Interview: Streamlabs Charity

Image via Streamlabs Charity Blog © 2021 Streamlabs. All Rights Reserved

Playing video games online via streaming platforms like Twitch or Youtube has surged in popularity. Twitch alone has about 10-15 million active users daily. In the past few years, video game streaming has also taken a more generous and philanthropic direction – combining playfulness with altruism.

One of the forerunners of the streaming industry is Streamlabs. The company offers several different software tools, which help content creators with their designs and operational tasks. Streamlabs Charity is one of their newer online services, but already supports 775 charities. In 2020, the platform raised $4.6 million for different charity organizations.

I asked Eric Freytag, Communications Manager of Streamlabs Charity, a few questions about their fundraising platform and what creators should know before they decide to enter the world of charity streaming.

ReadingSavesLives: Since when do you work for Streamlabs Charity and what brought you to the platform?

Eric Freytag: I’ve worked at Streamlabs since 2017 back when it was a pretty small startup, so I’ve gotten to help build a bunch of really fun projects like our theme library, mobile app, slobs remote control app, Safe Mode, and of course Streamlabs Charity.

RsL: Who came up with the idea of a charity platform for streamers?

Freytag: All the credit for this goes to streamers themselves. Charity has always been closely associated with the streaming community; the amount of generosity in the gaming community is incredible. We saw that streamers were already running charity streams using our tipping platform but also that they had to use workarounds and third-party technology to make it happen, so building a new platform with everything streamers need to run a successful charity stream was just a logical next step for us.

RsL: What criteria do nonprofit organizations and streamers have to meet to participate at Streamlabs Charity? (E.g.: number of followers, team affiliation, OBS, 501(c)(3), …)

Freytag: All charities on the platform do need to be registered nonprofit organizations. So they do all need to have charitable EIN (Employer Identification Number) status in the United States, or a similar charity number in their respective countries. They also need to have a website in good standing, and their account needs to be created from an email address that matches that web domain. We welcome charities of all sizes though, so there’s no minimum requirement for followers or anything like that.

RsL: How do you prevent scammers?

Freytag: For every charity that joins the platform, we verify that their charity number is valid and good standing as listed on official government websites. We also audit their website to make sure that the work they do complies with our terms and conditions (no violence, no hate speech, etc.), and we verify that every account holder is in fact a member of the charity. We also validate that their paypal account matches the domain of the charity’s website, and get written authorization from the point of contact listed on the charity’s website.

RsL: Is Streamlabs Charity also usable for people living outside of the USA?

Freytag: Absolutely! We have charities from many different countries, and donors from all over the world as well.

RsL: Can you tell us some common mistakes nonprofits and streamers are committing on Streamlabs Charity?

Freytag: If I could make one recommendation to all charities, it would be to get to know the streaming community. Spend some time watching streams, interacting with streamers, and participating as much as possible. This is how relationships are formed, and the best way to meet streamers that will be excited about helping your mission.

Also, make a special event out of your charity stream. Come up with milestones, giveaways, items to auction, and other fun ways to interact with your viewers to involve them in the event and get them excited about participating. A little planning goes a long way.

RsL: What other advice would you give someone, who wants to become a charity streamer?

Freytag: Before you start the charity stream, learn as much as you can about the charity you’re fundraising for. These nonprofits are doing incredible work for amazing causes, and if you can authentically and enthusiastically share that with your viewers, they’ll be much more passionate about fundraising with you.

Depending on what game you play when you stream, you probably have some down time when you’re in the lobby waiting for the next game to start. Times like that are great moments to share all the reasons you’re excited about the charity, and why all the reasons they could really use some support.

RsL: Why should someone choose Streamlabs Charity over other fundraising platforms like Tiltify?

