Jae, James, and Bradly recording this episode of the podcast.

Heartfelt Streaming

Bradly of The American Heart Association joins James and Jae to discuss charity fundraising on Twitch. We discussed how streaming could help raise money for charitable organisations online. We also discuss heart health and how technology can help/hinder one of the most vital organs in our body.
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Show Notes

James and Jae both have a family history of health problems. One of the biggest areas of concern is heart health. Family members have had heart attacks, had to have stints added, had bypass surgeries, and struggled with strokes, seizures, and more. That’s why for Heart Month 2023, and every February since 2021, we have been supporting the American Heart Association on Twitch. We also plan to begin raising money for the British Foundation every September.

On this episode, James and Jae talk with Bradly of the American Heart Association. We discussed his background in charity work and the steps that the AHA has gone through as they’ve been embracing the medium of streaming as a charity fundraising tool.

While discussing the work that AHA does, we also talk about aspects of heart health that individuals may not realise, and some steps we can all take to improve our daily heart-health. As a fair warning, this episode contains a number of heartfelt puns from Jae. 

We’d love to hear your stories and experiences with not only heart-health, but also ways in which technology may have helped you raise funds for charities. Drop us a note to [email protected] or come join the discussion in our Discord

Supporting Crossed Wires

This week, we’d love yout o support AHA where possible, but if you’re also able to help us pay the bills around here it would be hugely appreciated. The best way to do that is to head over to our KoFi page and drop us a tip for as little as $1.

If you’re looking for a home for your latest Linux based project, our friends at Linode provide top-quality servers and have been doing so since 2003. Best-of-all, their pricing is incredible! So, if you want great pricing with fantastic customer support for all your Linux-based cloud computing needs, you can get $100 of free credit when you sign up here.

Chapter Times

  1. 00:00:04: Introductions
  2. 00:03:34: Why AHA Is So Important
  3. 00:09:21: Why Fundraising?
  4. 00:18:25: Streaming to Fundraise
  5. 00:30:53: Incentives to Donate
  6. 00:38:23: Other Ways to Give
  7. 00:41:23: Hands Only CPR & FAST
  8. 00:44:32: Some Closing Thoughts


Intro and outro theme: Ace of Clubs by RoccoW

Jae: Hello, and welcome to Crossed Wires. I am Jae. So James minus the Ms.
James: Oh, dear, no. that’s not how we’re going to do stuff. No. At this point, our guest is thinking, what have I come into? What’s going
Jae: I’ve known Bradly a little bit. We’ve talked in voice chat before, so Bradly knows I’m a little quirky.
James: I was going to say you’re used to this then. Okay, fine.
Jae: I am joined by my co host, James. How are you doing, James?
James: I’m really good. We’ve had a very productive day. We’ve obviously planned this episode out. we streamed earlier. We did, our coffee chats, and it was great. We tackled some scammers. One of the reasons we brought Bradly on and we’ll talk about it is because of the fundraising we’re doing at the moment. But it’s been really cool being able to see people donate to the American Heart Association this month for the whole of February. That’s what we’ve been doing. this episode should come out unless I really screw up. The edit should be out before the end of February, so it should still be within Heart Month.
Jae: Speaking of Heart Month, I think I will introduce a very hearty guest. I’m so sorry. You told me to host, James, and coming with the hosting is my quirky. You obviously did not listen to my old podcast enough.
Bradly: Honestly, it’s very hard not to make heart puns, to be quite honest with you.
Jae: So our guest today is Bradly of the American Heart Association. How are you today?
Bradly: I’m doing great. How are you all doing?
Jae: Doing amazing. And before we actually get into this, I actually wanted to ask a question. Who is Bradley? How did you get into the role you’re in and what are some of your passion and your interests?
Bradly: So, to make a very long story short, I, was actually a fundraising staff person for Kids Heart Challenge. Many of you would probably remember jump rope for Heart as a kid. I was managing that program with ten different counties, about 200 different schools, at once, before this role. And then, I’d been here for a year and saw the potential with content creators and just said, I’m just going to start fundraising with content creators and get something up and going. I had no name for the program three years ago. And, we had no prizes. We had no nothing. No T shirts, no logo, no nothing. And I was sending streamers at the time, ducks from Kids Heart Challenge and they loved them. Like a little rubber ducks on a keychain, they loved them. and that’s how this program started. It was just like some old kids heart challenge stuff. And turns out people in their 20s don’t change much from elementary school.
James: No, we don’t.
Bradly: So, they got all kinds of Kids Heart Challenge stuff. And three years later. We have gone through lots of different changes, learned lots of different things. Last year we were American Heart Association Revive. And now we’re American Heart Association live. I think that’s the final branding of the program now. So, yeah, that’s kind of how I got here. Just, kind of said, there’s potential here, I’m interested to do it. And then they gave me a full time position for it. So I’m thankful for that.
Jae: I think I’ve been a part of this, at least the last two to three years, but maybe since at the beginning or very early in the beginning.
Bradly: Very early.
