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Vlog Brothers Use Influence for Good

Viral video blogging brothers, John and Hank Green, have used their vlogs to garner huge support in the creation of the annual fund known as Project for Awesome (P4A). Project for Awesome is supported widely by the brothers’ online following, referred to as Nerdfighters. These Nerdfighters donate money in exchange for interesting web content produced by the brothers. In turn, the money is given to different organizations each year. Project for Awesome has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities like Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency, both of which received grants of $344,078.22 each in P4A’s 2015 fundraiser.

Launching their vlogging project in 2007, John and Hank Green have since garnered nearly three million subscribers on their vlogbrothers YouTube channel. What began as an online platform of discussion for social justice, literature, and reflection grew into an international basis of knowledge and a fight for change.

As a best­–selling author, John Green has enraptured youth with his novels Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars while science enthusiast and entrepreneur, Hank Green, is known for his famous webisode series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and his scientific educational YouTube channel, SciShow. Together, the brothers use their elevated status as viral YouTube sensations and educators into supporting various charities and non–profits via their annual fundraiser, Project for Awesome.

The fundraising event stemmed from the brother’s Montana–based organization, Foundation to Decrease World Suck, Inc (FTDWS), a 100 percent volunteer non–profit dedicated to raising money for charity. FTDWS and its partners have raised and gifted $25,000 grants to over 50 different charities, including the global health non–profit, Doctors Without Borders, and the girls’ rights organization, Days For Girls, which provides feminine hygiene kits and education for girls in impoverished areas worldwide.

The very first P4A was launched in 2007, and since then is reprised each December to support different charities chosen by the fundraiser’s participants and donors. P4A raises money through many different methods. Fundraising efforts include online donations via P4A’s website and the Indiegogo campaign page. Donors can also receive “perks” for their donations, including signed copies of John Green novels and vlogbrothers t–shirts.

Additionally, a percentage of the proceeds made through the brothers’ online merchandise store (Don’t Forget to Be Awesome) and online ads attached to the vlogbrothers’ YouTube channel go towards P4A.

The fundraiser is an inclusive event, as the Green brothers request videos from voters describing the charity of their own choice. These videos are submitted and made available on the P4A homepage. This past year’s P4A fundraiser made over $2.1 million, which will be split between Save the Children and non–profit international health provider, Partners in Health. As self–proclaimed “online creators,” the Green brothers continue to harness the internet and their webwide fame towards change and progress.

Preparations for the upcoming 2017 P4A event are already underway!

Featured Image by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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