May 12, 2023

Time With Marc Almanzor — Founder of Make Gaming About Fundraising (MGA).

Time With Marc Almanzor — Founder of Make Gaming About Fundraising (MGA).


Esports bursting out of gaming as competitive gaming and gradually making its way into traditional sports has seen tremendous growth. We have witnessed this sector of the gaming industry become its own industry with billions of dollars in revenue accrued, viewership moving from millions into hundreds of millions and partnerships swarming from affiliated brands and other gear manufacturing companies. 


The regions showing growth in this industry are that of the Americas, Europe and Asia, with Africa also making steady strides in the industry as well. The part in esports this episode looks to highlight is that of the relationship between esports and nonprofits, or philanthropy, and helping break this down is Mr. Marc Almanzor, who is the brain behind Make Gaming About Fundraising, a consulting firm, and the senior manager for gift processing at Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders).


For Marc, his pursuits into nonprofit have had influences from his relatives being involved with nonprofit work, as his grandmother worked with the UN, and his desire to see organizations work hand in hand with nonprofits in the aspects of fundraising. His goal is to have organizations understand the audiences they intend to reach out to, which influenced his decision to make the firm Make Gaming About Fundraising (MGA). This is to help the nonprofits know how to approach gamers and content creators and help them raise funds for their causes. 


Marc is also a gamer himself, as he has his own Twitch channel where he streams games such as theMonster Hunter Series,FortniteandPlate Up, meeting with other gamers and building a community with them as well. 

With the motive behind MGA, he seeks to have the nonprofit organizations tap into the pool of gamers, video gaming and the community to help raise funds for them. The gamer community has the audience, so for them to raise awareness and advocate for a cause will not be difficult to do. Once they establish the trust of who this is being done for and why, donorship from the community will be easier to do. This is the line MGA walks on gracefully – by being a gaming enthusiast and employing fun ways to raise funds for causes. 

 For the esports organization, I think it's a good way to show how they're giving back to not just their community, but causesMarc, Almanzor, MGA


Causes for many people are such that they are looked at as something bigger than themselves, so even if they may not be able to give something, they may consider alternative ways to support, with what may be considered as their substance or resource. 


In vetting organizations, Marc advises that you consider organizations with resources that can be found and accessed publicly. The 990 is a section he mentions that would have the financial information on expenses. This is a tax form that is supposed to be filed by nonprofits every year, so you as a donor will know what the money has gone towards. He mentions GuideStar, which is a website he uses to assess the transparency of organizations. The 990s also help with identifying executive compensation, as well as the funders, big to small. So if you have questions about who is funding what, the 990s will help provide that information.


Esports organizations and nonprofits working together can help immensely seeing that there are great marketing opportunities within the esports community. So your brand and logo alongside accompanying material can be identified by the audiences so that they can establish trust and support you. Examples he cited were the Fornite Pro-Ams  and Dreamhack’s for Save the Children.  


To establish the esports organizations and nonprofits relationships, the nonprofits are the ones who oftentimes do the approaching. What MGA does is to help the nonprofits link up with teams that may come with the least risk to the brand – risk here being team controversies (PR stunts, socio political views, etc) – all to ensure that their brands are protected. 


Other platforms nonprofits can reach out to are provided in this episode with more covered on fundraisers done over the years and their successes. The noteworthy pointers are that this is a venture that should be equally considered when thinking about the expansion of esports as well as fundraising alternatives for nonprofits and philanthropy. 


Esports has helped create jobs for lots of people. Interested in knowing about the business side of esports? Listen to the Gamers Change Lives Podcast! We get experienced guests from all around the world featuring. 

Gamers Change Lives Podcast

Written By Jeffrey Osei-Agyeman