August 1, 2019

Tomb Raider Community Extra Life Charity Marathon FAQ

The following was originally posted in 2014 and last updated June 18, 2024.

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?

In 2024, the TR Community team will be doing three events: a TR1 Remastered Charity Race, June 29; a midsummer marathon focusing on Tomb Raider Level Editor games, players, and creators July 20-21; and the official Extra Life weekend marathon, November 2-3. In addition to these special weekends, many players fund-raise for Extra Life throughout the year.


Is Extra Life a legitimate charity?

Extra Life is not a charity in itself; 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. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life players have raised more than $100 million to help sick and injured kids!

What is the Tomb Raider Community Extra Life Team?

We are a group of Tomb Raider fans who have joined forces to make our Extra Life fundraising efforts more fun for ourselves and our supporters. This is our 10th year together. Since 2012, we've raised more than $75,000. You can help us smash our $10,000 goal for 2024.

This year we're planning two major events: a mid-year marathon focusing on Tomb Raider Level Editor games (dates TBA) and our traditional stream relay during the official Extra Life marathon weekend, November 2-3. Details and schedules will be posted on the Tomb Raider Community team page. Many of our team members will also be streaming on Twitch and YouTube throughout the year. Donations of any size are most appreciated!

How do I make a donation?

It's easy and secure. Go to the Tomb Raider Community team page, click on the "Roster" link, then on the team member you'd like to sponsor. (Or ask a team member for their direct link. Mine is Once you're on the player's page, click the "Donate" 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, 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 US donors will receive an IRS-compliant tax receipt as soon as the 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.

Charity is great but what's in it for me?

Apart from the warm, fuzzy feelings you'll get from helping hospitalized kids, the TR Community team also sponsors an annual prize raffle to coincide with the Extra Life marathon. In the past, we've given away games, consoles, books, statues, artwork, and other collectibles. (Check out past blog posts for details.) The raffle is open to everyone (except team members), and Extra Life donors receive bonus raffle entries. We'll announce details here and on the team page a few weeks before the official marathon.


Does it cost anything to sign up?

No. Basic Extra Life registration is free. To sign up, visit the Tomb Raider Community team 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 serve patients from all over the world. When you sign up, you'll have the opportunity to choose a specific hospital or raise money 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 (if any), you should set up your fund-raising page. Sign in on and click "Your Page" at the top left. From there you can scroll down to 'Settings' and change your display name (if you want to use a screen name instead of your real name), 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 will have set a fund-raising goal. Now it's time to get the money! Extra Life has lots 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.

I also encourage team members to join our Discord server. Contact me or any other team member for an invite.

How do I collect donations?

The quickest and easiest way is to send people a link to your Extra Life fundraising 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 then send them in later using this form. Or, if your donor doesn't mind, they can give you cash and you can make the donation in their name.

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. You'll also find ideas on the Extra Life Discord server.

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. There are new incentives each year, including decals, T-shirts, and silver or gold medals for raising $500 and $1,000, respectively.

Extra Life Participant Swag

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

The team has a Redbubble store featuring various items with NondescriptMidnight's Tomb Raider Community logo. All proceeds from the store are donated to Extra Life. We also sponsor a prize raffle. Team members are not eligible to enter, but your friends and family members certainly can. See the Q&A for donors, above. The Extra Life organizers, sponsors, and some individual team members run giveaways during marathon weekend. So if you participate (or tune in) you may win something then.
Do I have to stream my gaming during the marathon?

No! Not at all. Some players enjoy streaming 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. If you do stream but aren't available November 4-5, by all means, set your own schedule.

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, just contact me directly and we'll work out the details.

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 2023, game day is November 4.

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