Since 2007, Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green have been holding a charity event on YouTube called the Project for Awesome. Through a combination of videos, an official website, and a 48 hour livestream they publicize charities and raise as much money as possible for the eventual 10 winning charities. These charities are selected by a wide audience on YouTube, the winners being those with the most likes, comments, shares and votes on the Project For Awesome website by noon December 18th.
Donations are raised through sales of products from DFTBA.com, and some anonymous donors, but the majority of funds are raised through donations from individuals. John Green also dips into his own pocket, donating a penny for every comment made on P4A videos. Other than associated costs, like shipping or credit card fees, 100 percent of the proceeds will be passed along to the charities.
YouTube users are encouraged to make their own short videos extolling the virtues of their personal favorite charity. The more compelling the video, the more likely you are to have your charity “win.” But the true purpose of the project is to raise awareness for smaller charities, and to leverage the YouTube community for good.
In addition to the ‘benevolent spam’ of videos designed to fill up subscription boxes, the brothers are holding a two-day livestream. From noon Eastern on the December 17th to noon Eastern on the December 19th, the brothers and special guests will showcase videos submitted to the project. Representatives from various charities will also make appearances to inform people about their work.
Last year the P4A raised $400,000 so the drive isn’t dealing in small change. Turning giving into a pseudo contest is all about whipping up energy and getting people enthusiastic about giving back. Those who participate, watch, donate and engage with P4A post thousands of comments, and like dozens of videos spreading awareness like wildfire across YouTube.