Jun 8, 2020

    BTS Donated $1 Million To Black Lives Matter. In Just Over A Day, The Fandom Had Matched Their Donation.

    The hashtag #MatchAMillion was coined quickly after news of the group's donation was made public.

    On Saturday, Variety reported that BTS and their record label, Big Hit Entertainment, had donated $1 million to the Black Lives Matter organisation following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer.

    Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

    The news came the day after the group made a statement in support of the movement to their 26 million Twitter followers, denouncing racism and condemning violence.

    우리는 인종차별에 반대합니다. 우리는 폭력에 반대합니다. 나, 당신, 우리 모두는 존중받을 권리가 있습니다. 함께 하겠습니다. We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter

    News of the donation was made public just before 6pm EST on Saturday — and less than half an hour later, BTS ARMY Twitter was flooded with fans suggesting that they organise a donation pool in an attempt to match the $1 million.

    WAIT BECAUSE WHAT IF ARMYS MAKE A PAYPAL POOL TO MATCH BTS’ DONATION???? HELLO?????

    So since there's been so much talk about trying to match BTS' donation through the OIAA link, should we make a hashtag for it? Like #/MatchTheDonation? Just to spread the word or sumn. https://t.co/H9EGzSGyVC

    They quickly decided to use a hashtag to track ARMY donations, with Twitter user @monosplaylist coming up with the phrase #MatchAMillion. The hashtag was trending worldwide within a few hours.

    In order to accurately track the donations, fans turned to One In An ARMY, a fanbase-slash-charity project that has organised several successful fundraisers in the name of the fandom since 2015.

    Since @BTS_twt have donated one million dollars to #BlackLivesMatter, you all have begun the #MatchaMillion project. Many of you have been asking for updates, and we can share the current total from the #BTSARMY carrd: https://t.co/Ry3Vy1rQEb

    According to their website, OIAA is a group of volunteers from across the world driven by "the idea of using our collective power for global good."

    They began fundraising for Black Lives Matter on June 1, using website builder Carrd to direct fans to several organisations benefiting the movement — including the NAACP, ACLU, and Black Lives Matter itself — and allowing them to split a single donation between organisations.

    After the #MatchAMillion campaign began, they quickly set up a tracker on the page, revealing in a tweet that contributions had totaled $50,000 prior to BTS' donation being made public. Within five hours, that number had increased to almost $190,000.

    Throughout Sunday, the ARMY kept up their momentum, using the hashtag to share their donations and celebrating whenever the tracker hit a new milestone. Within 24 hours of learning about BTS' contribution, ARMY's donations totalled more than $800,000.

    WE JUST HIT 800k DONATIONS ! 200K TO GO ! GOOD JOB EVERYONE #MatchAMillion

    ARMY have raised $600k so far... in less than a day. self-started. AMAZING. @bts_twt #BlackLivesMatter #MatchAMillion

    And just before 9pm EST on Sunday — approximately 25 hours after the #MatchAMillion hashtag was coined — the donation tracker ticked over $1 million.

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    The total has since exceeded $1.1 million.

    In a statement posted to their Twitter account, One In An ARMY said they were committed to providing ongoing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

    "Black Lives Matter isn't something that has a time limit," they said. "It's a belief that everyone needs to carry in their everyday lives... We stand in solidarity with Black ARMY. They're an important part of our family. And we stand with Black people everywhere. Your voices deserve to be heard."

    This is by no means the first time the BTS fandom has organised to, as OIAA puts it, "use their collective power for global good."

    Noam Galai / Getty Images

    In March, fans donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to coronavirus relief after the pandemic forced the group to cancel the opening dates of their Map of the Soul Tour. (The tour has since been postponed completely.)

    And in January, they organised to donate thousands to a children's charity to thank James Corden for welcoming the group during their Late Late Show appearance.

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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