PewDiePie is the most popular YouTuber with 25m subscribers. Now he’s encouraging his youthful audience to donate money to charity Save the Children.
The Brighton-based gamer – aka Felix Kjellberg – has launched a fundraising drive on crowdfunding website Indiegogo, with a goal of raising $250,000 for the charity.
The campaign came as the multi-channel network (MCN) to which he is signed, Maker Studios, was bought by Disney in a deal worth up to $950m, and also just after Kjellberg signed up his 25 millionth subscriber on YouTube.
Hitting this milestone means so much to me, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than by doing something really cool with all of you,” wrote Kjellberg on Indiegogo, in an address to his fans.
“We're all just kids who grew up (kind of). Can you imagine if you never got that chance? Save the Children is an awesome charity that has helped more than 125 million children around the world providing everything from school books to food to blankets and shelter.”
This being crowdfunding, there is a series of tiered rewards for people who back the campaign with varying amounts of money. Fans donating $5 will be entered into a sweepstake to play a game with PewDiePie, while $10 gets their name listed on a thank-you website.
The rewards then run through a “custom brofist” email ($25); being named in a thank-you YouTube video ($50); tweets from PewDiePie with fans’ handles ($100 to be part of a group, or $250 alone); a custom video message ($500); signed headphones ($1,000); a Skype chat with PewDiePie ($1,500); and a “Friday with PewDiePie” for companies, priced at $50,000.
At the time of writing, nearly 3,800 backers have pledged more than $103,000 to the campaign, which has 37 days left to run.
It’s the latest example of YouTubers using their online fame for the benefit of charities. PewDiePie launched a fundraising campaign for Charity: Water in July 2013 when he had 10m subscribers, raising $446,462 for the charity.
Earlier this month, YouTubers Marcus Butler, Joe Sugg, Jim Chapman, Caspar Lee and Alfie Deyes teamed up to record a cover version of McFly’s It’s All About You for Sport Relief in the UK, encouraging fans to donate online or via SMS.
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