How MrBeast — YouTube’s Biggest Philanthropist — Makes (And Donates) His Money

Photo: Mr. Beast / YouTube
MrBeast posing with money for a video giveaway

Quickly rising social media star MrBeast (aka Mr. Beast) has created an online empire in his growing domination of YouTube.

In 2018, the man now known as YouTube's biggest philanthropist found his niche in the online world that would gain him millions of subscribers/followers and billions of views just a few short years later.

His niche? Giving away money to strangers.

Three years later, MrBeast is the most subscribed to YouTube account in all of the United States, and while he has faced his fair share of criticism, including new reports that he allegedly created a toxic work environment, he has even bigger plans on the horizon (with no apparent plans to slow down any time soon).

Who is MrBeast?

Born Jimmy Donaldson, the 22-year-old star has grown his YouTube channel to amass 61.5 million subscribers and over 10.5 billion views across his videos.

And that's just on his main channel. The YouTuber has since created an additional five channels ranging in subject from gaming to reactions, with an additional 37.7 million subscribers — taking him to an immensely impressive total of 99.2 million subscribers overall.

Born in Greenville, North Carolina, MrBeast uploaded his first video to the platform back in 2012 when he was just 13 years old.

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Donaldson has since used his fame on YouTube to pivot into other businesses.

In the past couple of years, MrBeast has released his own merch, created MrBeast Burgers (and sold more than a million already), as well as launched his own mobile gaming app.

On social media, he's gained 12.8 million followers on Instagram and 10.4 million followers on Twitter.

His Twitter bio is refreshingly optimistic, altruistic and simple at the same time: "I want to make the world a better place before I die."

Even with a million things to do and with everything he has going on behind the scenes, he has found time for a relationship.

In 2019 he began dating Maddy Spidell, who he calls his “chicken nug.” The two met on Twitter and have been dating ever since.

How does Mr. Beast make money (and how much does he have)?

When the star began on YouTube, he tried his hand at videos like gaming and reactions before he found the recipe to success.

He found that giveaways to strangers resonated with a lot of people and he quickly began earning millions of views.

After going viral for a video he uploaded in January 2017 of him counting to 100,000, MrBeast said he puzzled out how the YouTube algorithm works.

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Soon after, his videos began consistently earning millions of views as they featured him trying similar stunts.

Several sources say his net worth ranges from 16-24 million dollars. His philanthropic-style videos reportedly earn him around $3 million every month.

As he continues to grow in all his ventures of life, he is sure to make even more money every month.

Photo: mrbeast / Instagram

While we all quarantined at home over the past year, MrBeast’s popularity surged as he became the most subscribed YouTuber in all of the United States.

In the list YouTube's most subscribed channels list, MrBeast is currently in 13th place, just behind the likes of Justin Bieber and PewDiePie.

And while infamous make-up guru Jeffree Star is the richest YouTuber in the world with a reported $200 million dollar net worth, the figure just makes MrBeast all the more impressive — as not only is he earning big bucks, but he is able to give away millions of dollars while still continuing to being so much money coming in for himself.

Of course, many of his videos are sponsored, which helps subsidize his costs.

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How do Mr. Beast’s viral giveaway campaigns work?

Known for starting the trend of expensive giveaway videos, MrBeast rose to fame for doling out money to strangers, but how exactly does it all work?

All of these videos have one thing in common, and that's the fact that MrBeast gives away money.

The difference comes in the specific challenges or premise in each video.

In the past, he has done videos with premises such as challenging someone to buy every single item in a store, last to take their hand off of the Lamborghini keeps it and anything you can fit in the circle he’ll pay for.

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But the selfless YouTuber doesn’t have to be making a video to give some cash away.

On Wednesday he joined the app “Clubhouse,” where you can listen to people talk about various subjects in their area of interest and expertise, causing a crash due to the influx of participants as MrBeast chose one listener to give $5,000.

Whether it’s through sponsored giveaways or out of his own pocket, it seems as though MrBeast just loves giving away money at this point — and who can hate someone like that?

Except, of course, for the fact that one's public persona doesn't necessarily reflect everything that goes on behind the scenes and in private.

Why is MrBeast being called out for problematic behavior?

Not even someone as seemingly pure as Donaldson can avoid their share of criticism.

In 2018, he was called out for having used homophobic slurs and made offensive comments in his early videos.

More recently, the New York Times reported that several "[several] former employees said the working conditions at his companies — Mr. Donaldson has set up a variety of corporate entities including MrBeastYouTube, MrBeastCrypto and Rubber Duck Company — have been rife with favoritism and bullying."

And just weeks ago, they report, he also "faced backlash from fans who lost significant amounts of money on a cryptocurrency scheme he had promoted and invested in."

Donaldson so far has not commented on the allegations or criticism. A representative "declined to address the working conditions at his companies but said of the videos with offensive content: 'When Jimmy was a teenager and was first starting out, he carelessly used, on more than one occasion, a gay slur. Jimmy knows there is no excuse for homophobic rhetoric,'" adding, that Donaldson “has grown up and matured into someone that doesn’t speak like that.”

Mr Beast is now YouTube’s biggest philanthropist.

Known now as YouTube’s biggest philanthropist, MrBeast is soon to be the king of YouTube — and a selfless one at that.

When he hit 20 million subscribers on the platform, he decided to plant 20 million trees in a giant field where people could pay $1 for a tree in their name.

The hashtag #teamtree blew up on social media and the campaign was quite a success.

As he continues to take over, we can expect even bigger things from Donaldson, but also don’t expect him to shy away from the little acts of kindness, like changing the life of a homeless man.

Whether you’ve been following MrBeast for years or you just found out about him, it’s best to join the hype train now — because it is (hopefully) many years away from coming to a stop!

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.