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YouTuber Raises $120,000 for Charity in 3 Days

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.

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Crowdfunding Your Charity

Crowdfunding, using the Internet to raise money from large groups of people from across the country or the world, is a relatively new but very useful tool in generating capital. Companies often use it to generate investment from customers, and creative types use it to get the money to make films and other products. But crowdfunding can be used for charitable work as well.

Most crowdfunding takes place on websites specifically for that purpose, allowing people to make their information readily available to potential supporters, and which makes collecting money easy. In most cases, people who support your campaign get rewards for doing so, like copies of the product being funded, usually offered at different tiers of support.

Kickstarter: Probably the leader of the pack, and easily the most recognizable, Kickstarter has been a huge boon for companies and creators that want to produce products without having to find traditional investors. Kickstarter requires that campaigns have both a deadline, and that they reach a particular dollar goal before any money is collected (or any fees are charged).

IndieGoGo: Not as well known as Kickstarter, IndieGoGo has certain advantages despite its smaller share of the market. Namely, you don’t have to meet a goal before you get money from your supporters, meaning that even if you don’t hit your target, you still get the money people pledged. This is a double-edged sword though, as it means you might not make enough to actually cover the costs of sending items to your supporters.

GoFundMe: An up-and-coming site, GoFundMe allows people to set up personal fundraising to, for example, make rent one month or to raise money for an operation. They don’t require that campaigns set specific dollar goals or deadlines, meaning that you can raise as much as you need, and receive those donations.

If you’re interested in crowdfunding, do some research to find the site that works best for you. There are tons of articles about how best to raise money through crowdfunding sites, and there are even companies who specialize in this kind of business.