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Reinventing the Telethon for the Digital Generation | SXSW 2021

Alison Moore
CEO at Comic Relief US
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SXSW 2021
March 19, 2021, Online, Austin, USA
SXSW 2021
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Reinventing the Telethon for the Digital Generation | SXSW 2021
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About speakers

Alison Moore
CEO at Comic Relief US
Michael Wasserman
Tech Entrepreneur - Co-founder/CEO at Tiltify
Sean McLoughlin
Youtuber at jacksepticeye

Alison Moore is the CEO of Comic Relief US. She joined in 2019 to evolve the reach, scale and impact of the work. She has expanded the strategy to include new programs connecting brands, consumers and donors with urgent poverty-related issues. Through the COVID tumult, the organization raised over $42MM with the consumer-driven Red Nose Day campaign to end child poverty.

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Michael is co-founder and CEO of Tiltify, the creator-first fundraising platform for the digital generation. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped raise more than $100 million for social causes worldwide by leveraging digital-first strategies to engage new donor audiences, as well as by harnessing the power of online communities to do good.

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Sean is the creator of one of YouTube's largest gaming channels, Jacksepticeye. He haas 26M followers on YouTube alone and receives over 150M monthly views totaling 13B lifetime views.Sean’s visibility expands beyond YouTube and gaming and into pop-culture at large, having interviewed celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, Tom Holland, Dwayne Johnson, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth and more; you can also find him with a cameo in the up-coming Free Guy.

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About the talk

This has been one of the most difficult years in recent history around the globe, desperately catalyzing the need to support causes worldwide. Creators are leveraging their influence for good and social platforms are supporting them with new technologies and features. Major gamers, YouTube and TikTok stars like Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, DrLupo and Courage are joining Tiltify, the creator-first fundraising platform, to lead the evolution of social good in today’s social media landscape. Tiltify's CEO Michael Wasserman will be joined by Jacksepticeye and Alison Moore of Comic Relief US to highlight some of their biggest collaborations of 2020, as well as examine how creating more interactive, live and personalized experiences on social platforms make it easier than ever for the next generation of donors to support their favorite charities and causes worldwide.

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SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, this year’s online event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. For more information, please visit sxsw.com.

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All right, have a buddy. Welcome to South by Southwest and thank you for joining our amazing panel on, Reinventing the telephone for the digital generation. My name is Michael Wasserman, I am the CEO of Delta Phi platform for online fundraising especially with content creators, which I have some amazing guest today for this chat to explore that. I'd love to introduce everybody to joining me is Allison Moore, the CEO of comic relief USA and jacksepticeye, who probably needs no introduction Creator,

thank you, both for doing today. And participating in Russia. I don't care. We had obviously a incredibly unique your last last year and not spawned a lot of thoughts into fundraising activities, obviously comic relief, you know, with red nose day and all your activities, you are no stranger to sort of unique ideas. And, you know, we came up with a few specifically with Sean last year. For many years, elephants have been very popular in the world. Starting with, you know, Milton Berle, you know, way back.

You know, coming through the muscular dystrophy Association Telethon and, you know, they were always very heavily a televised moment, you know, something that, you know, everyone would sort of gather round and watch and, and participate in. Sometimes they were live from a Production Studio, but I think as technology has changed we have, you know, been able to do some pretty unique advances. But you're specifically, I want to touch on to things that happened. That were fortunately with us, it's over by that. I thought

were pretty amazing things happen. The first one is called Hope from home in a minute show some statistics here on the screen as we kind of talked about it a little bit which was pretty amazing event just to give sort of a high-level before we get into the discussion. Hope from home to place on World Health day. April 27th, it raised 1.9 million dollars through 70. Mm owners in 133 country, hugely successful campaign, for comic relief, the United Nations down days. And United Way at the time. So I'm going to start with Sean.

