Donations for Donuts

3 Dec

People like things that are fun.  This much is obvious.  For generation X & Y, the fun happens at their computers on Facebook, Twitter, and on their phones and cameras.  Millions of humorous pictures, videos, stories and anecdotes.  Look no farther than Texts From Last Night to get the picture (or download the iPhone app).

Anyway, the internet and new media allows humor to go viral, and some people, including Elie Klein, have realized the power humor and fun competition has to raise money.  I caught this article about Klein on an Israel news station, Ynetnews.  His mission: to cram down as much sufganiya (Israeli donuts) as possible.  Blessed with one heck of a metabolism, Klein is eating a donut for every donation to charity made by individuals across Israel, where Klein resides.  The campaign began last year when a group of neighbors placed a bet about who could eat the most sufganiya.  To keep score, they updated their Facebook and Twitter statuses, so everyone stayed in the loop.

This year they’re going at it again, and using social media the same way to keep track of the donuts eaten.  The important difference this year, is the fundraising.  When Klein told his family about the donuts, his wife’s cousin challenged she could eat just as many, and bet $10 to his charity of choice on the winner.  Another neighbor also pledged a donation based on the donut-eating, and then a friend made a Facebook event and the rest is history.  To date, Klein has consumed  47 donuts and continues to update his status, including the number of causes (currently 37) and the donations made by various people (amounting to about US $4914).

Social media’s at work here in a very uncomplicated way.  Someone is cramming as many donuts in his mouth as humanly possible, and people think it’s funny.  Betting on it makes it exciting, and fundraising works best when it’s exciting.  This is something to keep in mind when attempting to raise money among young people.  The nonprofit landscape is evolving, as it moves away from the dated door-to-door pledging or those horrendous phonathons to social media.

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