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How to Set Up Donations in Twitch

Last Updated on September 20, 2019 by Michael Brockbank

Today, streamers have access to a myriad of ways to make money while playing games. One of the most profound is that of using donations in Twitch. Viewers can “tip” you whether they like the game play, they think your good or love the entertainment value. So, how do you set it up?

Perhaps the easiest method for setting up donations in Twitch is using Streamlabs in conjunction with PayPal.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to set up your donations link or button and add it to your Twitch channel. You will need a PayPal account for this specific option.[template id=”145″]

Why PayPal?

I’ve used PayPal on a regular basis since 2003. It’s been a stable system, and I have yet to experience issues. In fact, I used it to spearhead my online sales back when I owned and operated my computer business.

And because I have a PayPal debit card, funds are immediately available to me as soon as someone sends money. I also use it for client payments as I am a freelance writer.

Why Streamlabs?

Streamlabs is simply an easy system to use and will track donations sent to your channel. Most of the tools are automated and setting up donations in Twitch is merely a few minutes of your time.

In reality, Streamlabs has far more going for it. But for now, we’re just going to focus on the donations area.

Why Not Just Use Bits?

In Twitch, you can use bits to tip your favorite streamer. However, these are subject to fees while costing you more money to purchase. For instance, if you wanted 100 bits, it’ll run you around $1.40. Then, the streamer is taxed by Twitch for using the service.

In the long run, less money is actually exchanging hands during the entire transaction. Not to mention it could literally take months before the Twitch personality actually sees that money as it has to hit the payable threshold.

With a donation link, broadcasters get money almost immediately from viewers.

Setting Up Streamlabs Donations

The first thing you’ll need to do is connect your PayPal account to Streamlabs. This is so the Streamlabs donation page works and the system can track your income.

From the Streamlabs dashboard, click the “Donation Settings” link on the left.

Streamlabs supports a few different types of payment processing options. You can even use cryptocurrency tips by connecting your Coinbase account. For this tutorial, though, we’re just going to set up our PayPal account.

Click the option for PayPal.

Input your PayPal email and click, “Submit.”

The PayPal email address is then added to your profile.

Copy the URL for your tip page. This is the address you’ll need to put into Twitch. You can also use it on social media, websites, emails or anywhere else you use links.
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Add the Link for Donations in Twitch

Next, you will need to go to your Twitch channel. Note, this is not your Twitch Dashboard. You need to edit the panels on the front end of the channel itself.

Click the “Edit Panels” tool on the left. It’s right below your channel’s video feed.

Click the big “+” field in your channel. This lets you add a new panel for visitors to see.

Click the option to add a text or image panel.

Now, there are two ways you can add donations in Twitch. You can use a basic link or you can design and upload your own button image.

Using Button Images

To use a button on your Twitch channel, you need an image that is 320 pixels wide. That’s because this is the size Twitch will automatically use for the graphic. If it’s bigger or smaller, the system will automatically scale the image.

Personally, I use Photoshop to fine-tune my own buttons so they are the correct dimensions.

Add your image and paste the donation URL from Streamlabs.

Click “Submit” to save your donation button.

Congratz! You now have a button for your donations in Twitch.

Using a Text Link for Donations in Twitch

Buttons are nice, but what if you want a text link instead? Twitch uses its own markdown language. Which means you cannot use HTML when adding links to text. However, adding a link in Twitch isn’t all that difficult.

Paste this coding into the Description area of the panel:

[send me money](

There are two elements of this markdown code you need to change:

  1. The text of what the link says. In this example, I use “send me money.” You can use any text you want.
  2. The URL of your Streamlabs donation page. This is the URL in the parenthesis. Replace my example with your own URL.

The thing to note here is you need the brackets for the text and the parenthesis for the URL. Without these, the link will not work. And make sure there are no spaces in between the brackets and parenthesis.

Click the “Submit” button to save your text.

And now you have a text link for donations in Twitch. This will open a new browser window and give visitors a chance to send a donation.

Turn Off the Edit Panels Function in Twitch

When you’re done, scroll back up and turn off the Edit Panels function.

Can’t you just use a PayPal “Donation” button instead?

If you’ve ever played around in a PayPal account, you’ll find the system is capable of creating donation buttons while giving you the code to copy and paste.

However, you won’t be able to use these PayPal donation buttons as Twitch doesn’t allow HTML coding. Although these kinds of buttons work great for websites, you won’t be able to use them in your live stream.

Can you use the Streamlabs URL in the chat window?

Absolutely. That is, as long as your channel allows URLs. Some chat settings prevent links from being displayed. It’s a way to reduce the impact of spam.

Personally, I use Nightbot to help moderate my channel. And I am able to set a timer that allows Nightbot to share my donation URL every 45 minutes.

Make Money with Your Channel

One of the reasons I like using donations in Twitch is because anyone can make money in this fashion. You don’t have to worry about becoming an affiliate to accept bits or subscribers.

Theoretically, you could start making money inside the first five minutes of live streaming.

Don’t get me wrong, being an affiliate will open a ton of doors for making money from your channel. However, donations in Twitch have no requirements other than having a PayPal account.[template id=”543″]

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.

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