How did this come to fruition? You know, where did you? I mean I remember chatting with you but, you know, from your perspective, you know, obviously you know. How did you sort of think that you wanted to get involved into something? If you came home from home, I mean so much stuff is kind of just happening in the world at the time and Son which of us were the whole world felt like we were all just locked inside. We didn't have anything else to do and we couldn't go out and do things and I remember reading some of the things online and so many people in

the community and everybody just all sharing their stories and wanting to do something and be part of it and really wanted to like change something may make use of their time and help out anyway, they could. So we kind of just I mean, I remember talking to you. I kind of just spearheading some sort of initiative and try to get something in place where we could not use to activate something on my end, which we had. We had done previously like month after month. Doing different activations for different organizations, but this felt like it was so much bigger. It felt like it was affecting

everybody and not just like a few people here and there, but it just kind of Spawn some ideas after that, that we wanted to get the entire Community together. You wanted to get as many people together as possible and for that, Be most effective. I think just doing it on my end, is one thing and promoting it there it would. I think it would have generated a lot of good that way. But then activating everybody else's audiences outside of that, cuz any of the else to activate. Your thing is hard enough, and you will always miss people. But getting everybody sort of onboard, you should get

certain people to spearhead their own initiatives and make it all part of the same thing. Then it felt like a bigger sort of catch all to raise far, more awareness. Cuz something about these events is that it's not just about the money that's raised, but it's also the awareness and sort the motivation and inspiration to do more and then take him to show that it's not as complicated as people think it is especially with fr4 like tiltify where you can just activate really, really easily. I got to get the tools and play. So I think that was sort of they own us to do it and then I guess

the rest is history after that point. reaching out and, and want to do something and obviously, Covid-19 made everything big. This was in, you know, you know, really right after the lockdown. Had started Neverland, really sounded getting concerned about being part of this. So, you know, from from your side. How did this come about? Yeah, that I mean this is just fortuitous opportunity for us. We in a Red Nose Day activate, primarily the biggest time frame for us. And so we have

this like a great plan, all started in February and then by March, the whole thing had to redo old. So, you know, we fund-raised from the public and with our partners with Walgreens and NBC, but we do that on the ground for children and, you know, as soon as covid hit the economic crisis, the Health crisis, just the whole thing sort of started to Crater in but you know you and all these these nonprofits that we support and we fund-raised know where you're having unprecedented crazy amounts of you know, there are there income was just

sort of Hit the amount of need has quadrupled over two or three or four weeks. I mean it if you just remember that, I mean that we all live through at that. Small was just unbelievable. So for us, We're going to do what we do with red nose day. It's going to be under, you know, serious. There's just a lot going on and not as many people going into retail stores, you know, etcetera, this came across and it was like we had it. I like incredible opportunity through the Gaming Community to see the level of generosity and just getting it done

that has happened, you know, in the past we kind of experiment. We are done something, you know I made some really kind of wacky ideas to bring to the Forefront. We did something with critical role I mean for us it was just a huge opportunity to get and and you know too that Point Drive awareness for yes everything that's happening in for our and for the children who are really getting caught in the cross-fire you know He's not getting support. It was really unique from from that all of you are aware of in

sitting, you know, on the platform side. All of Hope from home came together in about 10 days. Yeah, I think we solidify the name, like six days out or something like that and all this stuff. So it's just, it was so unique. We're like you said, you start planning earlier for all sorts of things and then something like covid happened. Like what do we do to help Sean when you you initially? So, this was such a different called action because instead of being like a classic Telethon, it was kind

of like this hybrid type of event, where you put out a call to action to ask the community or anyone that wants to get involved, you not just to donate but to participate, whether they wanted to fundraise themselves, or create social awareness, or whatever it does. When you first drop that first ETA video, like a week, maybe ten days at the Before a day, I don't even think you're going to act like they don't like you. Do you know what were you, or were you thinking? What were your expectations from the community? When you don't even

ask for everyone to participate, I was a little worried in the beginning cuz I thought I'd get wee-wee put in the other so quickly but it kind of had to happen that way because things were sort of snowballing in the world so quickly that we needed to react pretty fast. I'm surprised that it did go as well as a did considering, but I was worried that at the time that it wasn't, it wouldn't go as far as I had hoped, is there so much potential in it and there's so much good that could be raised out of that and so many you can hit so many different people. But the way algorithms