Jae: And it’s definitely been something that I’ve enjoyed working with the American Heart Association. And one thing that I want to go into is what is the American Heart Association? It always seems like the heart is something that until I started fundraising for, I did not realize just how much it’s important to a lot of what we do.
Bradly: Definitely, in my personal opinion, I don’t think heart disease necessarily gets the attention it really deserves, especially compared to some other things. Heart disease is the number one killer in the world. and stroke by itself is just one cardiovascular disease that ranks as number two on its own. We have number one and number two in our hands, and I think it deserves a lot more attention than what it gets. And most people have the conception too, that it’s some older person’s thing. But I myself, at, 25 years old, had to have some pretty major surgery just last year because of my own heart condition. Turns out my heart was want to, beating 27,000 extra heart beats a day. You only have 100,000 in a day. So that was about 27%. It was working harder. So, just to put it out there that it can happen to people, people our age and younger. Just another quick fact, our star pupil for kids heart challenge, his name is Finn, by the time he started kindergarten, he had 15 open heart surgeries. He’s one of like 40,000 babies that are born with some kind of congenital heart defect every year. So it’s not just an older person’s thing. It does defect all ages for various reasons. some people are at higher risk than others. And what the Heart Association does is we try to help people, like myself and others, live their longest and healthiest life possible, literally. Our mission statement, we do so from research, which is kind of our top down approach, because research will affect literally every person on the planet. That’s our main call to action. And then we also try to do a bubble up approach as well. over the past few years, we’ve really ramped up our local impact efforts as well. And we’ve looked into down to the very zip code. Like, me and you could be neighbors and literally our houses to be within visual distance of each other. But if you live in a zip code that’s different than mine, your life expectancy could be 60. and mine could be 90. So there literally could be a 30 year gap. So we’ve actually done things like setting up a local impact fund to give back to other local nonprofits that might have the infrastructure that we don’t to support things like homelessness food shelters. We’ve worked with local legislators to actually expand internet access because that’s something everyone needs. And there’s some spots in rural parts of the states that people couldn’t even buy it even if they wanted to. So very long answer, but that’s what the American Heart Association is and does.
Jae: James has learned a little bit about some of the health care in the United States, or in many regards, lack of health care. Like, there’s a few doctors appointments that I want to get, but right now, because of tight funds, I have to prioritize what I’m doing and some of its mental health, some of its actual down to health on my left foot, for instance, I have to get that checked, but I can’t afford it right now. And over in the UK, there’s a little bit more access to health care, even if there’s a time gap. And I think that’s one reason why it’s, incredibly important for organizations like the American Heart Association to bring out things to help where our medical does lack and our access to medical resources lacks heavily.
James: It’s interesting because over here in the UK, obviously, we are focusing on the American Heart Association. But of course, over here we have a British Heart Foundation. And I think it’s wonderful to see so many charities across. One random question. Do you guys all get together? Do you work with eachother in partnership or is it like I’ll stay in my little bubble?
Bradly: As far as fundraising, we do kind of bubble up for fundraising. However, as an organization as a whole, we probably are the biggest and the oldest one of what we like to call our sister organizations. We kind of have agreements that, research is research and that gets scattered across the globe. So if you do something with us, if you do something with them, it gets scattered everywhere. Because research is research. Everyone’s going to know about it and know how to do these things, and we’re going to spread that around as best we can. In fact, the American Heart Association actually hosts the biggest scientific convention in the world to do just that. It’s called Scientific Sessions. We hold it every single year and we gather all the world scientists together to share their findings and research, since we are one of the biggest research charities, period. And one of the oldest, in fact, 2024, next year will be our 100 year anniversary.
Jae: Wow.
Bradly: So when you think of something and just to paint a picture, I think of stuff like like Disney, 50 years old and the impact that’s made on people’s lives. Pokemon, now 26 years old in just a couple days. Just think about that and the things that they’ve done to impact your life. And we’re four times as old as Pokemon, twice the age of Disney. That’s a very long time.
James: Wow. Yeah. Because another nerdy, one doctor who turns 60 this year. Yeah, I know. He’s got two hearts. Sorry. That was cheesy. I’m sorry. Yeah, that’s awesome. And it is great. But that’s all been shared. So, Bradly, obviously we talked about fundraising. People say, oh, well, why should we fundraise? Why should we give money to a charity? Surely they can get this from a government. And maybe some people’s perception oh, they can get it funded by the government. There’s big companies that will fund. Why is it so important that maybe individuals consider how, they can support, as we’re talking about streamers and content creators supporting you, why is that fundraising so vital to a charity like the American Heart Association?
