The recent Australian bushfires have razed across both traditional and social media outlets, gathering the attention of the whole world.
Even celebrities have been pushing the importance of the issue on their own social media channels, and one such influencer, Celeste Barber, has been particularly successful.
Celeste Barber is an Australian comedian and actor who first gained popularity on Instagram for #celestechallengeaccepted in 2015.
Barber posted parody pictures of herself mocking celebrities and supermodels by mimicking their poses, to great appeal. Her hilarious content has earned her close to 6 million followers, an audience that she put to good use in early January.
Launching a fundraiser for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades Donations Fund, her efforts raised more than $US2.8 million in just four days, climbing to $50 million to date. Facebook then confirmed that it had become the highest-grossing worldwide Facebook fundraiser, which was no mean feat.
In a display of impressive reach and a testament to her international appeal, Barber’s donors ranged in nationalities, from Americans to the Portuguese.
Perhaps her authenticity in her content translated to her sincerity in these efforts, allowing the fundraiser to gain traction quickly.
The funds raised by Barber’s page would go to the PayPal Giving Fund, a registered charity that would then disseminate the money to charities in Australia, the UK, and Canada. To intensify her bushfire fundraising efforts, Barber also teamed up with other big names like Chris and Liam Hemsworth for Make It Rain: Fund the Fires 2020. She was the emcee for the event, which kickstarted an auction to raise funds for fighting the fires.
While Barber’s achievement is congratulatory, the incident demonstrates that influencers are also able to use their popularity for good, galvanizing the masses to contribute to positive causes such as these.