work in the way, social media Works, everything we can see everything all the time. So I was just a little worried that it wouldn't hit as many people as it could be an intern, then not raise as much money for the organization's, but thankfully, as soon as I put it out, I have a lot of good friend to signed up as well. And I, I went to Twitter to immediately and literally went through my entire following list, then just started dming every single one of them apologize to anybody who got help you. Read messages from my fingers, are not that fast and fortunately, but I, I just tried to hit as

many people as I could as quickly as I could to get awareness for it out and obviously you you miss some people cuz it happened so fast but I was just glad that when that happens. And if people got on board and then went the day actually happened, I still don't really know. Cuz you can ask people to do something and then until the day actually happens, then you see everybody go live and actually raise awareness and money was phenomenal. So that was like the big sigh of relief be like, okay? Today is going to be great even further than my best estimates. Yeah, I

mean thousands of people signed up within days and the amount of people that participated across all their channels. Not just as we said not just donating to your channel but creating their own, you know, their own fundraisers underneath the umbrella of but I think you're a big factor of it as well. It was not just getting like it wasn't just Creator, getting involved. We kind of opened up the floor to more people cuz it was affecting everybody. So why not let everybody have the chance to help but it's also a fun way of people

going to get a chance to, like, get there to wait and see what this kind of thing is. Like, I'm setting up the tools as easily as we did and then everybody jumping in real life. So I can just do this in the comfort of my home and then you'd be amazed how much money you can raise just by sitting here on the camera at talking to people. I mean, I remember the email we got the end of our support ticket. I mean, some of them were literally. There was one specifically that I always remember. That was the one who literally, right? Like, I'm just a nurse but can I purchase I just

literally what it's for you. No speak of so many content creators getting involved from your side. You know, smoking a lot of Charities over the years that are, you know, I have started to explore the online space. Were there any concerns as a brand knowing that, you know, you really going to use materials and information out to ultimately thousands of people to see what happened? Exactly as were like, tailor-made for the sounds fancy but it means something with democratization of giving, you

know, I mean, we, we, we came up with a constructive. Red-nosed, I mean, really and absurd that you put on your face and it's, you know, it's like a ringing Bell to say, it's time to give and it's time to think about somebody else and do something different, and whether it's a dollar, $5, bill Adidas do that very quickly. And if you take that and apply that into digital, the same idea of highs and it and you apply it to the space, you know, we're not afraid of. Sirius actually are not mutually exclusive, right? To the idea that we are allowing this brand. Eat those, if you will have Red

Nose Day, the idea of keeping children safe healthy and as you know, that's the toolkit, let's see what happens. And let's see what kind of, you know, how we can inspire people and that to me, if you're running a brand and your kind of protective of your brand, that's all goodness. You know, and I think when you go in, you look at those screens and you just see the amount of energy and caring and passion from people like the nurse or the creators themselves. You can't, that is that's an incredible opportunity. And, you know, and then the stunts, I mean,

just some funny, you know, I think I just think that that fits really well with us and we're comfortable with it. And in fact, You know, let's see where we can take it. Yeah, I mean That's brand 101 and then she kind of give you a brand over and let it not be so restrictive. And let's see what creative people do it and in passion and energy around what you're doing, you know, this is all as a result of people getting on board with the mission in the work and that's I

mean that's incredible. You can't write a better script for that a second flag here which was thanks for agreeing amazing success of Hope from home. Do every year John you do this event or remember how many years it's going on now one. We're so you do think Miss every year and this year you did thank Miss similar in a way to the idea of Hope from home where you allow people to participate. In this time just did not, you know, Barry believe it raised 4.7 million dollars. Had

