(Logo courtesy of Sean McLoughlin)
One of YouTube’s biggest influencers, Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, addresses one of the world’s biggest problems, homelessness, in this year’s edition of his annual fundraiser for charities he calls thankmas.
“It’s one of the things I’ve always wanted to deal with,” said McLoughlin. “It’s not that (solutions are) one size fits all. There was a lot of turmoil in people’s lives at the end of this year and last year. The people who are going through it will be hit even harder by the pandemic. So let’s try to open this door. ”
The campaign benefits New Story, an organization that is using new approaches such as 3D printed houses and micro-mortgages to provide affordable housing to those in need around the world.
New Story has built more than 2,300 homes in 21 communities in El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, and Mexico that support families on less than $ 10 a day. The organization, which was founded six years ago in the startup incubator Y Combinator, estimates that more than 1.6 billion people worldwide do not have adequate housing.
The actual donation campaign runs between December 1st and 13th and is open to all YouTubers who stream content on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook or TikTok. McLoughlin’s own campaign begins December 11th with a goal of raising up to $ 10 million, enough to build homes for 1,000 families in 10 communities.
“My father died earlier this year and I’ve been thinking about what’s important, what I spend my life doing,” said McLoughlin. “I think a lot of YouTubers get lost in this YouTube treadmill. You feel like you’re constantly treading on the spot (posting content to keep up with the algorithm’s demands). I took the time to test these waters for the fundraiser.
Like last year with a Thanksgiving campaign that raised nearly $ 5 million for UK charity Red Nose Day, McLoughlin is partnering with Tiltify, a website that provides tools for creating and managing fundraisers, to ensure that that the money arrives where it belongs and enables the participants. to create your own mini-campaigns with greater effort. The campaign is co-produced by Real Good Touring, which runs large digital events.
For his own portion of the campaign, McLoughlin will be providing campaign donors with reward tiers such as special quarterly videos. The five best fundraisers will be invited to a paid “vision trip” to visit one of the churches in Latin America that is being set up.
“On my way to vacation after the aftermath of a global pandemic, I wanted to set high but achievable goals for my annual Thanksgiving event to encourage everyone to join New Story to end global homelessness.” said McLoughlin. “This organization enables us to give back to families around the world who cannot find adequate housing. Working with Tiltify enables us to bring the global community together to spread awareness and create the greatest possible impact for those in need. “
Irish-born and London-based McLoughlin has more than 27 million followers on YouTube after posting content on the platform and working as an esports and game commentator for almost a decade. Over the past few years, McLoughlin has participated in various charity drives, including leading a large fundraiser at the start of the pandemic to support people who were originally hit by the effects of Covid-19. He eventually developed what he now calls thankmas in order to create an annual tradition of celebrating holidays with his followers.
McLoughlin has also made an effort to involve other notable influencers in the effort and forge his own relationships in the industry and beyond. That paid off last year when a few dozen other influencers took up the thankmas idea and ran their own charity drives. He hopes that more influencers will join in this year.
“The thankmas nickname has been around for three or four years, but last year people got it,” said McLoughlin. “Other creators have begun to take over the mantle separately from me, which is wonderful.”