It doesn't officially start until Friday, but John Green's Project for Awesome charity event is already live and picking up steam. This celebration of "charities that decrease the overall level of world suck" is John and brother Hank's 9th annual fundraising effort. Since 2014, the Greens have held their event on the second Friday and Saturday in December.
Project for Awesome (P4A) invites anyone, anywhere in the world, to make a video for their favorite charity. Participants share those videos — theirs and others' — widely on social media, and vote for their favorites. P4A uses these votes to determine which charities receive donations from the Foundation to Decrease World Suck.
Wait, what? I thought this was P4A. How does the Foundation to Decrease World Suck play into this?
I'm glad you asked. The Foundation to Decrease World Suck is a fully-recognized non-profit headed by the Greens and others. It receives funding year-round from select purchases made in the DFTBA store, the Nerdcrafteria Minecraft server, and ad revenue from the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel, in addition to direct donations made via its website.
The Foundation to Decrease World Suck has no overhead. The Greens and their fellow non-profit directors make no money off of their charity's operations. According to the P4A website, of the money raised via direct and Indiegogo donations,
100%, less the cost of perk manufacturing, shipping, Indiegogo fees, and merchant (credit card) fees. Everything will be packed and shipped by volunteers, and no one is paid even a single penny for any work related to the Project for Awesome or the Foundation to Decrease World Suck.
Also, any donations made to the Foundation to Decrease World Suck are tax deductible. So, if you understand how taxes work, yay!
All money raised during P4A before Noon EST on December 12th will go to Save the Children and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). After Noon EST on December 12th, donations made on or before December 15th will be split among the charities sponsored by the community-made videos mentioned earlier. P4A does provide this caveat, however:
[The chosen organizations are], however, subject to the approval of the board of directors of the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, partly because the law is complex and partly to prevent a trolling group from coming in and hijacking the vote
So basically, the Greens don't want bigots taking over their charitable giving, which gives them a gold star in my book.
You are welcome — and encouraged! — to donate as you feel led. Want to avoid the Indiegogo fees and make your donation through the Foundation to Decrease World Suck website? Do it! Would it make you feel better to just give directly to Save the Children, the UNHCR, or your favorite charity? Do it! No one's judging you, because this event is all about giving.
That being said, the Indiegogo perks are pretty sweet. For just $5, you can play Agar.io with Hank on the Nerdfighteria server. A $7 donation gets you access to the "25 Dirty Jokes with Hank Green" video. Of course, these two items and the rest of the P4A digital content are available in the $51 Digital Download Bundle.
If digital content isn't your thing, how do rubber wristbands, pressed pennies, and signed Fault in Our Stars movie posters sound? The two biggest tiers might have already been claimed, but that doesn't mean there isn't enough great P4A swag to go around.
Beginning Friday, December 11, you can watch a 48-hour livestream with John and Hank on the P4A website. Tune in to their antics, and make sure to give a little if you can.