If you’ve never heard of Connor Franta, you’re living under a rock. Or perhaps, a television. You’ve never seen Franta in the movies and he hasn’t been on your flat-screen TV, but Franta is one of the biggest YouTube stars around.
This weekend, Franta headlined the inTOUR LA convention in Pasadena, California, along with a dozen other YouTubers and Viners — all with hundreds of thousands (and for some, millions) of fans, followers, and subscribers across all social media platforms.
Franta, who makes vlog-style videos, has over 3 million subscribers on YouTube.
He also turned 25 this past week. But Franta decided he didn’t want any presents for his birthday. Instead, he told Business Insider that he implored his fans to do something kind and good for others; a message Franta has been pushing since his start on YouTube several years ago.
He picked a charity —The Thirst Project— and asked the following of his subscribers:
I’m beyond excited to tell you that in celebration of my birthday this year, I want to raise awareness for The Thirst Project and help them build wells to provide clean, safe water for people in Swaziland.
And I need you! I want to raise $US120,000 to build 10 wells. And if we reach the goal, I will go to Swaziland to build a well, and capture all of it on video for you!
For a small donation to The Thirst Project, you can enter to win a trip to LA (flights + hotel included) to have coffee with me at my favourite coffee shop!
Just $US25 can provide 1 person with fresh water for LIFE. If you donate $US1 for every year I’ve been alive, that’s almost enough to do that.
He gave his fans 30 days to meet the goal. Just 48 hours later, his fans have donated over $US75,000.
In a world where parents, teachers, and yes, even brands, are trying to get teenagers to care about something that benefits others, Franta succeeded.
How did he do it? Easy. Incentives for fans who all want to be recognised as number one.
After attending inTOUR LA, it was very to us that clear fans will do anything for a follow on Twitter, a retweet, a shout out, a selfie, or an autograph from their favourite YouTube and Vine stars. Franta, recognising this, set up levels of prizes fans can receive after donating various amounts to The Thirst Project.
This tee shirt seems to be the most attainable prize, for a $US50 donation:
For bigger donations, Franta offers the following:
Franta also created a very charming video to help encourage donations. You can watch that below, and click here to learn how to donate to The Thirst Project.
Franta will be one of the YouTube stars headlining the big InTOUR LA event in Los Angeles, California. I will be there this weekend talking to lots of YouTube and Vine stars (check out the full list here.) Have any questions for the talent? Email [email protected] and I’ll try to ask!