Freytag: No matter what platform you use, you should be proud of the contribution you’re making. Some of my favorite features of Streamlabs Charity are:

⦁ Our Timed Giveaway overlay widget, which allows your donors to automatically enter a giveaway during a certain period of time, and randomly selects a winner when the time expires

⦁ Our Milestones overlay widget, which automatically tracks and completes your milestones in real time, directly from your broadcast software

⦁ Our Teams feature, built for collaborative fundraising that lets you display alerts for your entire team or individually

⦁ The fact that we’re 100% free for charities, donors, and streamers. Streamlabs Charity is itself a charitable platform; we have no monetization of any kind from the platform so that we can help streamers and donors maximize their fundraising efforts.

RsL: Does Streamlabs Charity work on different platforms like Youtube or Twitch equally well or are there some technical distinctions to be considered?

Freytag: Absolutely! Regardless of the platform you’re on, you’ll have access to our full suite of tools.

RsL: What is the relationship/cooperation with other streaming platforms like?

Freytag: We have a bunch of friends and allies at Twitch and Youtube, and we all help each other out to make it as easy as possible for streamers to fundraise for great causes.

RsL: What are Streamlabs Charity’s plans for the rest of 2021 and beyond? What can we expect?

Freytag: We have a dedicated team of designers and developers that are focused full-time on this platform, so you can definitely expect it to be improving and growing daily. We also love feedback, so if there are specific features that streamers think would be helpful, please let us know any time by emailing

Thank you very much for your answers!


Streamlabs Charity

Streamlabs Twitter

Streamlabs Twitch

Streamlabs Youtube

Streamlabs Blog


Dear Reader,

As you probably already know by visiting this website, I greatly enjoy interviewing and writing about people and organizations that are committed to humanitarian and environmental causes. But I want to go one step further. So I decided to join and start my own channel.

My objective is to become a dedicated fundraising streamer. Doing charity gaming for & with non-profit organizations and talking with people about humanitarian & environmental issues.

I’ve never done anything like this before, so I don’t know if I will succeed or not. Ultimately, it will depend on how many people decide to follow me. Whoever is reading this; maybe you consider joining and supporting me.

You can find me at:

Interview with Maya Higa

Over the past few years, animal conservationist and falconer Maya Higa has become a popular member of, a website for video game streamers. While others use Twitch mainly to satisfy their online gaming needs, 23-year-old Ms. Higa utilizes the platform to promote wildlife conservation work. 

Not only does she educate her online community about animal rehabilitation but she has also raised more than $83,000 for wildlife conservation organizations. Her streaming efforts made it even possible for Ms. Higa to launch her very own animal sanctuary based in Texas. 

Maya Higa serves as a shining example for a new generation of non-profit entrepreneurs who have successfully combined social media outlets with altruism. Ms. Higa was so kind to answer my questions about animal conservation work, her podcast and her sanctuary.

ReadingSavesLives: How did your career in the field of wildlife conservation begin? Can you tell us about some important steps of your professional life?

Maya Higa: I grew up on a farm and began zookeeping in college. I did a few internships with zoos (both private and AZA) before I got my falconry license and moved deeper into birds.

RsL: What aspects of animal conservation motivate you the most?

Higa: I am motivated by my fascination and love for our natural world. It deeply saddens me to see species at risk because they are all so unique and fascinating to me.

RsL: Your love for birds has earned you the nickname “Birdgirl”. Why are birds so special to you?

Higa: Falconry was a huge key to my growth and independence in college. After a really hard break up, it became “my thing” and I found fulfillment in learning as much as I could about birds.

RsL: What advices would you give newcomers who enter the field of animal conservation? What are some general mistakes or false expectations that they should avoid?

Higa: Get your foot in the door! Engage in as many volunteer opportunities, internships, and experiences that you have the bandwidth and ability to do. People often think it’s not useful experience if it’s not the species you ultimately want to work with, but all experience is good experience in the exotic animal industry.

RsL: When and why did you decide to use Twitch for your non-profit work? Twitch is a streaming platform mainly used for video gaming and not necessarily known for non-profit endeavors. Have you also considered other websites?