$93,650 from 131 countries was trending number for in the world and had 1.2 million social interaction and had over 7,500 creators. Sign up. I think most of them within the first 24 hours of you launching it. So and all that out there just to sort of, you know, think about where we kind of went. First of all having done, thank Miss in the past as You know, from what I remember is a essentially, a single-stream, you screaming out having some guests on what made you. So to change the thankless model from previous years, this year. And I think the whole from home

stream wjjo sort of the instigator for initially just to see that all weight. It can be so much more and I we the idea of think Miss and like labeling it with the sort of a bunch of brand was heard of an identifiable name every year and making it kind of a holiday on its own, makes it more consistent so that if we do it and when we do it every year people kind of remember always think mrs. Coming up in this sort of become like a charity holiday on its own. And doing a year after year on my own was was great and we raised a lot of good doing that but

it feels like the whole point of sentiments was to make it more than that and make it more than just be about me on my channel because I feel like whenever these events come up there's always so much more you can do with them and it felt like the natural next step for it cuz I I don't like the idea of the sort of charity events. Like it was patting me on the back for like good job. You did it. Like now, cuz the whole point of any of these events is that communities come together and it's more than just the person sitting here talking to the camera all the time. So they give it over to

the people gives a holiday today, let them do whatever they want and creators and fans and anybody at home that wants to help out, they just go to the website and create a link and go. And then you have a whole day of people talking about thank Miss and that whole week becomes about it and then I think the best thing happened for that one, which is that I put out the video same as Hope from home but then it immediately morphed into bank Miss on its own straight away. Cuz then died named phora stuck with people a bit more and then those who got into it because of me then told her friends and

then there was friends told other friends and then a bunch of streamers who were all doing stuff for thank Miss. Who had no idea about me or anything and that was I think the best outcome because then it takes on a life of its own. And then every year we come to do it again. Waiting for. Thank my Center. Opportunity to visit the free modular thing. You can just plug in and out of it whenever you want. And I think that was probably the best outcome. We could have hoped for. I think it's your message spread so much. Further, the cause of that. I think I'm both actually one thing that I

should probably mention on both of them, just to kind of outline. The increased awareness that were talking about other people participating in Hope from home. You raised about 660,000 on your screen which is mind-blowing. But the event is we had raised 1.9 million through 1.3 million raised by other people participating in their own way in. Thank miss. You raise an insane 1.4 million on your channel in about 8 hours which is more mind-blowing and and and then the rest of the

money for the 4.5 million was also raised outside of your channel. So being the community participate was amazed Allison having been through Hope from home, which was around World Health day. This sort of globally, acknowledged, a sort of this at the beginning of covid in. And when they were sort of all this, all the action, how did you sort of adapt to what we were on creating with fakeness? Which was more or less on a made-up day? Yes, exactly. I now have it's like Festivus

together actually worked. It was again, incredibly Instinct for us. So, when I hit like, I mentioned, you know, every all of this sort of support pieces, really pulled away and again, because red nose day's are single. Focus is on children, you know, the biggest thing we were thinking about sitting around here is like what what is going to happen at the end of the year? You know you started to see you like all these Food Lions and cars lining up in the US actually not to cross and other places as well. People who are like, you know, there was massive food,

scarcity, going on. There was a lot of hunger going on, all the stuff to support, children meal, programs, Etc, would just kind of like pulling back. So we knew for a fact that it's like fourth quarter in like December was going to be a big-time for meals and then you know, just kind of raising around you know, thank mess even that word kind of been out, sitting down at the dinner table with a lot of abundant for a lot of folks but it's a lot of the other people didn't have that do for us which is all again all around food scarcity. This is this was timed

perfectly for us. So that wasn't a big leap for us to talk about children and a time and I know actually thanked Miss tied into thinking about it. So, you know, we were like, let's go and He said it was just like almost real droplets of amazingness that everyone just started getting on board and you could see on Twitter I mean we were the second-most, you know, like they're in that day. I think I think this was never one on Twitter it was just it was a Groundswell of activities

had to just participate. They want to be part of it, you know? And the Creator's IR. This is great. Thanks for doing all this info super raising like, you know, a hundred dollars $200 to which were thankful for every dollar. We're like, whoa, that's red nose day, then I trust. So there is no consternation on our part to kind of like partner cuz it it's just I felt right? And pretty organic Ross. Sorry. I missed all the way to the next one. Get the at the

