Like other nonprofit organizations, public colleges and universities depend on fundraising opportunities to continue providing high-quality experiences for students. That’s why many higher education institutions host engaging and enjoyable activities like trivia nights, tailgate parties, and alumni dinners.
Unfortunately, most common fundraising events require in-person attendance. Unless alumni or other interested individuals want to make the trip, these events limit possible attendees to the local community. And with the additional wrinkle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been even harder for organizers to plan fundraising events safely. But what if they could?
With recreational esports, higher education institutions can host online gaming events that anyone can join from anywhere. For instance, a university could schedule a “Mario Kart” tournament that participants can enter for $10 per person — with the winner getting a special prize. These online experiences feel quite similar to typical fundraising events, but they don’t require an actual venue.
In addition to involving more people (which results in more donations), recreational esports in higher education have several advantages over in-person fundraising opportunities. For one, they’re more affordable since online events require fewer resources, such as tables, food, and decorations. They also are able to generate participant data that organizers can then use to improve subsequent events.
Students at Kilgore College in Texas have already successfully used recreational esports to raise money for charity. Considering that 64% of adults regularly play video games, recreational esports events will appeal to a wide variety of participants. That’s why higher education institutions should explore how esports revenue could complement their other fundraising efforts.
Considering that 64% of adults regularly play video games, recreational esports events will appeal to a wide variety of participants.
The Unique Advantages of Esports in Higher Education
There are a lot of compelling reasons to explore recreational esports as a fundraising opportunity:
1. Safety and Accessibility
The COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges and universities to rethink their fundraising methods. Social distancing made it difficult (or sometimes impossible) to plan traditional homecoming weekends or alumni galas. Recreational esports events are a great alternative to in-person gatherings because they adhere to social distancing and quarantine restrictions. They’re also more accessible to people all over the globe, so they’ll be valuable even after the global health crisis ends.
2. Digital Connection
Higher education fundraising has long needed to evolve beyond traditional events and technologies. By taking advantage of online spaces and connecting with donors through digital outreach, organizers can move into the next era and increase the amount of potential incoming revenue. Exploring recreational esports lays the groundwork for the future of fundraising.
3. Fun Competition
Perhaps the most exciting reason to organize recreational esports events is that they help develop a sense of community. Playing games together can make alumni feel nostalgic, which is why esports competitions are popular. And they’ll likely invite their college friends to join in on the fun. Recreational esports at colleges and universities are like traditional intramural sports, except they’re quite a bit easier on the knees. Who wouldn’t want to get involved?
Pulling in recreational esports revenue from fundraising efforts can help universities and colleges maintain the quality experiences they provide students year after year. The good news? It’s easy to get started. Just reach out to our team at Mission Control to freshen up your fundraising efforts today.