August 8, 2014

Team Tomb Raider Community Extra Life Charity Marathon FAQ

The following was originally posted in 2014 and last updated January 27, 2018.

Each year in the runup to Extra Life, I receive a lot of questions from both gamers and potential donors. So I've put together this Q&A. If you're wondering about something that isn't covered below, please feel free to contact me.

Extra Life 2014


What is Extra Life?

Extra Life is a gaming marathon to raise money for charity, specifically for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. It's like a walk-a-thon or fun run, but instead of actually breaking a sweat, participants collect donations and then play games for 24 hours. The main focus is on video games, but some people also play tabletop games, board games, etc. Any type of game is fair game!

When is Extra Life?

This year's official marathon weekend is November 3-4, but players may choose to game on a different date or spread their gaming over days, or even months, if that's more convenient.


Is Extra Life a legitimate charity?

Extra Life is not a charity in itself, but all of the money raised goes to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a registered charity that helps fund 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada. Children's Miracle Network has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life players have raised more than $40 million dollars!

Who Are the Tomb Raider Community Extra Life Team?

We are a group of Tomb Raider fans who have formed a team in order to make our Extra Life fund-raising efforts more fun for ourselves and our supporters. This is our seventh year playing for Extra Life. Since 2012, we've raised more than $20,000 for the cause. We're hoping to blast through our $5,000 goal for 2018.

During the marathon, November 3-4, we will be hosting a team livestream, in which we'll play Tomb Raider and other games for your enjoyment. Many players have already started collecting donations and planning their own Extra Life events.

How do I make a donation?

It's easy and secure. Go to the Tomb Raider Community team page on the Extra Life site, click on the "Roster" link, then on the team member you'd like to sponsor. Once you're on the team member's page, click the "Support Me" button, and follow the instructions. To donate offline with cash, check, or money order, contact me or one of the other team members.

Where does the money go?

Most Extra Life players choose to support their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, which is then shown on their fundraising page. 100% of your donation goes directly to that hospital. Players can also choose to support the organization's mission-critical funding, which directs resources where they are most needed. These players have the CMN Hospitals 'balloon' logo on their fund-raising page rather than a specific hospital's logo.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donors will receive an IRS-compliant tax receipt by email when your donation is made. Canadian donors will receive a tax receipt by mail from their local hospital foundation, usually in February of the following year. If you live outside the U.S./Canada, you'll need to follow up with your country's tax authority regarding international charitable donations.

For more information, check out this FAQ for players and supporters on the Extra Life site.


Does it cost anything to sign up?

No. Basic Extra Life registration is free. To sign up, visit the Team Tomb Raider Community page and click "Join Our Team."

What if I live outside North America?

Extra Life is open to participants worldwide. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are located in the U.S. and Canada, but several serve patients from all over the world. Until this year, the Extra Life sign-up page allowed participants to scroll through a list of hospitals, which included three 'International' options. Now you need to search for these hospitals when signing up. They are:

  • SickKids (Toronto, Otario, Canada) - search for postal code M5G 1X8
  • Boston Children's Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts) - search for postal code 02115
  • INTL - Children's National Health System (Washington, DC) - search for postal code 20010

Or, if you prefer, instead of choosing one hospital to support, you can skip the hospital selection, and your efforts will go to support mission-critical funding wherever it's most needed.

What do I need to do once I've signed up?

Once you've registered for Extra Life, joined the team, and chosen the hospital you plan to play for, you should set up your fund-raising page. Sign in on and click "Your Page" at the top left. From there you can view and edit your fund-raising page, check your donations, connect your Extra Life page with your social media, etc.

When you signed up, you should have set a fund-raising goal (usually $100). Now it's time to get the money! Extra Life has a great page of tips for soliciting donations. If you can meet your goal before or during marathon weekend, that's great, but Extra Life continues through December 31 if you need more time.

How do I collect donations?

The quickest and easiest way is to send people a link to your Extra Life fund-raising page and have them make a secure online donation there.

What if people don't want to donate online?

Not a problem. You can enter cash, check, or money order donations on the Extra Life site and send them in later using this form.

What if nobody wants to donate? :(

Don't give up! There are lots of creative ways to solicit donations. Here are some fund-raising suggestions that may spark your creativity.

Is there swag involved?

If you upgrade to Platinum registration by paying a $19 registration fee, you will then be eligible for prizes once you reach various fund-raising thresholds: $75 nets an Extra Life sticker, $200 a T-shirt, $500 a silver medal, and $1,000 a gold medal.

There are also unlockable Achievement Badges for both individuals and teams. These are available to Regular and Platinum players.

The Extra Life organizers, sponsors, and the Tomb Raider Community Team will be giving away prizes during marathon weekend. So if you participate (or tune in) you may win something then.

Extra Life Swag

Do I have to stream my gaming during the marathon?

No! Not at all. Some players enjoy streaming their gameplay on Twitch, YouTube, etc., and this can help drive more donations, but it's not required. Many participants play offline, on their own or with friends. Some play PC or console games, others play tabletop games, or log time on their tablets or mobiles. Whatever you want to do is great.

Do I have to join Extra Life to play on the Tomb Raider Community livestream?

No! We understand that it isn't possible for everyone to do the fund-raising. If you want to help by playing on the livestream and asking for donations on other players' behalf, that's wonderful too. We need all the help we can get! If you want to do this, don't sign up for Extra Life, just contact me directly and I'll save you a slot on the team's livestream schedule.

I still have questions that weren't answered here.

For more information, check out the Extra Life Player FAQ and feel free to contact me.

One of 2015's Extra Life promo videos. In 2018, game day is November 3.

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