YouTube’s largest charity event of the year will return in 2014, but this time, it has undergone some slight tweaks. Project 4 Awesome (P4A), the crowdsourced fundraising drive run by Vlogbrothers hosts Hank Green and John Green, will return to the Internet on December 12th.
As in previous years, Project 4 Awesome will be powered by the participation of popular YouTubers, who will make videos in support of their favorite charities. Viewers will then use their comments to “vote” for the YouTubers whose charities they support. Ultimately, the top ten charities chosen by fans will split the funds raised by a communal Indiegogo campaign that will be launched by Hank and John. Last year, this system raised $869,591, a record-breaking total that surpassed all previous P4A campaigns.
This year, a few new wrinkles will update P4A. The most visible change is the project’s date; this year, P4A will move five days earlier than its usual December 17th start date in order to accommodate John Green’s schedule. Green is currently on set for Paper Towns, an upcoming film based off his 2008 book of the same name.
A second change concerns the charities to which P4A will give. As John Green explains in an introductory vlog, three charities will be pre-selected to receive all the funds raised on P4A’s first day. While this will slightly diminish the crowdsourced nature of the campaign, the “excellent and efficient” nature of the pre-selected charities will allow P4A to more easily collect matching donations from private sources while also shining a larger spotlight on the charities rather than the YouTubers supporting them.
In order to support the second part of that goal, votes will be tallied based on comment discussions rather than the sheer mass of comments each video receives. Green hopes this will prevent viewers from focusing entirely on spamming comments for their favorite YouTubers.
From the looks of it, the Green brothers are trying to make sure that the charities are the real stars of the fundraising effort. If Green’s comments about matching donations are any indication, that will lead to another record-breaking year for P4A.