6.6 million dollars. That was generated between these two events, you know Sean. What, why do you think that? I mean, you've done dozens of fundraisers over the years, all of, which have been, you know, super successful in their own, right. I feel like red nose day and just went to like an unseen before Stratosphere. Why do you think the community responded? So well to those event? Level is Bernie a bunch of reasons. I think number one is that the stuff that was happening for those events with something that's happening to everybody before. When you do fundraisers for specific organization

sometimes it's kind of hard to get some people on board on them because they, they don't relate or they don't have anybody who's Afflicted with certain things. But this time it was something that the whole world knew about, it wasn't just a nice thing anymore and everybody just wanted to help. Like I said, everyone was kind of just stuck at home and they didn't know what to do and they wanted to help some way but they had no place to go. So I always feel like if you can give them like a funnel or like, give him a ship to Captain and like sort of activate them in a certain way, then

everybody will get on board and I think thank Miss just being the time of year, it was used to kind of giving I've already have rejoined up. Anyway cuz thank Miss is always super successful. But I think people are just people want to do good people want a good thing to be able to do people want to make a change and make a difference and they want to use any sort of responsibility or anything in their lives to sort of progress things. And I feel like if, if you really have an organization that cares about the the end goal, if you have people who are streaming for a who care about

the end goal and then you just have all of these communities coming together and you can kind of fire them up and get them excited about it. Then I think it all just organically falls into place together. I think there's a bunch of different factors to covid. Was definitely, it was, it was something that kind of like this all the way, but because of online culture and being digital, we were all still connected and I think that was sort of the spark of it all. I'm Allison having obviously, run Ellis on, you know, being in the red-nosed a sphere.

The red-nosed a telephone is very famous elephant. Thinking about what you've seen last year. How do you feel like these online channels can be become additives? Really expand what Red Nose Day and other organizations are doing with with their delva? Yeah, I I mean, to me it's sort of like the one in one of these three thing. All right. I'm at on the TV broadcast its, you know, this is old terminology but it's a lean back medium and in many ways. And so it and that is a really interesting space where people have storytelling and deeply

kind of like it into the reason of why and then kind of motivate at the accident. I think the the key as you move into a digital experience, something that's more people are more engaged. It's faster for people that kind of understand what's happening and then to act The interesting thing about what we've done together is that it it really is the creators like, you know, John takes it Center, pull all the Creator that come along with it and maybe come to the

rally in front of galvanize, the audience and trust that happens. There is not unlike the trust that some folks feel like on the, on the broadcast network, you know, between like Kelly Clarkson or, you know, Jocko. Sims are Seth Meyers at Hoda Kotb. I mean, either people who are in the Embassy Suites, are they say I'm for Red Nose Day, can you, can you come on board? It happened and then you see that exact same influence Groundswell and frankly authenticity, they are there in the Therefore the cause it's not just like slapping it on and Sam's wearing red nose day. Hey, check it

out, it actually they steal it and I think that's picked up by the audience and then the immediate ability to give us small medium, large denomination. Do you know activated with tilted by 2? It's just like, that's that's the Next Generation. You know, the new the new fundraising is going to be in the new opportunities are going to be multi-channel, omni-channel, multi-platform, and it's just like open to all. Come on board, get engaged? No, barriers. And by the way, I mean, we are not. We're okay with the stupid knows tricks. In

the dogs and noses in the celebrities coming out and doing crazy stuff for her son. So mean that it all feels like it's in the right direction for good. And it feels like the right evolution. For a Peloton Studio. Being all these. It's like the, you know, classically, it's sort of the one-to-many where you're speaking, everyone you're saying, hey can you donate to me? Which is fine. And it's been around for a long time, I think, what was innovated here in these events was I'm doing this. But you can also do this, and we're in it together, and you

might donate to mine. I might donate to yours. I know Sean went around and donated to a bunch of other people's dreams during fakeness. And then it was just kind of like we're all, we're all doing this together. Amazing. At a patient of a sense of community. I mean, I think you really feel like you're part of something. And I think that is the case has been that case. I think the idea of being a part of something in really watching that happened in real time. Was just is even more. So with what we've done together and it's just it's great. So I do think it's a

It feels really great for like something like red nose day to be a part of that is my how is my my little timer. Reminding me? What time it is ready. Thank you, both for joining. I thank you so much Alison. And thank you so much Sean thank you for having us and I hope everyone has an amazing day.

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Alison Moore
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Sean McLoughlin