Twitch is a social video platform for gamers, video game culture, and creative arts. Twitch grew to dominate the online-game-streaming industry. The site has given rise to a collection of streaming celebrities, some of whom earn up to $100,000 annually from their streams.
For streamers, accepting donations from viewers is often the primary way to earn income. When viewers find a particular streamer that they enjoy viewing, they can donate to them, so that they can continue to stream more often or on a full-time basis.
Ways to Set Up Donations on Twitch
There is a variety of third-party services which Twitch streamers can connect to their accounts to receive donations and activate additional features such as alerts.
Donorbox is an easy-to-use donation software that allows you to accept donations by credit card, PayPal, and low fee ACH bank transfers. Over 7,000 nonprofit organizations use the Donorbox fundraising software.
You can add a donate button to your Twitch channel by linking a secure Donorbox donation page.
How to get a Twitch Donation Button in 6 Easy Steps:
Save an image to use as a donation button. You can save the Donorbox donate button below or choose another image that you like. If you’d like to customize the color and the size of the Donorbox donate button shown below, head to your Donorbox dashboard and select “Donate Button.” Scroll down to “PNG Image Buttons”.
Here you can change the size and the color of the image for a more customized image. Right-click to save the desired image (preferably to your desktop).
Now that you have saved an image to use as your donate button, let’s get it set up.
To link your Donorbox donation form, start by clicking on your Twitch username, and then select “Channel.”
Scroll down until you see “Edit Panels” and switch it from “Off” to “On.”
Once you have done this, a large “+” sign will appear.
Step 3: Click on the large “+” sign, and then click on “Add a Text or Image Panel,” and enter a title for this panel, such as “Donate Here”.
Select “Add Image” and upload the donate button image that you saved earlier (to your desktop).
Head to your Donorbox dashboard and copy the link to your secure donation page.
Paste this link into the box that reads “Image Links to”. Type a description then hit “Submit.” Turn the “Edit Panels” function off and you’re done!
2. Twitch Bits
As a response to smaller streamers struggling to sustain themselves financially, Twitch introduced the Twitch Bits in an attempt to formalize the donation economy. This feature is called “Cheering.”
Bits are, in essence, the Twitch currency. Viewers can buy Bits “starting at $1.40 for 100,” and then spend away while supporting their favorite streamers. A cheer is an animated chat emoji. Twitch currently only accepts payments via Amazon payments and PayPal. In the US, Twitch also rolled out a feature where viewers can get Bits for activity on Twitch without spending cash. In this case, the activity is watching a 30-second interactive ad.
To enable cheering as a Twitch partner:
- Navigate to the Partner Settings tab of the dashboard.
- Scroll down about halfway, and under the Cheer section, click Enable Cheering with Bits.
- Underneath this section, you will also see configurations for setting up the Cheering experience for your channel (Twitch suggests you set your Cheering configurations before enabling Cheering)
- Viewers can now use Bits on your channel. This triggers a special audio and visual alert onscreen.
As a Twitch streamer, you can ask your viewers to donate directly to you by using the email address associated with your own PayPal account. You can also simply set up a PayPal.me link which streamlines the entire process. The simplest way, however, is setting up a PayPal donation button.
How to get a Paypal Donation Button on Twitch in 10 Steps:
Step 1: Open your PayPal website and sign in with your account. Click on the Profile option and then on “my selling tools”.
Step 2: Go to PayPal Buttons section and then click “Update” option. After this, click on the link asking to “create new button”.
Step 3: Select the type of your Button, choose “Donation” from the list and then type your Twitch Channel name. If you want to create a customized button that matches your Twitch channel then click “Customize Text or Appearance” option.
Step 4: Now go to preview section and right-click on the donation button. From the drop-down menu, select “Save Image As” option. Save it to your desktop.
Step 5: Choose your donation currency type and then hit “Create Button” option. Go to Email Tab and follow “Select Code” option. Copy this code.
Step 6: Open a new tab and sign in with your Twitch account. Select your Twitch Username and then choose ”Channel” option.
Step 7: Move to the admin button and select edit. Use the “+ “sign to add a new panel and then title it “Donation”.
Step 8: Hit “Add Image” option and then choose the PayPal donation button. You saved it to your desktop earlier (step 4).
Step 9: Hit “Done”; now choose the “Image Links to” option on the screen and paste the donation button code here; you have already copied it from PayPal.
Step 10: Describe the purpose of donations to your viewers and subscribers. Go to the “Admin” button and press View. You will now be able to view your new button below Twitch Stream.
Should I Still Be Receiving Donations on Twitch With All the Scams?
Particularly when it comes to receiving donations via PayPal, Twitch streamers have become increasingly worried about trolls and scammers.
In 2016, someone named iNexus_Ninja donated $11,500 to a Twitch streamer Lea “LegendaryLea”. iNexus_Ninja turned out to be an 18-year-old kid who had planned to wait a month and cancel the transactions through PayPal, by which time the streamer would have spent some of the cash. In this particular case, PayPal refused to pay him back, but many Twitch streamers have experienced the same, albeit to a smaller extent and with a less favorable outcome.
There is really no way to 100% protect yourself from scams. Yet, most Twitch streamers rely on their donations for surviving, especially if they have smaller channels. Once their channels become bigger, they often move to Twitch subscriptions, which are more reliable.
Tips on How to Encourage Your Viewers to Make a Donation
- Add alert notifications. This way you and your viewers can see the donations coming in, as well as your reactions.
- Be creative and design titles like “The Highest Donation of the Day”. These can encourage your viewers to donate more.
- You can create a “Hall of Fame” for fans who donated a certain amount of money. You can also add a list of donors to your Twitch profile. This is especially good for smaller channels.
- Set a goal: buying new equipment, game or feature. There is a special bar on your Twitch account that helps demonstrate your financial progress towards a goal. When a donation is made, the bar shows a progress. This helps viewers feel involved and see what their donations are going towards.
- Thank your donors. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and thanking your donors publicly is likely to encourage them to donate more, as well as encourage new donors to give.