Bradly: So kind of going back to what, I was saying before, in the very beginning, all this, it goes towards a lot of different things. We are so big that we are able to really use basically the entire country’s resources to look at exactly what is the problem. And we’re seeing that research has helped, but we’re seeing things like rural areas, for example, don’t have the resources that metropolitan areas do. So we’re able to set new standards for hospitals. It’s called Get with the guidelines. We have a whole program just for that where rural hospitals aren’t necessarily up to speed. So that’s one of the things that we’re able to do with those donor dollars. But in particular, with content creators. The thing that I’m so excited about, we talked in the very beginning about how people have this misconception that this is an older person’s disease while you’re at higher risk, the older you get, because we’re just kind of falling apart the more we get older. That is generally true. Content creators, people on Twitch, people on YouTube, TikTok, those three places where we’re fundraising, the general audience is like 15 to 30. And honestly, that’s an area of improvement for the American Heart Association because generally speaking, we have them in Kids Heart Challenge. We’re pretty good there in elementary school. We kind of lose them in middle school, high school. And we kind of hope that in between that area, that when they start work that we kind of grab them in their workspace. Other than that, we kind of lose them in that little middle space there. So that’s why I’m so excited about content creators in general, because it really is a brand new audience for us. So when you are streaming for the American Heart Association, you’re funding research, resources, local impact for the number one and number two killer in the world, while also educating people that aren’t even aware of what heart disease is, let alone that this is the thing they’re most likely to die from. If you want to talk about impact, I can’t think of anything bigger than this.
Jae: Absolutely. And you’re finding people like where they are at, and you’re finding because a lot of my content is YouTube and Twitch and even like, TikTok’s, like YouTube shorts or TikTok. People send me. I’m not on TikTok itself. I’m one of those, fuddy duddies who doesn’t want to be on TikTok itself.
Bradly: Honestly, I don’t blame you. I don’t even have a TikTok account. we will fundraise on there, but that’s a conversation for another day. Go on.
James: Yeah.
Jae: And whenever people talk about awareness, because I know one of the jokes is, I’m already aware of it. But no, you are right. Part of the awareness is saying, hey, this is for us. And also, what does it do? Because even like, when I’m looking at some of the resources that you provide during the heart month, I’m like, wow, I did not realize how this can affect me. Too little sleep can affect me. Too much sleep can affect me on all of those parts. And that’s just building that awareness. And the stories that I’ve had my community share, even the stories that James and I have, because we both have family members who have had heart problems. I’m very much high blood pressure because I’m very high stroke. And it’s definitely affecting me. And I think bringing that awareness to be like, hey, if you don’t see it I know that people have asked me, why should you get a smartwatch? And I know there’s a slight tangent, but it’s very true. Why should you get a smartwatch? Because I know people who have had a smartwatch that can read their heart rate. All of a sudden it says, hey, I’m noticing, based off our sensors, that your heart is actually a little weird. You might come on to get it checked out. My mom found out that she was having AFib • because of her Apple Watch. And it’s definitely very much one to keep mindful of. So it’s bringing that awareness of your heart is important because without it, you’re not going to be living, I’m not going to be funny. I’m being very serious.
Bradly: Yeah.
James: It goes back to Bradly’s wonderful point about the amount of research it’s done. Because let’s be honest, this Apple Watch has ECG. It has heart rate monitoring, but none of that would be possible without wonderful research. I seem to recall that Apple even talked about the American Heart Association in some of the keynote stuff around, the heart health stuff and my heart health studies. When you’ve got technology, be able to influence that research. I think it’s fantastic. And yeah, I wear a Smartwatch for a slightly different reason related to heart health, and it’s an interesting one. So my dad, I’ve got his permission to share this. he had a heart attack about, oh, gosh, it will be eight years this year since he had his heart attack.
Jae: Wow.
James: And, he’s fine, by the way. He’s absolutely fine. In, the end, he had to have a stent put in. and I’m very grateful to the work of the cardiac unit at the hospital he was at. I obviously won’t name the hospital, but they were fantastic. but I only found out that he was having a heart attack and I needed to go home because I was wearing a Smartwatch. The call center I was working at at the time didn’t allow phones to be out on the floor. It had to be in your pocket or in your bag. But because I was wearing a Smartwatch, I got the notification from him saying, hey, call home urgently. You need to come home now. Because she didn’t say why in the message, but I called home. Oh, yeah, he was having a heart attack. You need to come home. Because we were going to be driven up to someone’s going to drive us up to the hospital, because it was near where he worked, you see, and it was a good hour and a half away. So we had a very good friend who drives it. But if I hadn’t been wearing a Smartwatch, I wouldn’t have known about that notification for an hour or so. Very important. But Bradly, before we move on to some of the actual fund stuff around streaming, one thing that’s always struck me, it’s something I’ve learned from working a little bit with charities, is that people, think obviously the funding has to go to the research, has to go to the outreach programs. But that’s not always true, because charities are effectively a business. And you do have to raise operational funds as well. A charity doesn’t run itself, rather. And, there are things we are not going into too much detail. Would you say that’s a fair assessment where people maybe don’t understand the operational costs that have to be covered by those donations, too?
