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Magic The Gathering: Gamers Are Crowdfunding All Stars

Crowdfunding + Gamers = Magic

No, really. Gamers crowdfunding and coming together has been amazing.

Tony Pagliocco has been competing in Magic: The Gathering tournaments for more than 15 years, a passion he shares with his teenage daughter, Mariah. When Mariah was struck by a car as she walked home from school, the tragedy shook their entire community of friends, family, and loved ones. Word also traveled swiftly through the MTG community. Fellow players suggested to Tony that he start a fundraising page, as people were already looking for a way to pitch in.

And pitch in they did: Mariah’s fundraiser collected more than $15,000 in the first 24 hours. Over eight weeks, they have collected almost $65,000 and reached 87% of their original goal.

This is not the first time that gamers have been crowdfunders for compassion. When Kevin Griffith (a gamer and video game designer) was diagnosed with Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma and needed treatments in Germany, his wife Connie started a GiveForward page: ihazcancer. With the combined efforts of friends, family, and a widespread gaming community, they raised just over $70,000 in one month.

So what makes gamers of all types such effective crowdfunders? Perhaps it’s because they’re a highly communicative group that convenes regularly, in person and online: playing, competing, critiquing, trading, or sharing strategies. They stay in touch and organize. They network and share friends. In Tony’s words, “When we meet each other for the first time at tournaments, it becomes a game of ‘Who do you know that I know?’ ”

gamers crowdfunding

Mariah at a MTG tournament

Another contributor to the mountain-moving power of gamers is their diversity.  They’re a community of individuals with no apparent connection who become united by the passion to play. Tony expressed his admiration for the Magic The Gathering community, “We’re a tight community. The thing that I love the most about it is that it’s one of the most accepting communities that you’ll ever find.” He observed from his experience playing in tournaments, “You have every type of person, from all walks of life, in the same room getting along.”

The Magic The Gathering community has truly rallied for Mariah. With upwards of 25 events at last count (silent auctions, tournaments, streaming events), there have been organized efforts online and off. Tony and his vast network continue to share the fundraiser on Facebook using #teampanda (Mariah’s nickname), reaching distant connections who were eager to help out a fellow planeswalker in need. Tony said, “I’ve always known we were a community that takes care of each other. It’s unfortunate to find out in circumstances like this, but it’s absolutely mind-blowing.”

Craig Wescoe and Christian Calcano at an event for Mariah

They also received help from others in their lives: family, friends, coworkers, and even Tony’s classmates from high school. It’s obvious from the updates on their page that their whole family has been able to rise above their circumstances because of the support from their entire community. Reflecting on the fundraiser, Tony said, “Everyone has really pulled together for this and it’s been extremely eye-opening to see how many peoples’ lives we touched before this happened.”

Mariah’s fundraiser is currently open to donations through the end of August. If you prefer to donate offline, there’s plenty of events to be attended, including the upcoming Minneapolis for Mariah. Click here for a list of Magic The Gathering events, or continue to check their fundraising page for updates.



Need help starting a fundraiser? Create a community crowdfunding page on GiveForward, and we’ll take care of the rest!

GiveForward is the first place to turn when you or someone you love is facing a challenge. It’s the central rallying place for giving and receiving meaningful support. From sending a simple “Thinking of You” to raising money for out-of-pocket expenses, GiveForward empowers anyone to build a community and take action when it counts.

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