the place, asking for your support. And I think you should show your support. I may be biased, as I have spent the the last nine years fundraising for Extra Life. But what’s not to love about a fundraising drive that utilizes gaming in its myriad forms to help sick kids world wide?

BUT. But we are in the middle of a pandemic, and times are tough. Like many folks, you may have the desire to donate but not the resources. And that’s understandable and okay. Would you be pleased to know there are ways you can maximize your impact and help the folks fundraising for Extra Life, without having to drop any big donations yourself? I hope so, because that’s what the rest of this editorial is about and it’s going to get real awkward real fast if you aren’t cool with that.

Extra Life is global, but you should go local – While it’s true Extra Life has grown from humble beginnings to raise funds globally, that global effort is still comprised of individuals working at the community level to support their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. So your first step in helping is to reach out, do a little digging, and see which organizations, teams, and individuals are raising funds for Extra Life in your community. From there you can check in with them and see what help they need. Does your local Extra Life group need volunteers for their Game Day? If you have some free time, offer to help out. If there are a bunch of teams and individuals raising funds for your local hospital, help get the word out on social media. Tabletop gaming is a bigger part of the event than ever before, so you could even help by filling a seat at the table of someone raising funds. But the first step is to find your local participants and see what they need. Once you know what they need, you can figure out ways to help.

No, seriously, retweets are gold! – You’ll see it on almost every Extra Life post on social media, please RT! And you might think that a simple retweet couldn’t possibly be that big of a deal. And you would be wrong! The algorithm on platforms like Twitter and Facebook are set in such a way as to actually make it difficult for people sharing any sort of link to get their posts noticed. So many more people have to interact with a tweet that has a link, as opposed to one without, it’s a wonder anyone gets their stuff noticed. So if you can retweet, Like, comment on the tweet (or Facebook post, or Instagram pic, or whatever), it goes a long way to bumping it up so the algorithm will stop hiding it. And it really only takes a second to hit Share or Retweet, and add a “Good Luck!” comment. It costs you nothing, but it helps the reach of that fundraiser exponentially.

One of Us! One of Us! – Probably the best way to help raise funds for Extra Life? Register and set up your own donation page. While there is a Platinum level that comes with its own perks, you can start for the low, low cost of nothing. You don’t have to start with a huge goal, either. Start small, set a $50 or $100 goal, and let your friends, family, and coworkers know what you’re up to. If you’re running games at your FLGS, put a donation jar on the table (but clear it with the store first). Schedule special Extra Life sessions over Discord or Zoom, with seats at the table in exchange for a donation. These don’t have to be streamed, but if you have the wherewithal, give it a try! The Extra Life website has resources to help you with just about any activity. I think you’ll be amazed at the support you’ll find in your own community. The keys are enthusiasm and imagination, with those two things you are capable of more than you know.

I hope you get out and support Extra Life this year and future years, in whatever way works best for you. I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to direct you to my fundraising page. I have some nerdy incentives starting for as low as $5, but of course any Share or Retweet is hugely appreciated!

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