Raising money for charity is a serious business, but it doesn’t have to be done in a serious way. There is a longstanding tradition of people taking an unusual approach to their charity activities.
Whether it’s two friends running a marathon in a donkey outfit, or a kid wearing a red nose for Comic Relief, charities can take advantage of the weird and wonderful to encourage more people to participate in fund raising.
Here are a few examples of weird activities and events which have raised money for charity.
Breaking Bad is arguably the most popular TV in recent memory. The series came to a close earlier this year with the death of the lead character, the anti-hero Walter White. Die hard fans of the show decided to get together and stage a mock funeral for the fictional character and used the event to raise money for charity.
Despite the controversial nature of the event, which went as far as to place a fake burial site in a local graveyard, the mock funeral managed to raise over $17,000 for the Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless organization. Here are some tips for elderly housing options why men and women grieve differently.
New Yorker Sheena Matheiken is the founder and creative director of the Uniform Project. The Uniform Project was a challenge where Sheena wore the exact same black dress every day for 1 year. She was creative with her outfit and changed her appearance by wearing different accessories that were handmade, reused, vintage or had been donated.
Donations were taken and copies of the dress were sold over the web to raise money for charity. By the end of the Year, Sheena had raised over $100,000 for the Akanksha Foundation, a charity which provides education to children living in slums in India. Sheena’s project attracted a global audience and she went on to appear on media channels and TV shows around the world. In Japan, there’s even a published book about the challenge.
Australian shop owner Nick Le Souef is not stranger to crazy stunts involving dangerous animals. He already holds the Australian record for spending time in a snake pit, shark tank and in a cage full of red-back spiders. In 2010, he decided to spend three weeks locked in his shop window with a whole range of deadly spiders. One man, over four hundred redback, huntsman and black house spiders in a 12 by 4 foot space for three weeks.
After surviving the ordeal, he found that he had raised over $10,000 for the children’s charity, Variety. He claimed that the worst part of the experience was not dealing with the spiders but the cabin fever. And that includes having to witness an arachnid massacre, as some of the largest spiders turned on the the smallest. As charity work goes, this has to be the most unpleasant and weird episode of them all.
Eccentricities are definitely useful when it comes to raising money for charity. Use your imagination and get creative; you’ll inspire more people to donate and will gather more support for your favourite cause.
By Sam Wright
Sam Wright is a journalist working with Third Sector Jobs.
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