Bradly: Yeah, even the government, like, you have to pay people to there is always operational cost. It’s unavoidable. Like, we need ink in the printer, we need paper in the printer. We need the printer. We need the people that print the stuff. We need people like me too. I can full on say, like, we’ve been around for 100 years. And fundraising through content creators has been around since at least 2013. And this program didn’t exist until like, I started reaching out. So the million dollars we raised last fiscal year through content creators, it wouldn’t happen if outreach staff didn’t exist. These are all very important things. And you can go back and forth and say what you want to about paying staff at, nonprofits and how much they should get paid or expenses or whatever. But that’s what things like Charity Navigator, for which we have the highest score on, and they look and compare us to other charities and how wisely we’re spending our dollars. it’s one of the lowest compared to other nonprofits, especially. We’re very good on the donor dollar. And like for an example, when COVID came up and things were just horrible for us that first year, new staff were being hired and they put everything on freeze. The new people couldn’t even get a name tag or business cards. Everything was shut down. We stopped all the spending. and out of all the nonprofits that I’ve seen that have handled their spending through COVID and things, like layoffs and stuff, we probably handled that the best out of anyone I’ve seen. I’ve seen other nonprofits have to go through multiple rounds of layoffs and decreases in spending, losing fundraising programs. It got really messy, really fast. But we had some very smart people here that really took the reins and took control and made what could have been just an awful situation. Just got a pause, band aid, one at a time. And then we were good. And we’ve been better ever since then.
Jae: And I think that one thing that I’ve been impressed at is just your use of creative ways to reach people. And one of the reasons we have you here today is Twitch streaming. Because I’ve been fundraising for the American Heart Association for the last like two to three years and it has been pretty incredible just to see what you’ve been able to do with that. And for those who don’t know, Twitch streaming itself is people going live on Twitch either by yourself or with other people. You’re playing a game, you’re doing something, you’re doing just chatting. And it’s a content medium that a lot of people are watching. In fact, Crossed Wires is streaming a couple of times a week and it’s a fun outlet for us also. Way to raise some, some money. But I think Twitch streaming has been around since justin.tv • in the early, in the early, stuff like that.
James: justin.tv…. • •
Jae: Yeah, I actually remember streaming on that one. But yeah, it’s brought a lot of awareness into Twitch streaming itself. We’re going to do a whole episode on Twitch streaming at some point because there’s so many cool avenues about it and so many cool things but yeah, streamers can raise money and someone will stay. So streamer have people pay them and then they pay the charity? In the beginning days is how it was done, but there was some, let’s just say nefarious things that happened.
Bradly: Really?
Jae: Yeah. In the early days, sometimes Streamers would say, hey, when you give me a sub or send me a tip and I will donate the profits to charity. And some streamers were not quite ethical. They were getting their accounting wrong accidentally or intentionally. So over time, services like Soft Giving and Tiltify have come around. And even now, Twitch, through Twitch Charity have come around where when you raise that money, it goes directly to the charity. The service may have whatever their costs are for the transaction fees, all that stuff, but the money that’s raised there does not hit the Streamers bank account whatsoever. So there’s that accountability and it’s been pretty incredible how much money has been raised. Do you have a figure of how much the American has raised on.
Bradly: Average through Twitch this last fiscal year? Our fiscal year starts on July 1. so last fiscal year was a million dollars that we raised. And really, that was our first full fiscal year that we had last year. The year before that was me scrambling together three months of, work to prove that this could be a thing. And that was $100,000 in three months. And then the first full fiscal year was a million dollars. So now we’re on the third one. We’re on track to beat that probably by half a million, if I had to guess.
Jae: And that’s from streaming?
Bradly: Yeah.
Jae: That is incredible. And that shows that you’ve tapped into a great market because I’ve just been impressed at how much money has been raised through streaming and through charity. And it makes sense. It’s where people are at, it’s the communities people are a part of. And what is so cool is to see all these creators using their platform for good, using their platform to do good in the world. Like, I did a charity for Trans Lifeline, and I raised probably, I think 25 to 2800 somewhere around there. And that has changed lives just there. And it’s been cool every year to see what we are raising money for with the charities. And it’s been cool to realize we affected somebody’s life because of what our community did. Our community came together and brought that collective fundraising because our community enjoys seeing what we’ve raised, and what we’re doing. I’ve had members share stories, saying, thank you for what you’re doing, because I have a family member who’s had this or this has happened to me, and it’s been able to really bring people together.
James: And, how does it work from your side, Bradly, in terms of your partnership with Tiltify and Twitch? How does a charity like American Heart Association get on board because obviously, I guess you’ve got two elements. You’ve got the content creators themselves, and then you’ve got the actual platforms. How do you go about getting those relationships with the platforms? For a start, maybe with the Giving platforms.
Bradly: Yeah.
James: So obviously, for the first time, we’re using Twitch Charity. and I was actually impressed. When you go on and look at a fundraiser, there are so many charities out there. So I’m guessing would it be correct you register as a charity with that platform so people can then give?
Jae: Twitch uses the PayPal Giving Fund. So that’s their registered database.
Bradly: I actually didn’t know that. I knew we didn’t register for Twitch Charity. It was just kind of available one day when they rolled it out. So I was like, great. Tiltify is a little bit different because you actually have to register for Tiltify. It’s a little bit different. And this is very typical for fundraising websites. Like, don’t take this as a bad thing, quote, unquote. This is very standard. you have to sign up for it because it’s like every other fundraising website. They do take a certain percentage to keep the website running and keep all the awesome perks that Tiltify • has that Twitch Charity doesn’t. It’s like 2%. It’s very small. So like two pennies on the dollar. It’s well worth the expense. And it’s very standard. Like, not even Heart runs without any expense. You want to talk about your expenses earlier? That’s one of them. in fact, the only way to actually give 100% of your dollar is if you just did a bank to bank wire transfer. That is just about the only way you can do it. Except, the most interesting thing that we’ve been dabbling around in is YouTube Giving. I love YouTube Giving, by the way, because it’s just as integrated as Twitch Charity. Twitch Charity does not take that 2% that Tiltify does, which it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that Tiltify does. But on top of that, YouTube Giving, they also cover those transaction costs from credit cards and stuff. So YouTube Giving is actually the only other way to give 100% of your dollar, which I’m so excited about.
