AACR's Players vs Cancer

Ryan "HAVOK" Headrick

Ryan "HAVOK" Headrick

Community Engagement Manager

The AACR is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that takes great care in placing your donation where it truly belongs: in the hands of scientists working on breakthroughs in cancer research. Players vs. Cancer - PvC - brings together gamers to raise awareness and funds for lifesaving cancer research through the AACR.

We know that a gamer's passion can be contagious. PvC provides opportunities for you to get others excited about defeating all types of cancer for everyone.

How was charity streaming introduced to you and did you have to influence the culture at the AACR to embrace it?

I was doing my own research about the explosion of the philanthropic efforts in streaming, which really captured my imagination. I believe that the AACR has the mission and drive to become a significant player in the industry. It was easy to get many of my colleagues to embrace the potential of streaming and fundraising to benefit cancer research.

What are some of your favorite charity stream moments from events the AACR ran in 2020?

Our favorite moments are always when we can connect our online community with our mission. During our PLAY To End Cancer event in June, we had some really engaging conversations with AACR scientists on the topics of scientific grants, genomics, and racial disparities in cancer research. Cancer research can seem like a big, daunting problem to many people, but connecting over a livestream gave our scientists a chance to breakdown the science in real-time and connect with viewers around the world, many of whom may never meet a cancer researcher in real life. To further connect, one of our Advisory Board members – itsCornflower – built up a cancer lab in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to walk viewers through the day-to-day life of a researcher based on her own experience. Viewers were able to ask questions and explore her island to learn more about the research process. This part of the stream made it all the way to the Twitch front page, engaging more than 20,000 live viewers to learn more about our cause and support our mission.

Do you have any advice for a nonprofit just starting out with charity streaming?  

Yes, do your homework to align yourself with a great company like DonorDrive and make sure your leadership supports your investment. Be patient.

How has DonorDrive empowered the PvC program?

DonorDrive is the backbone of PvC, enabling us to bring our community together virtually and support the AACR's mission through uniting live streaming and fundraising. Now more than ever, virtual fundraisers are essential in today's philanthropic landscape. We have used DonorDrive across all Peer-to-Peer events because their platform creates a seamless process of tracking fundraisers and metrics, giving us the tools to build our AACR communities effectively. We are looking forward to seeing PvC fundraising efforts continue to grow in 2021 with DonorDrive as our partner.

Ready to explore how DonorDrive can help you?