A few months ago, some of the top YouTubers like Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson and former NASA engineer Mark Rober launched the TeamTrees campaign. The initiative aimed to raise $20 million dollars, which would allow the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 20 million trees. The goal seemed a bit lofty, but the campaign reached its goal with over a week to spare before the self-imposed December 31st deadline.
YouTubers created videos about trees to promote TeamTrees, leading over 500,000 viewers to donate to the cause. While most donations were about $5, Elon Musk donated $1 million. He even changed his Twitter handle to @Treelon to draw attention to TeamTrees. The Arbor Day Foundation will begin planting the trees next month and will have all 20 million of them planted by the end of 2022.
TeamTrees acknowledges that these 20 million trees won’t curb climate change, but asserts that it will serve as a sign that people do care about the environment. “Solutions are all around us and it’s time to get to work. This is just the beginning,” says Matt Fitzgerald, Campaign Director of TeamTrees. The campaign’s success is also a sign of how influential YouTube stars can be and how they can leverage that clout beyond sponsorships.