James: That’s awesome because we’re talking about Twitch. But as you said, this is very much a content creator. So it could be people doing YouTube videos and doing something for Heart Month throughout the whole month if you like this video, maybe instead of supporting us through Patreon this month, give to American Heart Association. One of the things I love now, I haven’t used Tiltify. Jae has.
Jae: Yes.
James: One of the things I love about Twitch Charity is the fact that it does take over that sub button. So it doesn’t remove the ability for people to sub to our channel, which is great, but it means that the charity fundraiser, we’re running enrollment and I think j, am I right? You can only run one fundraiser at a time, correct? Yes, which is an interesting one, because next year what we’d love to do is to have it sort of geographical based. So if you’re in the States, you’d give to AHA, if you’re in the UK, you’d give to British Heart Foundation. I don’t know how we might look at other you know what, I bet they’ll have a different fundraising period. So that will probably won’t even be, an issue. But the point is, all these tools, as Bradly said, they are fantastic. And they do have to cover their transaction costs. But it’s great to see somebody coming along.
James: So in terms of like, the individual streamers, because obviously you’ve got that wonderful Discord. But do they have to come and sort of get on board with you to fundraise? Or can anyone fundraise? It’s just optional to come and partner with you for more resources?
Bradly: People can just fundraise for us whenever they want to. I mean, obviously the resources are out there for people to register whenever they want to. For most, I would prefer they come talk to me because I can help you raise more money than what you would probably do by yourself. Especially if it’s a first time fundraiser that has never done a charity stream, never seen a charity stream. They don’t know about setting up donation incentives, how to use the Tiltify • fundraising bar, how to set that up, how to set milestone incentives. Maybe they didn’t know we have access to CrowdControl. • To make your fundraising even more fun. We do these things for a reason. We know they raise more money. And it could bring your fundraising from literally one hundred dollars to one thousand dollars. That’s a big difference. And if we do that per person, that’s even a bigger difference. I want you to come talk to me.
Jae: Yeah. Because for those who, aren’t aware, CrowdControl • is a lot of fun. And I want to actually see if I can get to run on my Steam Deck. Because last year when I was raising money for the American Heart Association, I was using CrowdControl. • And I still remember I was in the first dungeon in Skyrim, and MsAshRocks • • from Tiltify, she kept donating to make my health go all the way down.
James: Oh no.
Jae: And she was cackling in so much laughter every time it would happen. I’m like, I’m almost in the dungeon. Health down. So yeah, there’s. Like those cool things where a donation can actually affect your game. And it’s a really cool thing.
Bradly: Yeah, it’s so cool. They are also one of those sites where they don’t take a fee from us. We we just paid, like I think it’s, like, $100 a year to use it. And then after that, all the money rolls to us. And what I love about CrowdControl • even more is that it takes care of all those donation incentives for you. It makes it so easy. It might be a little tricky to set it up, but I’ve heard no complaints. I’ve heard everyone say that it’s very easy to set up.
Jae: Yes.
Bradly: And what I love about it is that all you have to do past that is, set a fundraising goal. Past that, all your incentives are taken care of. The stream just kind of runs itself at that point, and it’s chaotic, but it’s so much fun.
Jae: Yeah. And what I love is just like, people will do something for the incentive. One that, we have is, like, I think every 100 dollars we raise, James has to dress up like Mario when we play Mario Kart. One, of the ones I have is, every time someone donates $50, I will eat a sour pickle ball, which is absolutely awful.
James: I don’t know you do that. • • •
Jae: I don’t know how I do it either, because they’re awful. But, yeah, it’s just fun incentives that make people just, have fun, but you’re, at the end of the day, doing something good for somebody.
James: What do you think it is? That, I guess this is a question. We, this time, didn’t use Tiltify. We didn’t have any CrowdControl • setup. And part of that is on us. We weren’t as well prepared as we would have liked to be this time, but we had a lot of fun. We made up incentives where there was a wonderful thing that we neither used, and we’ll definitely use the spinning wheel to get people to pick an incentive when someone hits that goal. One of the things we did to try and bring it up is, Bradly in between provided a lot of great, artwork assets that we used to incorporate it into our own designs, because we did a Valentine’s Day stream. So we tried to make it very cutesy as well, and it worked. We just realized that streaming on Valentine’s Day isn’t exactly going to give you the most audience beyond very sad, lonely I’m just saying that out loud.
Jae: you and I are never mind.
Bradly: You could just amend that by saying sad, lonely, and happy, lonely people.
James: There you go. There you go.
Bradly: Because some people are just happy alone.