Higa: I started streaming in the music section for fun in college. When I showed my stream my red-tailed hawk on a whim, I realized that I could do conservation education virtually the same way I was doing birthday parties and events in real life at the time. It has become a home to me and a great place to teach a younger demographic who aren’t necessarily into conservation already.

RsL: I was looking for other streamers who do non-profit work on Twitch, but I couldn’t really find anyone as popular as you are. What do you think is the reason behind your success? What advice would you give someone who joins Twitch and has similar intentions as you?

Higa: I am very lucky to be surrounded by other creators who help me grow and maintain my existing growth. Networking has been crucial in my career as a streamer. My advice would be to network and be as consistent as possible.

RsL: How has the management of Twitch reacted to your non-profit focused content?

Higa: I have had no contact with Twitch regarding my non-profit work.

RsL: You also manage your own podcasting website – Maya Higa’s Conservation Cast. Every week you talk with scientists and conservationists about their work. How did this come about?

Higa: I wanted to give scientists, conservationists, and ecologists a platform to share their research with a younger demographic that they typically aren’t able to reach.

RsL: What are the criteria someone has to meet to get an interview with you? How does your selection process work?

Higa: I pick my guests by doing my own research. Many are PhD students and many represent organizations that are doing important work in conservation.

RsL: During the conversation your Twitch subscribers can donate money to the interviewed organization. How is it going so far?

Higa: The Conservation Cast has been a very effective fundraising tool, raising around $1-2k per episode. We’ve raised over $83k for conservation causes across the boards.

RsL: But you are not only doing charity for animal conservation. Recently, you and your partner participated in a “Make a Wish” campaign and streamed it on Twitch. Can you talk a little bit about it?

Higa: I was recently brought onto the governing board of Make A Wish Central and South Texas. The Over the Edge event was an annual fundraiser ran by Make A Wish.

RsL: You were able to raise more than $500.000 on Twitch to fund your very own animal sanctuary. How did you pull that off?

Higa: We had a successful donor tree program where to get your name on a leaf at the sanctuary which raised over $250k. The live auction held on stream raised the rest of the funds. We did this by auctioning off items donated by popular streamers/content creators.

RsL:  What made you decide to start your own sanctuary?

Higa: My goal is to be the greatest force in conservation that I can be. Alveus Sanctuary can provide sanctuary to a number of non-releasable animals while educating millions on their wild counterparts and how we can help them as humans.

RsL: You’ve bought your own property in Texas and expanded/improved the existent infrastructure. How far along is the Alveus project? 

Higa: What was supposed to be a 3 year plan ended up being a 3 month plan. We’ve made a lot of progress at the facility but have a ways to go before we host collaborations with other creators.

RsL: The responsibility and planning for such an endeavor at a young age must be enormous. How do you deal with the workload and pressure?

Higa: I love my non-profit and the animals at the facility so working doesn’t feel like work. I also love teaching people about animals. I am living my dream and when I feel overdone it usually passes because I am constantly overcome with gratitude.

RsL: What animals do you keep at the sanctuary and how did you acquire them? How do you decide which animals should be part of it?

Higa: I have a list of ambassadors on my website. I acquired most of them from a zoo in California that I used to work at. Some were transferred to me by another conservation organization in California. I decide ambassadors based on their value as an educational ambassador and how we can utilize them in programs to teach people about the threats that their wild counterparts face.

RsL: Where do you see yourself and all your endeavors in the next 5-10 years? What are your hopes, dreams or even fears?

Higa: We will start hosting content collaborations at the facility with other streamers/YouTubers. This will allow us to combine audiences to maximize our impact for conservation. I want to teach and inspire as many people as possible in my time on Twitch.

Thank you for the interview!

All videos ©Maya Higa

For more information about Maya Higa and her conservation work go to:

Maya Higa’s Twitch Channel

Alveus Sanctuary

Maya Higa’s Conservation Cast