White dude rap and prank war experts College Humor might not come immediately to mind when brainstorming altruism in the online video world. Yet today the comedy hub, using the Firstgiving fundraising service, launched LOLaid Haiti Relief, an online fundraiser benefiting Doctors Without Borders.
It’s a simple exchange: Fans give whatever amount they can to DWB’s efforts in Haiti following last month’s devastating earthquake, and in exchange for their donations, they’ll receive access to three new College Humor shorts: a Jake and Amir installment, a Hardly Working skit and a commercial parody shot in 2008 that was deemed too offensive for the official site. These videos, made exclusively for LOLaid, will never be uploaded to CH’s official site or YouTube, making a suggested $5 donation the only way to watch.
LOLaid is College Humor’s first charity project, though site staff had discussed similar initiatives in the past. “This was finally an opportunity for us to sit down and say ‘How are we going to do this?’,” editor Jeff Rubin said via phone. But while the legal and logistical complications of raising money for charity held them back in the past, Firstgiving helped simplify the process: “They made it very easy for us to set up a separate fundraising page. They’re collecting the money for us and it’s going directly where it’s needed,” he said.
Firstgiving also doesn’t require a minimum donation, meaning that College Humor’s core audience of college students (who tend not to be flush with cash) could contribute as little as $1 and still get involved. So far, it’s working — in the fundraiser’s first day online, College Humor has raised almost $2,000 of its $10,000 goal, with the vast majority of those donations ranging from $1-$10. The comments are predictably sophomoric, but the cause is good, the money is piling up — and after donating and watching the videos, I can say that the content is definitely worth whatever you can spare. Because even if you hate Jake and Amir, you really can’t hate a good cause.
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