Team Trees, also known as #TeamTrees, is a collaborative fundraiser that managed to raise 20 million U.S. dollars before 2020 to plant 20 million trees. This initiative was founded by MrBeast and Mark Rober and it was supported by a large part of the YouTube community as a whole, including some YouTube personalities.
All donations go to the Arbor Day Foundation, a tree-planting organization that pledges to plant one tree for every U.S. dollar donated. The Arbor Day Foundation planned to begin planting in January 2020 and end "no later than December 2022".
It is estimated that 20 million trees would take up 180 square kilometers (69 square miles) of land, absorb around 1.6 million tons of carbon and remove 116 thousand tons of chemical air pollution from the atmosphere.
The idea started on May 24, 2019, when a fan suggested on Reddit that MrBeast should plant 20 million trees to celebrate reaching 20 million subscribers on YouTube. The idea spread across multiple platforms including YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter, mostly in the form of memes. The idea is possibly related to the 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires.
American YouTuber, engineer, and inventor Mark Rober partnered directly with Donaldson to launch the fundraiser. On October 25, 2019, Donaldson uploaded a YouTube video explaining his plan, which claimed the top spot on YouTube's trending page, and numerous YouTubers have joined the movement, such as PewDiePie, Rhett & Link, Marshmello, Justine, and more.
On December 19, 2019, the project reached the 20 million dollar donation mark. By the next day, the project had raised over $20.7 million, exceeding the fundraiser's original goal. As of August 2020, the project has raised over $22 million.
As of October 31, 2021, the project still exists today, and will continue to exist, and as of that time, $23,000,000 was raised, and around an additional $2,600 are being donated today on average.
Many YouTubers created content to capitalize on the growing trend of Team Trees. Although despite the Arbor Day Foundation reaching out to only a few hundred creators, Team Trees is now featured in over 8,000 videos from over 400 global creators.
Across Instagram and Twitter, over 556,000 posts have garnered more than 4.6 billion views. Creators were able to uniquely inspire their audience to become donors and supporters of Team Trees through their relationships with their fans.
In addition to social media influencers, large corporations, including Verizon, EA, Salesforce (Marc Benioff), Shopify (CEO Tobias Lutke and CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux), and Tesla (Elon Musk), made large donations to this campaign.
|1||$1,000,001||Tobias Lütke||October 30, 2019||"For the Lorax"||Lütke made this donation in a tongue-in-cheek rivalry to top Elon Musk's donation of $1,000,000 the day prior, and also changed his Twitter username to "Tobi 'Lorax' Lutke." His comment, "For the Lorax," is a reference to Dr. Seuss's 1971 book The Lorax, in which the main character "speaks for the trees."|
|2||$1,000,000||Elon Musk||October 29, 2019||"For Treebeard"||After this donation, Musk changed his Twitter profile picture to a tree and his username to "Treelon," a portmanteau of "tree" and "Elon".|
|3||$900,000||Marc Benioff||November 6, 2019||"Inspired by Treelon"|
|4||$500,000||Plants vs. Zombies||December 3, 2019||"In the spirit of Feastivus"||Plants vs. Zombies, a mobile video game, made this donation in the "spirit of Feastivus," an in-game event.|
|5||$250,001||Scott Chacon||December 18, 2019|
|6||$250,000||Elf Development A/S||October 30, 2019||"Because we care!"|
|7||$200,000||Susan Wojcicki||October 30, 2019||Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube.|
|7||$200,000||Jack Dorsey||October 31, 2019|
|9||$150,000||Jack Dorsey||October 29, 2019|
|10||$105,020||Cookpad||December 30, 2019||"🥗=🌲 260,999 total Go Cookpad Community"||Cookpad, a Japanese recipe sharing service, made this donation under the name "OneRecipeOneTree."|
|11||$101,010||Bitcasino.io||December 13, 2019||"Let's keep the world fun, fast & fair"|
|12||$100,300||Sneaker Trees||December 19, 2019||"A foundation with sole"|
|13||$100,200||Discovery Channel||December 4, 2019||"From Discovery Watch & Plant viewers!"||As a part of their "Watch and Plant" event, Discovery Channel stated that they would donate at least $100,000 if 100,000 people tune in to the airing of their #TeamTrees documentary on December 3, 2019.|
|14||$100,100||Jean-Michel Lemieux||October 31, 2019||"We are groot. For sneaker twitter."|
|15||$100,002||MrBeast||October 26, 2019||"Someone PLEASE Take This Spot :)"||This was MrBeast's second donation, in response to Alan Walker's previous donation of $100,001.|
|16||$100,001||Alan Walker||October 26, 2019||"I want to plant one of the trees!"||Walker made this donation in response to MrBeast's challenge to overtake his position as the top donor.|
|17||$100,000||MrBeast||October 25, 2019||"I dare you to take this space from me :)"|
|17||$100,000||Verizon Green Team||October 31, 2019||"Tree-rific initiative! @VerizonGreen is happy to be a part!"||American telecommunications company Verizon made this donation via its Green Team. The donation amount represents three trees for every Verizon Green Team worker.|
|17||$100,000||RAK||November 20, 2019|
|17||$100,000||Verizon Green Team||December 17, 2019||"Tree-mendous! Doubling down for Earth"|
|21||$69,420||PewDiePie||October 31, 2019||PewDiePie, a Swedish YouTuber and comedian, made this donation under the name "poopiepie". The donation number is a comedic in-joke combining numbers from internet culture: 69 and 420.|
|22||$63,235||Cookpad||November 15, 2019||"From the Cookpad community"||Donation made under the name "OneRecipeOneTree"|
|22||$60,640||Anonymous||April 25, 2020|
|23||$50,171||SSLs.com||December 26, 2019||"On behalf of SSLs.com Customers"|
|24||$50,170||DROP.COM||December 12, 2019||"Treecaps from Mech. Keyboards Community"|
|25||$50,001||Ukraine||October 29, 2019||"You guys rock!"|
|25||$50,001||UAMTEC||November 1, 2019||"In memory of fimbrethil."|
|26||$50,000||Mark Rober||October 25, 2019||"So stoked to be part of this! #TeamTrees"|
|26||$50,000||Jeffree Star||October 25, 2019||"Let's all help change the world."|