A very ambitious plan to use YouTube to raise millions of dollars for a global tree-planting initiative has just been hugely successful.
TeamTrees, a combined effort by more than 600 YouTubers — led by user MrBeast, who boasts 25.2m subscribers, and backed by well-known figures including Ninja and the Slow Mo Guys — announced in mid-December that its two-month campaign had raised $20m in individual donations.
Each dollar is donated to the Arbor Day Foundation, one of the largest tree-planting charities in the world, and will be used to plant one tree.
— TeamTreesOfficial (@teamtreesofficl) December 19, 2019
Global Shakers reported on the launch of #TeamTrees back in October, which saw YouTubers post a stream of tree-related videos — including music made on trees, explainers of drone technology used to plant seeds, and clips of tree planting sessions.
The hope was that the combined weight of the YouTubers — who collectively post to over 150 million subscribers — would be enough to ‘game’ the video site’s algorithm and ensure recommended videos were stuffed with content about trees and tackling the climate crisis.
This would then hopefully reach enough of the 1.9 billion people who use YouTube every month (equal to one in four people on the planet) to bring in the donations.
The team pulled in large donations from high-profile individuals, including $150,000 from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and $1m from Tesla CEO Elon Musk who subsequently changed his Twitter name to ‘Treelon.’
“Thank you so much to the over 500,000 different people that donated and the hundreds of influential people that promoted the campaign,” MrBeast wrote on Twitter. “Team Trees was more than planting 20 million trees, it was a movement that shows we care and we want to make change.”
Dexerto also includes comment from Matt Fitzgerald, the TeamTrees campaign director, who called the feat an “incredible accomplishment” that “belongs to all of us.”
“Whether you donated, created content, or simply told your friends about TeamTrees, this win is yours,” he added.
TeamTrees aims to start planting the trees this month, with all of the more than 20 million trees planted by December 2022.