James: What do you think it is, Bradly? That gets people donating to charities with content creators. Because, I don’t know about you lot, but whenever I’m stopped on the street by charity fundraisers, it’s usually when I’m on the way to do something, unfortunately in a hurry, I’ll try and stop. But I guess part of this is me being very honest. The challenge I found with traditional on street fundraising, I don’t know what the rules are in the US. But here there’s a lot of rules and regulations around that. But I always feel I want to donate to every charity, but I feel quite a lot of pressure to donate monthly and things like that. But what do you think it is about this method of fundraising where it’s almost built into the content that you’re already watching? Why do you think that’s so appealing?
Bradly: Well, I mean, you all have already said this statement several times. It’s meeting people where they are. I mean, we talk about that internally every single day. It’s all about meeting people where they are, and truly providing a custom fit just for them to make an impact on in the ways that they can. We’re not asking Twitch Streamers to go to a heartwalk. We’re not asking them to go to a Heart Ball. We’re not asking them to donate half a million dollars because they don’t have half a million dollars. This isn’t a sponsorship thing or whatever other way we fundraise. We’re asking them to stream. That’s what they do. So it’s a very integrated ask. And just like kids Heart Challenge that used to be Jump Rope for Heart. We send home envelopes to the parents. We have prizes for the kids to earn that are exciting for them to earn. So Heart Walk, that can be a very corporate thing. That’s how we ask for big donations from corporations and inviting a lot of people and putting logos in front of people. That’s what businesses want. So every single thing is customed towards each audience. and everything is very intentional. I don’t even know what this would be like just going someone and say, hey, give us money, hey fundraise. No. It’s always a very specific ask. So that’s the difference there.
Jae: And I think the incentives are a huge thing because again, I have had my stream just again, rolling in laughter whenever they make me do something, I’m like, no, not again. Or like, I used to have a rainbow hat, I need to actually find it. But it would be like always, like, I put on the hat for a couple of seconds or oh frazacorn, it’s a unicorn hat. I would always have that out for like ten minutes or so. I need to actually find some of these incentives. I know one streamer would put like little hands on their fingers to try to play a game.
James: And there’s times where, again, using CrowdControl • to convert your control or change your buttons. I really want to see if it’s a work on the Steam Deck because it’s one disadvantage of moving away from Windows. Half of that control stuff only works on Windows. Yeah, but anyway but I’m impressed at how easy it is to start a charity stream. Even if you don’t have all this stuff set up, how easily you can press the button and instantly be raising money for charity.
Bradly: Yeah. Honestly, I am too. It’s come a very long way. I actually did a charity stream myself, like ten years ago. It’s been ten years ago now, in 2013. I remember having to get help because I was so lost on how to just start a stream. It’s gotten so much better. And like, we didn’t have Tiltify back then. There was no SoftGiving. • In fact, I had to use a Walk fundraiser page and say, donate to this, I really got clever with it, and used another fundraising website. I’m very impressed with how far it’s all come.
James: And I think streaming has become so much simpler. Obviously we’re both using fairly decent microphones and fairly decent audio interfaces for Crossed Wires and for our streams. But the accessibility of good microphones and good cameras, the fact that it’s so easy now to use your iPhone, particularly if you’re a Mac user, but even if you’re not, and you’re on Windows, there’s things like EpocCam • and DroidCam • which are so easy to use for high quality cameras. I remember back in the day of Leo Laporte where he’d have his Tricaster set up and all that fancy gear that we could just never afford. But now you can stream off almost anything. It’s a lot easier. And as Bradly said, because it is so much easier to get stream started and to get the charity side, I encourage you if you want to raise funds, obviously, particularly for American Heart Association, connect with Bradly, then get going. Get some incentives going. I think it all very much depends on what your type of streams are and what your resources are. But people are generous in general, I think. And if you are entertaining people and you’re making people aware. I think some random things that you can combine, obviously the resources from a charity with things that come into news. I sort of think about, putting olive oil into your coffee to help with heart health. That sounds like the most disgusting thing ever. But let’s look at the science of it. Not really my nice coffee with olive oil.
Jae: I’ve even seen streams raise money without incentives too. I think part of just putting the awareness out there is, hey, we’re raising this money, and you can be a part of our community in raising that money. And there’s just that. You feel good when you see what your stream has done. Even as a streamer, I am blown away when my community has raised funds. It almost makes me feel guilty that all I did was just stream, but that’s all I did. I mean, sometimes I’ve had more incentives than others, but still, all I did was just stream and say, hey, here’s my charity link. Go here and spend money from a different perspective.
Bradly: I’ve been in fundraising since 2010. So how many years is that? The 13 years I’ve been in this? And, you know, 13 years ago, what I was doing to raise $100 was I was going around to family and friends with a physical envelope. And I was collecting checks. I was collecting physical cash and change, if you can imagine counting it. And it would take me all year going to different people collecting $10, $20 at a time to get $100. We’re seeing like, the average is like $1,700 per charity stream. Wow, that is crazy. And most of the time, it’s done in one day. Even $100, $50 in one day is pretty insane.
