Thanks to the incredible generosity of players, the Riot Games Social Impact Fund recently reached a major milestone officially raising $50M in aid to nonprofits, communities, and organizations around the world since its inception. When launching the Riot Games Social Impact Fund in 2019 our goal was to streamline our ability to empower players to give back to their communities. As we reflect on this moment, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite campaigns from the last five years of the Social Impact Fund and how players showed up to give their voice and support to communities in need.
Launching the Riot Games Social Impact Fund
Since early in League’s history, empowering players to give back has been an integral part of the game. But the reality is donating to global nonprofits isn’t the simplest process. So, in 2019, we launched the Riot Games Social Impact Fund. Now in 2023, the original mission remains the same: Give Riot, and thus players, an easier, more scalable way to make greater change globally.
The fund allows us to make quick, direct investments in nonprofits and other social impact causes all around the world. We were excited for the new opportunities the Social Impact Fund gave us for investment but little did we know all the ways we would be able to leverage the fund in the years that followed. In partnership with ImpactAssets, the fund has supported over 450 nonprofits across 28 regions focusing primarily on addressing systemic issues in education, opportunity, citizenship, and sustainability.
League’s 1000th Skin Raises $6M For Charity
The first major fundraiser after launching the Social Impact Fund centered around League’s 1000th skin, Dawnbringer Karma. After a decade of releasing skins, Dawnbringer Karma was a major milestone for League and for Riot as a company. It was fitting for the skin to be for Karma, the kind and compassionate champion who empowers and protects allies.
League players showed out in force and even created a noticeable bump in Karma’s overall play rate. Between the skin and the bundle, players raised just over $6M for charity which was quite a bit more than we had thought was possible.
This campaign was also our first time giving players the ability to vote for charities in their own regions. Our regional offices identified three charities in their community and players voted for which one would receive the most money from the pool with every charity receiving at least $10,000. This has now become an annual tradition known as the Charity Voting Campaign. The support that players have given these campaigns also caught the attention of the industry when Dawnbringer Karma also earned Riot its second Golden Halo Award thanks to players' collective efforts.
VALORANT’s First Give Back Bundle
The Riot Games Social Impact Fund was launched as part of L10, the celebration of League’s 10th anniversary. That was also when a slew of other games and projects were announced, including one particularly hyped tactical shooter codenamed Project A.
When Project A became VALORANT and released in 2020, the team began thinking about how they could give players their own unique way to contribute to the Social Impact Fund. The result was the VALORANT Give Back Bundle. For the first year, players voted to bring back some of their favorite skins with 50% of the proceeds from skins and 100% from accessories going to the fund. In their first major fundraising event, VALORANT nearly matched the 2021 campaign across the Runeterra-based titles by raising $5.5M for the fund in year one.
The Give Back Bundle has become an annual tradition and has raised nearly $15M over the last three years.
Arcane’s Community Grants
2021 saw the release of Arcane, our first foray into the world of television as Vi, Jinx, Jayce, and the world of Runeterra came to Netflix. Released in three weekly chapters, the campaign evolved with the show as we celebrated Progress Days alongside Piltover.
In honor of the Piltoverian holiday, players nominated charities around the world for a chance for their nonprofit of choice to receive a community grant through the Social Impact Fund. We received a staggering 19,000 charity submissions and our social impact and player support teams worked with our partners at ImpactAssets and GlobalGiving to identify 30 organizations to each receive a $10,000 grant.
We even had a little help from the voices of Caitlyn and Jayce in Arcane to announce the winning charities:
In celebration of Progress Days, we’re excited to announce the recipients of 30 community grants from the Riot Games Social Impact Fund, with a little help from @Kt_Leung and @kevinmalejandro from @arcaneshow!— Riot Games (@riotgames) November 10, 2021
Read more about this initiative here: https://t.co/bqUJsnbEkF pic.twitter.com/CcjAidLFYp
The First Charity Voting Campaign
In 2022, we expanded the way players gave voice towards where the money they raised goes. At the end of each year, millions of dollars are allocated from the Social Impact Fund to go to charities around the year. For year one, 84 charities were chosen across 28 different regions to receive funding.
Players could log on, choose the region they wanted to support, and vote for the cause they cared about most. Every single one of the 84 charities received at least 25% percent of their region's pool and at least $10,000 but the one that had the most votes received 50%.
By the time voting closed, we’d received about 775,000 votes from players all around the world and the Social Impact Fund went to work distributing the total pool of $6M to highly impactful nonprofits in each region.
The Future of the Social Impact Fund
As we cross this major milestone, we want to say thank you. Thank you to the organizations doing crucial work all around the world. Thank you to our partners at ImpactAssets and GlobalGiving who have helped the Social Impact Fund distribute funds to communities that need it most. And thank you to players who have purchased skins, completed missions, voted for causes they care about, and helped the Riot Games Social Impact Fund reach $50M raised. Your passion for making a difference and being a force for good in your own communities never wavers.
We are in constant awe of the millions of players who show up in and out of the game to make the world just a little bit better for others. Thank you
Learn more about the Riot Games Social Impact Fund here.
Jeffrey "Kushnood" Burrell
Jeffrey Burrell is the Head of Social Impact and Executive Director of the Riot Games Social Impact Fund. He oversees all social impact and sustainability efforts which include in-game fundraisers across Riot’s five titles, the disbursement of funds and grants given out globally by the Social Impact Fund, internal employee fundraising and volunteer efforts. Jeffrey received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School.