On a typical Friday afternoon at YouTube, you can expect to see most people scrambling to finish their work or getting ready for Google’s weekly TGIF meeting. This past Friday, something different occurred: the first-ever YouTube Holiday Giving Flash Mob. Flash mobs? Aren’t those mainly for hipsters dancing in shopping malls and subway stations? Yes, many are, but we thought it would be cool to channel the crowd-sourced energy of your standard flash mob and put it towards a good cause. 

Hundreds of YouTubers across various offices came together to give back to DonorsChoose.org, an organization doing wonderful work for kids across the US. One great thing about DonorsChoose is that they’re crowd-sourced giving -- public school teachers from across America post classroom project requests on the site. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. You can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, they deliver the materials to the school. 

 

In total, our YouTube Flash Mob raised thousands of dollars across several different projects. Thanks to Google’s Corporate Giving Match program and DonorsChoose offering to match the first $100 of each YouTube employee’s donation, we should eventually be able to double our initial total donation. 

But it doesn’t stop there - we want to invite you to be part of our Flash Mob. DonorsChoose has generously agreed to also match all donations through Dec 31, 2011. All you need to do is enter the word “YOUTUBE” in the “I have a gift or match code” field during checkout on the site and DonorsChoose will match up to $100 of your gift*. So find a project and give what you can. While DonorsChoose is a U.S. based organization, we don’t want to limit the giving to within our borders. You can tell us what other organizations and charities hold a special place in your heart by leaving a comment on the YouTube Google+ page. In January we’ll report back on the total donation amount and other global charities you’ve brought to our attention! 

Happy Giving! 

Hunter Walk, Product Manager, who recently watched “DonorsChoose.org: The Colbert Report’s Charity of Choice” 

*DonorsChoose has agreed to match $100 of all gifts using the promotional code ‘YouTube’ up to a certain point. 

*Gift matching does not apply when one individual fully funds a project in its entirety, so feel free to spread the love across multiple projects to take advantage of the matching funds.