YouTubers have been brought up more than $ 10 million as part of a fundraising campaign to plant trees around the world and meet more than half of the target organizers that were installed last week. The initiative, called Team Trees, caused YouTubers to flood the platform with video & # 39; s asking their viewers to donate money, with the aim of raising $ 20 million by the end of the year to plant 20 million trees through the Arbor Day Foundation.
The halfway point came quickly, thanks to a few large donations from tech managers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk donated $ 1 million on Tuesday; Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke donated $ 1,000,001 on Wednesday; YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has donated $ 200,000 on Wednesday; and Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey seemed to make two separate donations, of $ 150,000 and later of $ 200,000.
(Twitter and Square refused to confirm that Dorsey made the donations that appear next to his name on the Team Trees site; Musk, Lütke, and Wojcicki confirmed their donations on Twitter. Wojcicki even made a video in which she planted a tree.)
Major YouTubers have also made some of the best donations. Jimmy "MrBeast" Donaldson, who was the driving force for organizing Team Trees, made two separate donations with a total value of $ 200.002. Mark Rober, another organizer, donated $ 50,000; Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg donated $ 69,420; and Jessica and Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, donated $ 15,000.
The initiative had a number of goals for YouTubers. First, it would be a late celebration of Donaldson who passed 20 million subscribers. It was also obvious to plant trees to improve the environment and to contribute to combating climate change (although planting a charity route is more complicated than it sounds). And YouTubers saw it as an opportunity to prove that they could also be a good force, after a few years of chaotic drama around high-profile makers such as Kjellberg and Logan Paul.
Not to mention, fundraising provided good content. More than 500 videos have been posted on YouTube about the project, with tens of millions of views in between. More than a dozen videos have more than 1 million views. (Donaldson only hit 28 million.) Most videos seemed to do just about as well as a typical video for the given channel, although in at least one case a video from Team Trees did much better than the typical viewers of the maker: a video from The Infographics Show, which usually has hundreds of thousands of views, viewed 7.2 million times with a video about the impact of planting 20 million trees.
The fundraiser has also created opportunities for follow-on videos that follow progress. A two-minute video about the donation from Musk, which mainly shows a screen shot of the donation tracker for Team Trees that runs from around $ 6.5 million to $ 7.5 million, has received 48,000 views.
Team Trees started on October 25, when, at 3:00 PM, YouTuber's videos & # 39; s started posting asking for donations. From Thursday morning, fundraising had exceeded $ 10.7 million.