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Case Study: Cure Rare Disease

Raising Awareness and Funds for Non-Profit Cure Rare Diseases

About Cure Rare Disease

Cure Rare Disease is a non-profit biotechnology company working to create individualized therapeutics for people living with rare diseases. 

Cure Rare Disease enables and finances the development of life-saving genetic medicines for rare and ultra-rare patient populations previously deemed too rare to treat. Through collaboration between world-renowned researchers and clinicians, policy experts, and donors.

Client Location

Boston, MA, USA

Campaign platform

Twitch, Youtube, Facebook

Campaign snapshot



Concurrent Views (CCVs)





The big question

How Does a Non-Profit Update the “Telethon” Idea in the Streaming Age?

The background

The Cure Rare Disease Mission is Personal

25 years: that’s the current life expectancy for someone diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. But Cure Rare Disease founder and CEO Rich Horgan is working to change those odds for everyone living with this deadly illness—especially his 26-year-old brother.

Though Horgan has been able to consistently secure donations since the organization’s founding in 2017, funds typically trickle in slowly. To supercharge the effort and accelerate research, Horgan sought a way to quickly reach a massive, engaged audience, raise awareness, and secure funds. He knew influencer marketing could help Cure Rare Disease reach its goal. He just needed the right partner to bring the campaign to life.

Working with a social media influencer to launch a charity stream requires more than just securing creative talent. There are other factors to consider too, from selecting a platform for the stream to determining the best tool for collecting and routing donations. BENlabs experience in navigating these choices and setting up streams for organizations such as Gusto and Red Nose made it a clear, reliable partner for Cure Rare Disease.

Cure Rare Disease logo
The creative

Having Fun, Raising Awareness and Money

As the campaign took off, BENlabs recommended a Twitch stream hosted by MoistCr1tical, an edgy e-sports content creator known for his deadpan game commentary on YouTube. His audience of 3 million followers doesn’t just tune in to watch him play video games though. They expect risque jokes and antics, which means that not every charity presents the right partnership opportunity. But BENlabs was confident in its recommendation. Through past collaborations with MoistCr1tical, BENlabs had developed a deep understanding of his lighthearted yet professional approach, and knew he’d be the perfect person to tackle a serious goal in a fun, unique way.

Though MoistCr1tical’s unpredictability required a leap of faith, for Horgan, the potential for massive reach made it a leap worth taking.

With MoistCr1tical at the helm, Cure Rare Disease’s fundraising stream took the traditional telethon to a new platform, updating the format and upping the ante.

To drive donations, BENlabs worked with MoistCr1tical to determine the right on-screen incentives. Participants that donated $100 earned spots on MoistCr1tical’s wall — the creator wrote their names on the drywall in his new recording studio. Higher donations earned other rewards, including a one-on-one chess match with MoistCr1itical, or a personalized care package from him. And, for every $10,000 raised, Streamlabs, the donation collection platform that BENlabs recommended for the stream, matched the contribution.

Not every element of the event was quite this tame—from surprise cameos and a table read of an R-rated film script, to a live auction of nude prints and some rolling around in paint, the stream was classic Cr1tical: funny, unexpected and highly engaging.

A woman and child taking a photo together
The Results

Raising Donations and Awareness for Cure Rare Disease

The stream not only raised awareness, but also collected over $150,000 from over 1,500 individual participants for the cause, reaching 192,000 CCVs. 

The live streaming campaign was a clear success, and Cure Rare Disease CEO Horan found a viable new community to support Cure Rare Disease in its mission: “We do fundraising in a bunch of different buckets,” he said, “and e-sports is by far our favorite. When you look at the community it’s obvious today that these people care. They come out and donate.”

The Takeaway

Serious ≠ Stodgy

While the topic or rare disease and the need for support is serious, the success of the Cure Rare Disease live streaming campaign just goes to show that fundraising efforts don’t have to be.

By creating an entertaining fundraising event and taking a chance on an “edgy” content creator to lead the charge, Cure Rare Disease was able to make a real impact with e-sports enthusiasts, raising awareness and money for its cause.

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