Project for Awesome: Linking philanthropy with new media

By Lucy Perkins, Daily Arts Writer
Published January 8, 2012

Project for Awesome, a virtual charity drive, was started by the vlogbrothers in 2007, and has grown to such large proportions that YouTube now sponsors the annual December event.

Big time YouTubers can participate in the event by making a video about a charity they think is important. All profits the vlogger generates from the views go directly to their cause.

In 2008, Carr and her sister made a song for their video promoting Heifer International, an organization that works to end hunger and poverty.

“The vlogbrothers picked their favorite three videos and ours was one of them,” Carr said. “Everyone’s goal is to be picked, because then you’re featured on the front page of YouTube.”

According to Project for Awesome’s website, the 2011 season raised more than $70,000, though the final number has yet to be released.

Positive online interaction through events like Project for Awesome are made possible through YouTube by its very nature, giving viewers (whether they consider themselves to be Nerdfighters or not) the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

“Yes, they’re Nerdfighters and they’re nerdy,” Carr said. “But through Project for Awesome you can see that they do have a genuine passion for decreasing world suck or whatever you want to call it.”

YouTube and popular vloggers collaborate to create Project for Awesome, but the relationship between the website and members goes than the few weeks within which the project operates every December.