James: I mean, we’ll be really transparent. As it stands at the point of this recording, we raised $90. I sort of get what Jae said, and I think that’s what I kind of hinted at is we’ve raised $90 by just doing a few streams and saying, hey, please give to the American Heart Association. We’ve put a few incentives in where people have been great. And part of that is because our streaming is really rebuilding after we brought that back. And it’s awesome. We’re still relatively small, but frankly, if people are feeling guilty, oh, but I can only host a stream, I can’t donate myself. Would you say it’s a fair comment to say that actually the very act of opening that fundraising, being able to allow people to donate and to be able to encourage people to give is just as valuable as donations themselves?
Bradly: Oh, yeah. There’s so many things you can do, even if, you can’t donate yourself. My favorite thing to do is say, hey, send it to the people that can you have a phone? Like, send it to family, send it to friends, say, hey, this charity event is happening. You can watch it, but I just want you to donate to it. Or you can just share the stream. We all know how algorithms work. Send some more people over there. Like, come on now, retweeting. How long does it take to retweet something? Go retweet it. That helps. Goes a long way. There’s so many different ways that you can just be present, be active, and not have to donate even just being in chat and keeping the chat active and keeping things exciting, to help the streamer out. That goes a long way. I know streamers certainly appreciate some active chatters in their chats.
Jae: Absolutely. And from my communications background, one thing that I think charity streaming does in an amazing way is also brand awareness. And it does help market the charity. I’ve had people who may not have donated during the charity remembered the organization I was raising money for, because someone was like, I was out somewhere, I saw this charity, and I remember them because I saw it on your stream. So you’re helping promote that organization.
James: To touch on my point, a really good example, Bradley, if I’m wrong, I don’t know, what the case is, but here in the UK, a lot British Heart Foundation have a lot of stores. They have regular sort of charity stores, like Goodwill type stores. But have, British Heart Foundation, for instance, have their furniture and electronic stores, which are dedicated to furniture, electronics, and they do some absolutely wonderful deals. The sofa at my last flat, which unfortunately had to go, we would have donated it back to back to a charity, but it wouldn’t fit. We couldn’t get it back out of a flat, But it was a free seat of lemon sulfur. It was a British heart foundation. I went and paid them and paid them extra. Come and take away my old sulfur. I think they could actually use it. I’m not sure if they could, but the point is, I got a sofa, they got the donation and, the money to raise. There can be so many ways you can give to a charity beyond. Does that exist in the States?
Bradly: I don’t know if we have stores like that. I don’t know. I mean, just to say no, we don’t. however, there probably is someone doing some kind of American Heart Association auction somewhere where you can auction it off. I would say if you’re looking for something that could impact, besides raising money, for us, it’s learning hands only CPR. Let me just paint a picture. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, I mean, we just saw what happened with the NFL, just a few weeks ago. When someone goes into cardiac arrest or has a heart attack, you have about four minutes before they die. That’s it. That is not enough time for someone to get an ambulance there and get them to the hospital. It’s not you have to do something immediately. And you have about a minute, if not less than a minute, before serious brain damage is done. Because when the heart stops pumping blood, it stops going to your brain, and immediate brain damage can happen. So not getting trains in it, not paying for classes, going on YouTube, getting your beat right? Make sure you’ve got the pressure. You have to push hard. We say push hard, push fast. Learning hands only. CPR not getting certified, just learning. It can save a life. And you have to act quick. It’s two steps called 911. Push hard and fast. Push the beat to staying alive. And if you want to know another song, we have a whole list of songs on Heart.org that are CPR certified that you can memorize another song if you want to. We’re growing the list every day. And then if you want one more thing, you can learn the signs of a stroke. Stroke is the number two killer in the world. The acronym is FAST. So you’re looking for facial drooping, you’re looking for your arm. Sometimes people’s arm isn’t functional when they’re having a stroke. Speech difficulty. And then the last one is time to call 911. So again, face drooping, arm functionality, speech difficulty, time to call 911. If you have those three signs, it’s time to call 911. And this actually happened to a content creator that we had fundraising for us this past December. He is in his thirties and had a stroke this past December. So I would say learn, hands-only • CPR, learn the signs of a stroke. And don’t assume when someone collapses or is having the signs of a stroke, that it’s not a heart attack, it’s not cardiac arrest. That it’s not a stroke just because of their age. Because I can’t tell you how many people have come to me and told me that we saved their life, we saved their husband’s life, we saved their wife’s life, we saved their partner’s life, we saved their mom, whoever, because they identified this as a stroke and got them help immediately.
James: Absolutely. And again, look, so one of Jae’s family, we’re not going to name him but he’s a wonderful man. He’s had multiple strokes now Jae, hasn’t he?
Jae: Yeah. And seizures, and stuff like that.
James: Yeah. And again, I think I’ve mentioned it before, I have high blood pressure. I’m on ramapril for it. So I’m at risk. And it’s education. And I think the final question that I ask you, Bradley, and this is just one for us all to think about, is we see a lot of negative things on social media, a lot of negative things on YouTube. YouTube can be full of absolute garbage. But would you say it’s fair to say that the resources on YouTube and other platforms, for CPR again, for recognizing the FAST signs and for general awareness around cardiovascular health would you say that that’s one of the benefits of our online world is that we’ve got so much more resources, literally at our fingertips? When you’ve got a phone available to learn on.
