Nicholas Haskins’ name might ring familiar to you. We spoke to this half of The Epic Film Guys—and the other is Justin Esquivel—back in 2018, when they raised over $5,500 for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). Their podcast was launched in 2014, and they decided to make their philanthropic debut in 2016 with the first Livestream for the Cure. The event stretches over several hours (days, really), features a selection of guest podcasters, and encourages listeners to donate throughout. While many are adjusting to virtual fundraisers at the moment, the Epic Film Guys have plenty of experience, running their fourth fundraiser May 27-31, 2020. Last year they raised over $8,000 and this year are aiming for their most ambitious goal yet of $10,000. We checked in with Nicholas to see how things have evolved for him as a virtual fundraiser.
UPDATE: Livestream 4 the Cure raised over $15,000. We spoke to Nicholas Haskins after the event.
The last time we spoke, your goal was to host a live streaming event for 72+ hours. Have you achieved that goal, and what are your plans now?
While we haven’t quite reached the goal of 72+ hours straight, this year’s event is taking place over a five-day period for over 48 hours. Our only plans are to continue to raise more and more money for a future immune to cancer every year. This year’s event is longer than last year’s but is also much more structured and streamlined, so it should be far less stressful. There is a delicate balance to structuring the event efficiently and packing in a variety of content to entertain audiences.
Visit Livestream 4 the Cure
This is your fourth year fundraising for CRI what has been the greatest lesson you've learned over the years?
To trust other people and delegate. Especially the first two years of the event, I was so concerned about running everything, but delegating to other people has allowed the event’s reach and intricacy of planning to expand almost exponentially. This year I have more collaborators helping on-site and off to make things run as smoothly as possible.
This event has expanded in the last four years as well. How have you identified collaborators in making this fundraiser successful, year after year?
The podcast partners and content creators are the ones who truly do the hard work for Livestream for the Cure. They plan so much to make their segments a success and to drum up donations from their communities. I simply look for those who have my work ethic: those who want to be tireless champions and fighters for a future immune to cancer.
Follow @Livestream4Cure on Twitter
Why is important for you to fundraise and give back to organizations like CRI?
Like so many people, I have lost friends and loved ones to cancer long before their time, including a very good friend who died at 23 years old. We need to believe in a future immune to cancer, and fight and work hard for one, so we don’t have to tell any more stories about people that we lost way too soon. Beyond that, I feel that I have a responsibility to put as much good out into the world as I can. I want to make a positive impact on the world however I can. Our footprint may be small, but we just want to give back as much as we can.
Fundraise for Cancer Research
Congratulations on raising $15,000 for cancer immunotherapy research!
This year's event took a Herculean effort from dozens and dozens of people across the globe, coordinating their schedules, planning, and working hard to make each and every segment fun, engaging, and entertaining for the audience. I'm still in shock at the total. I look at the total we raised and I can't quite believe it. Our first year for this event we set a goal of $2,500 and we didn't even scratch half of that. Now here we are setting a goal of $10,000 and we made almost $16,000! It's absolutely crazy. I'm so grateful and so humbled to know so many amazing people who donated their time and their money to make this event the success that it was.
Now the biggest question I ask myself is: What next? How do we top this? I'm really not sure right now, but as we start to creep toward the end of the year I'll start connecting some threads. Doing an annual event teaches you so much every year about what works and what doesn't. The 2019 event was crazy because I over-scheduled everything, and we had guests running in and out every 30 minutes, which made it complete and utter chaos. It taught us to increase the length of guest segments and to fix our layouts so things ran a lot more smoothly this year. It wasn't perfect, and I still have ideas to take into next year's event on how to improve it.
It is very telling that this year, after an even longer event schedule over five total days, I finished the event with a wealth of energy versus last year when I was run down and exhausted afterward. Granted, I've also lost 100+ pounds since then, so that might have something to do with it. (LOL)
It is an honor and a privilege to continue to work with and for CRI in raising money for a future immune to cancer. I thank you and everyone at CRI for being so amazing.