#TeamTrees, the fundraising initiative that was founded by YouTubers James Donaldson (MrBeast) and Mark Rober, has received over $14 million in donations in less than two weeks. The project began in May, when MrBeast’s channel reached 20 million subscribers, and his audience challenged him to find an appropriate way to celebrate.
Donaldson, who centers his content around crazy stunts as well as various acts of philanthropy, was inspired to set a goal of planting 20 million trees by 2020. After several months of planning with fellow YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober, #TeamTrees was publicly launched on October 25th. In that short period of time, the effort has raised over $14 million dollars, and each dollar will go towards planting one tree. The donations will go to the Arbor Day Foundation, which plants around 5 million trees a year in the US alone, and is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to tree planting.
Today, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff gave $900,000 to the cause. Other top contributors include industry execs Tobi Lutke (Shopify) and Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), who each donated 1 million trees. Susan Wojcicki (YouTube) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter, Square), have each given hundreds of thousands to #TeamTrees. Megastar YouTubers like PewDiePie, Jeffree Star, jacksepticeye, and MrBeast himself have contributed and continue to use their influence to gather donations. It looks like people are coming out of the woodwork (get it?) to support the movement and it’s pretty great to see.
What’s more impressive than people with a ton of money donating to a cause are all the little donations that are helping TeamTrees achieve its goal. MrBeast’s audience tends to be younger and with less disposable income, and the same goes for his YouTube colleagues and other similar streaming channels that are promoting the fundraiser. I’ve seen a few donations and messages from kids or parents talking about how excited they are to have to their allowances go to a good cause.
No matter how you feel about climate change, a little more oxygen never hurt anyone, and 20 million trees (which I have no doubt TeamTrees will reach), sounds like a positive thing for the environment. I’m #TeamTrees. Are you?