We all know by now that celebrities can help raise money for charity. But did you know that YouTubers can, too? A recent example of this is Markiplier, a YouTuber who is best known for gaming videos.
Markiplier set out to raise $100,000 for the Human Rights Campaign via the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. Within 3 days, 6,175 people had raised $128,888 dollars, which works out to about $20 per person.
That’s a pretty successful campaign, and since it isn’t over yet, it’s possible that it could raise even more. This is not Markiplier’s first run at raising money for charity; in the past, he’s raised $70,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and $275,000 for Depression and Bipolar Support. But the speed and success with which he raised the money should give charities a reason to pause, as there are a few lessons to be learned here.
First, of course, is the power of social media and crowdfunding to not only get the message out, but also to raise money in a way that Internet savvy donors seem increasingly comfortable. Doing a fundraiser on a site like GoFundMe, supported with smart use of social media, can be a lot cheaper than more traditional methods like cold calling or mailers. It is not easy to do, however.
The other lesson though, is that YouTube celebrities are perhaps the best place to look if you want to add star power to a campaign. While they might not resonate with older consumers, the most popular YouTubers have built dedicated fan bases that are loyal and willing to offer support.
While it’s a safe bet that Markiplier, judging by the success of his campaign, has a lot of LGBTQ+ followers (he has over 16 million subscribers on YouTube) there’s a good chance that some of the people who donated aren’t part of that community. That’s a strong pull for a good cause.