Hank & John Green's 'Project for Awesome' raises $3.5M for charity, breaks record

John and Hank Green appear on screenshot of Project for Awesome livestream on YouTube, with text on screen showing donations

Hank and John Green’s annual charity livestream, Project for Awesome, has become a cornerstone of their online community. 

This year, the stream raised a record-breaking $3,531,261.25 for charity in 48 hours, its highest amount to date.

The Project for “Qawesome”

What started as a typo became a defining inside joke of the 2024 stream, reflecting the upbeat spirit of the 17th annual Project for Awesome (P4A). 

Each year since 2007, Hank and John — who are known for projects ranging from authoring best-selling books and creating educational YouTube videos to launching VidCon and selling socks, soap, and coffee for charity — collaborate with influencers, scientists, philanthropists, and more to host a 48-hour livestream event raising money for a wide range of charitable organizations. 

Through donations, live chats, and social media memes, the Green brothers’ fans — known as “Nerdfighters” — foster community and connection to keep spirits high over the course of the weekend.

“What a thing this thing is to do!” said Hank in a video as he prepared to launch the stream. “Let us be in the room together, celebrating this one life that we get to live, celebrating each other and celebrating the helpers.”

How Project for Awesome Works

Aside from watching the stream and chatting along, the P4A comes with an array of opportunities to get involved and make an impact.

First, before the stream begins, community members can submit videos nominating a non-profit organization of their choice to receive a portion of the proceeds from the P4A. 

Examples of some videos uploaded in support of nonprofits
Examples of some videos uploaded in support of nonprofits

As the stream goes live, viewers may watch and vote for videos showcasing causes that resonate with them. 

The organizations that receive the most votes will receive a portion of the money raised throughout the P4A.

Donating money to the P4A is part of the fun, too. Donors may select from a range of “perks” in exchange for donations — from physical keepsakes like T-shirts and limited edition art to digital downloads like videos, exclusive podcast episodes, and sneak peeks of upcoming projects from the hosts.

2024’s Impact 

This year’s stream took place Feb. 16-18 and raised over $3.53 million. 

Half of all money raised will be split among charities selected by Nerdfighters through the video voting process, while the other half will be divided evenly between Partners in Health (PIH) and Save the Children, two long-term charitable partners of Nerdfigtheria. 

Both organizations focus on bringing long-term health solutions to areas where it is needed most. This year, all of the P4A funds contributed to Partners in Health will benefit their ongoing efforts to end tuberculosis worldwide.

Save the Children, which has been in partnership with Hank and John for 17 years, seeks to provide humanitarian aid in areas of crisis.

Currently, one of the biggest areas of need is Gaza and the West Bank — and Save the Children has a team on the ground to bring relief in any way possible.

During the stream, Hank spoke with Janti Soeripto, president and CEO of Save the Children. Soeripto shared stories of her recent trip to Gaza and the team’s ongoing efforts to provide aid to children in the region in the midst of life-threatening destruction.

“Actions do inspire hope,” said Soeripto. “For our colleagues to do whatever they can — to go out and distribute water, diapers, and food when we have it — it does inspire hope, for themselves but also for the people surrounding them.”

Save the Children has maintained a presence in Gaza since 1953. The organization’s expertise in the region makes it an excellent candidate to continue doing the work toward humanitarian relief.

“If there is a window to do something, we are definitely trying to do something,” said Soeripto. “We cannot turn away.”

Highlights from P4A 2024

Between deep conversations and seeking solutions to real problems, the P4A is known to lighten the mood with humor, connection, and a dash of chaos. 2024’s stream certainly delivered in this area.

While guest hosts change from year to year, a cast of returning beloved streamers typically make an appearance.

Hank Green and Brennan Lee Mulligan n a Project for Awesome livestream
Hank Green and Brennan Lee Mulligan

This year’s recurring fan favorites included Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day hosting his annual Dinosaur Space Program and Jessi Knudsen-Castañeda of Animal Wonders creating art with the help of rehabilitated wild animals. 

The 2024 P4A featured notable new faces to the stream as well, such as Potato, John’s new family puppy. 

The P4A is never complete without a few wacky bits. This year, Hank’s Banana Loca made a return in the new “Roll for Loca” bit, and John hosted the steam in an array of changing colorful wigs.

Jarrod, a controversial character played by Hank in an uncanny human mask, made his P4A debut and became a contender for the official mascot of the Project for “Qawesome” against a possum and a goose.

Beyond the P4A: Nerdfighters Giving Back

The P4A is one of Nerdfighteria’s favorite annual traditions, but it is far from the community’s only charitable actions. 

Nerdfighteria recently made good on their pledge to raise over $42 million for PIH to support the construction, staffing, and operation of the Maternal Center of Excellence, a new maternal and pediatric hospital located in Sierra Leone. 

Inspired by the success of the Center, which broke ground nearly three years ago for construction and continues to move toward operation,

Rendering of hospital
Rendering of Maternal Center of Excellence / Photo courtesy of Partners in Health

Nerdfighteria shifted much of its attention to the fight against tuberculosis (TB), the world’s deadliest infectious disease.

The community’s efforts in this fight have expanded beyond donation, leading public pressure campaigns for medical corporation Danaher to make its TB diagnostic technology more accessible. 

“Social justice is a team sport,” said Dr. Joia Mukherjee, chief medical officer for PIH. “There is no way one person, profession, or perspective is going to really make a difference — it’s the team, and we are so grateful to have Nerdfighteria on our team for this. The more people who are thinking about it and talking about it, the more attention is paid to a wholistic set of solutions.”

John Green and Dr. Joia Mukherjee of Partners in Health on the Project for Awesome livestream
John Green and Dr. Joia Mukherjee of Partners in Health

Other notable fundraising work by Nerdfighteria include the annual Pizzamas fundraiser and the Good Store, from which all proceeds are donated to charity.

Staying Involved

Although the stream has concluded, donors may continue to contribute to the P4A fundraiser at projectforawesome.com/donate through Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 12:00 pm EST.

Article Details

February 18, 2024 10:08 AM
February 21, 2024
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