Bradly: You, yeah, I mean, there’s people on, Twitter and YouTube and they’re just going to be negative, whatever. But most of the time it is largely very positive working with this space. I will say, maybe not the most organized group of volunteers I’ve ever had.
Jae: No.
Bradly: But most times the creators that I’ve worked with are probably the most passionate volunteers I’ve ever had. So they’ve, got that going for them. There’s tons of passion. Everything they do, they put 110% of their whole being into it. And just to tag on if this is my last little bit here, the other thing that you can do besides donating is taking care of yourself and learning actually how to prevent the stuff from happening and teaching others how to here’s an alarming thing, right? Number one killer in the world, and number two 80 percent of it can be prevented. 80% of it can be prevented. So if we just kept better care of ourselves, we taught others how to take better care of themselves. And if we as an organization can get people to have access to the resources to take care of themselves, this could be a non issue today. But most cases, it could have been prevented.
James: Unfortunately, it is sad. I agree. It is sad about the case. And look, things like, look, a lot of people listening here will be techies, will be maybe fellow content creators. I know that I need to get better at going out for walks. I live on a beautiful stretch of coast and I should be out enjoying that.
Jae: I’m jealous of that walk.
James: I know at least you get to come and see it every couple of times a year. But correct me if I remember, Bradly, but a simple thing like getting a daily walk can dramatically change. Yes, again, your heart health. While we’re wrapping this out. Is there anything else, maybe anything else that people can because I might be wrong on this and this is why I’d love you to correct me, but things like diet, exercise and sleep are probably free. Would it be fair to say are probably the three biggest things that people can do to make sure that they are staying heart healthy?
Bradly: 100%. Nutrition is a big part of it. I mentioned at the very beginning that we give back to food drives and we give back to homelessness. Ah, it’s a mental health thing. It’s a physical health thing where if you’re not in the right state of mind, that can put you at higher risk. Your heart is under greater stress. If you don’t have the right nutrition. Blood vessel arteries, they can get blocked and clogged and that can cause some issues. Exercise that could lower your blood sugar. I found that out last year because my blood sugar was too high. So yeah, exercise could do a whole lot of good for you. Just taking a walk outside to put you in a better mental state and also get you a little bit of exercise. We actually recommend, about 60 minutes of cardio a day or 30 minutes of intense exercise every single day.
James: That’s really important. And again, as an encouragement, we are being really transparent. We wanted to try and get an episode together about how smartwatches and, health trackers, helped with this stuff. We couldn’t find someone who was knowledgeable enough beyond our own experience, to come and join us. But hey, we could absolutely organize that, if not sooner, but definitely before next year’s Heart Month. We want to be able to talk about that. But I can say the encouragement I get from my Apple Watch to go on those watch, the encouragement I get, a lot of smart watches are of course, available, but the encouragement of my mum’s found this. But closing those rings, doing the competitions is so encouraging. And again, it helps promote stuff.
Jae: And one other thing that helps is the encouragement of people that, you know, James, helps encourage me. And I try to encourage James.
James: I try. Yeah.
Jae: So I know that the American Heart Association can be found heart.org and also, people can immediately start raising money through Twitch Charity, through Tiltify, through a myriad of sources. But where would be the best place for people to either find more information or to get in touch with you.
Bradly: I would say find, us at our Discord. Tiltify.com/AHA, • there’s a link to our Discord there. And if you message me, you can go into our discord. we have all of our staff at the very top and I’ll be in there. You can find me. I’m just Bradly on discord in there. It’s nothing complicated. You, might think I spelled my name wrong. It intentionally doesn’t have any in there. That’s a story for another day. My mother is very spiteful of it. Make it very short, though. Come find me and come chat with me on Discord. We’re in there.
Jae: Well, thank you so much for joining us. I thought it was a very hearty discussion.
James: A heart warming, halt felt discussion.
Jae: And I hope that it definitely pumped you up. Like the way that your heart pumps.
Bradly: It’s hard not to make them I mean, they’re just kind of everywhere. It really is.
Jae: Exactly. And I think with that, we’re going to roll the outro.
James: Thanks for listening to this episode of Crossed Wires We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion and we’d love to hear your thoughts. So please drop us a note over to [email protected].
Jae: You can also drop us a comment on the post. Or if you’re a Goodpods • user, why not start a discussion there too?
James: You can also join our new Discord server at crossedwires.net/discord • • We’ve got forum channels for each episode and we’d love you to join the discussion there.
Jae: You can also follow us on Mastodon at @[email protected] • • • •
James: And of course you can find the show in all the good podcast apps and all the really bad ones too.
Jae: For more of our content, head on over to crossedwires.net/YouTube • • • for all our videos, and keep an eye on our Twitch channel crossedwires.net/live for our upcoming streams.
James: If you like what we had, please do drop reviewing your podcast directory of choice, it really does help spread the word about the show.
Jae: And of course, if you can spare even the smallest amount of financial support, we’d be incredibly grateful. You can support us at ko-fi.com/crossedwires
James: Until next time, thanks for listening.

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