Arbor Day Foundation and #TeamTrees Hit Major Milestone of 23 Million Trees
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LINCOLN, Nebraska (June 5, 2021) – The Arbor Day Foundation announced that as of June 5, #TeamTrees — a viral social media campaign piloted by YouTube creators Jimmy Donaldson (aka MrBeast) and Mark Rober — reached a donation milestone of $23 million. The money will be used to plant 23 million trees.
Launched in October of 2019, the #TeamTrees campaign is the most successful crowdfunding effort in YouTube's history and one of the fastest-growing environmental fundraisers to date. The effort originated when the online community challenged the then 21-year-old YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast, to plant 20 million trees in commemoration of reaching 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. MrBeast's fans then suggested he collaborate with other online influencers to drive awareness, including Mark Rober — a fellow YouTuber and former NASA scientist. The duo connected with Arbor Day Foundation to put their plan into action, as the organization had then launched its “Time for Trees” initiative. The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees.
While the fundraising goal of $20 million was raised in only 56 days, people have continued to raise more money to plant even more trees. TeamTrees.org has recorded donations every single day since the campaign began.
"When given the opportunity, Gen Z is the ‘change’ generation that can rise to the occasion time and time again,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The #TeamTrees campaign is a prime example of this type of youth leadership moving beyond hashtag activism and harnessing the power of social media to address key societal issues."
This philanthropic campaign was met with so much enthusiasm and excitement that it attracted half a million individual donations in just two months. Inspired by this grassroots movement, industry tech leaders, including Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, donated between $200,000 and $1,000,001 each.
"These 23 million trees show how much good can happen when the YouTube community comes together to do something positive," said MrBeast. "This is a massive win for everyone who has supported #TeamTrees, whether they donated or helped spread the word."
Trees are being planted across the globe in various forests on both public and private lands in areas of great need, including state and national forests managed by government agencies. #TeamTrees, with the support of the Arbor Day Foundation and its planting partners, has physically planted more than 8 million trees worldwide to-date. Despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative remains on track to complete planting of the original 20 million trees planted by the end of 2022. #TeamTrees is working with the Arbor Day Foundation to help reforestation on an international scale.
To donate or learn more about the project, visit teamtrees.org.