NAPERVILLE, Illinois — Since 2018, Seán McLoughlin, better known as famous YouTuber Jacksepticeye, has raised millions of dollars for various charities through streaming. In December 2021, Jacksepticeye fundraised more than $7 million. McLoughlin shows the importance of using fame to give back to charitable causes with increasing philanthropist actions.
Jacksepticeye’s Rise to Fame
McLoughlin first began his career as a YouTuber in December 2012, when he uploaded voice impression videos. McLoughlin then switched to creating gameplay content with his characteristic paddy cap and the opening line “Top of the morning to ya, laddies.” In 2013, famous YouTube PewDiePie mentioned McLoughlin’s name in a shoutout competition. Within four days after the video, McLoughlin’s subscriber count went from 2,500 to 15,000. By 2014, his content created enough revenue for him to make YouTube a full-time career.
McLoughlin boasts an impressive 27.9 million subscribers with more than 14 million views currently. While most of the content McLoughlin puts out is Let’s Plays and comedy sketches, he has expanded to doing collaborations with other YouTubers and interviewing celebrities such as Tom Holland, Margot Robbie, Dwayne Johnson and Chris Hemsworth. McLoughlin also has two business ventures including CLOAK, a lifestyle and gaming clothing brand partnered with YouTuber Markiplier and a coffee company entitled Top of The Mornin’ Coffee. As McLoughlin has risen to fame, philanthropic efforts became a vital part of his career.
The Beginning of Philanthropic Efforts
In December 2017, Jacksepticeye fundraised more than $260,000 over two days. All of the proceeds went to Save The Children, a charity organization established to improve the living qualities of children around the world. The two-day, four-hour streams featured Emma Blackerty, PJ Ligouri and other YouTubers, games, challenges, fan art and witty chats.
In 2018, multiple fundraiser live streams for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and Crisis Textline characterized the year. Jacksepticeye fundraised over a million dollars collectively for the charities in 2018. Jacksepticeye’s famous annual Christmas Charity Stream “#Thankmas” also started the same year.
Millions Raised for Millions of Needs
#Thankmas is “an annual multi-platform digital fundraising event” around the winter holiday season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the term “Thankmas” emerged because everyone is usually “in a ‘helping’ and giving mood” during Christmas. In partnership with Real Good Touring Group, McLoughlin brings content creators, influencers and celebrities to talk, do challenges and games during the annual live stream.
In 2018, Jacksepticeye raised more than $269,000 during Thankmas for Crisis Text Line, a U.S. charity organization that supports mental health wellness through text messages.
During the 2019 Thankmas, Jacksepticeye fundraised more than $354,000 for Child’s Play, a gaming charity to help children and teenagers in hospitals globally.
When the pandemic hit in April 2020, McLoughlin redoubled his charity efforts. Partnering with the fundraising platform Tiltify, McLoughlin kicked off the fundraiser #HopeFromHome for United Way Worldwide, the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) and Comic Relief U.S.’s Red Nose Day. Within 12 hours, Jacksepticeye fundraised nearly $660,000 for those fighting COVID-19 and during the Thankmas 2020 live stream, McLoughlin raised $1.4 million for Red Nose Day.
During the 2021 Thankmas live stream, Jacksepticeye fundraised more than $7 million for New Story. New Story is an organization focused on new approaches including 3D-printing houses and micro mortgages to help the impoverished globally.
The Future of Fundraising
McLoughlin has continually raised the bar in the possibilities of fundraising. While traditional fundraising consisted of sending letters, flyers and phone calls, McLoughlin demonstrates the power in live stream fundraisers. With Business Insider lauding Mcloughlin “as one of YouTube’s most prolific philanthropists,” it is exciting to see where McLoughlin’s fundraising efforts will lead him.
– Gaby Mendoza