Fundraising Gone Mad: Innovative and Unique Charity Campaigns

Personal fundraising has traditionally been centred on going out of your comfort zone in the name of charity. However, some individuals have taken fundraising into the Twilight Zone. Below are some wacky and innovative fundraising campaigns:

1. Justin Bieber – The Ultimate Fundraising Mechanism

The Evanston Township High School in suburban Chicago fundraised to save a popular arts centre by blasting out the song ‘Baby’ by the sworn enemy of melodies, Justin Bieber. Passing students were only able to stop the onslaught by donating. Amnesty International was quick to condemn the fundraiser.

2. The World’s Largest Water Slide

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Two fun-loving Kiwis, Jimi Hunt and Dan Drupsteen, devised a fundraising campaign that consisted of constructing the world’s biggest water slide in Auckland. The fundraiser and its 650 metre slippery shoot raised funds and awareness for those battling depression, during a two-day festival in February 2013.

3. Wearing the Same Dress for a Year

In 2009, upon launching the Uniform project, Sheena Matheiken pledged to wear the same black dress every day for an entire year. She raised over $100,000 in donations for the Akanksha Foundation. Several men around the world have repeated such a fundraising campaign, focusing on wearing the same clothes for a year, albeit without raising funds for charity.

4. Spider Lock-in

Australian Nick Le Soeuf spent three weeks locked behind a shop facade with three hundred poisonous spiders to raise funds for Variety, a children’s charity. His previous fundraising campaigns have included stints in a snake pit and a shark tank. He is no long particularly fussy about where he goes on holiday.

5. ‘Friends’ Marathon

Steve Misiura watched watched 238 episodes (over 84 hours) of Friends to raise funds, through donations, for a course at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Sources suggest that he snapped after the 77th declaration of “We were on a break!”

6. Stormtrooper Walks Across Austrailia

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Star Wars enthusiast, Jacob French, walked 5,000km across Australia dressed as a Stormtrooper in aid of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which fundraises for entertainment, education and family outings for sick children. Fellow travellers in the bush were relieved to find out that they hadn’t hallucinated a stormtrooper as a result of weariness.

Now such lengths are not required because Shareagift makes fundraising easy and seamless!

How to Crowd Fund your Party with Shareagift

This is one of my favourite user stories of 2012.

Back in September of last year, the delightful Gráinne (who I have had the pleasure of speaking to many times) decided she wanted to to organise a once in a lifetime surprise party for her husband, Andreas’, 50th birthday. Happily for us, she came across Shareagift online and used our site to crowd-fund the party, inviting his friends and family to contribute to one really special evening.

Gráinne collected over €800 to her Shareagift Page, so she could organise a private ‘party bus‘ to take her, Andreas and 30 of their friends around the city. Collecting funds from friends around the world over several months, Gráinne kept the whole thing a secret from Andreas, so it was a total surprise when he arrived to find his name lit up in lights on the bus and all his friends there ready to celebrate with him.

Gráinne surprises Andreas on the big day!
Gráinne surprises Andreas on the big day!

I gather it was a beautifully raucous affair! Complete with champagne and dancing and general merriment – in that wonderfully Irish tradition – followed by a spoiling dinner at one of their favourite Irish pub afterwards. Gráinne even sent us an amazing video of the party bus afterwards so we could get a flavour of the evening – it looked like epic fun indeed, and no doubt a sore head or two the following day 😉

The Party Bus makes its way around Paris!
The Party Bus makes its way around Paris!

We were all horribly jealous in the office to hear about their amazing adventure, but thrilled to have been able to help along the way. Gráinne, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your time and your contributions – you gave us some awesome ideas and some invaluable feedback – and we’ve loved being in touch with you.

Thank you to Johannes Berghoff for letting us use his brilliant photos to tell the story, and Gráinne for your kind words to our team after the event:

“Just a short email to say a BIG thank you for a super website, and a super idea. Andreas’s surprise 50th birthday was a huge success, and it was a huge help to me to have found your website and have everyone contribute to what ended up being quite a costly evening. But it was definitely worth it! Many thanks to you, and to your team for all your help, quick responses and solutions!”

And we hope Gráinne’s story will inspire a ton of other people to use Shareagift to crowd fund their parties and give other friends and family the evening of a lifetime.

New Year, New Resolutions

So here we are – new year, new start, new resolutions (which, if you’re like most of the Shareagift Team you’ll have thoroughly enjoyed breaking already!).

Yep, I’m afraid the stats are not looking good for keeping to our resolve – apparently only 8% of us will keep our new years resolutions – most of us will sack them off within the next 2 months.

So what are these pesky promises of self-improvement we solemnly dedicate ourselves to every January 1st? According to research by the University of Scranton, our top 5 resolutions are:

  1. Loose weight
  2. Get organised
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy

Hmmm, quite the ambition… Well, loosing weight and getting organised we can’t help you with I’m afraid, but roll on resolution number three and we are here ready and waiting to lend a hand – we’d love you to use Shareagift to buy group gifts for your friends and family this year – so everyone saves a bit of money and still gets something great!

As for the Shareagift Team, we’ve decided rather than give things up in 2013, we’re gonna take things up. So we had a quick whip round the office to check our everyone’s resolutions:

Shareagift Team New Years Resolutions:

  • Visit Scandinavia
  • Write more post cards
  • Introduce one million new people to Shareagift in 2013
  • Compete in the London Triathlon
  • Cut our toast on the diagonal

Up to you to guess which of the team picked which! (We’ll let you know how we getting on in March 😉

Cashing in your worst ever Christmas gifts!

Would you swap 3 unwanted gifts for an iPod this Christmas? (Yep, so would we ;))

According to a Gumtree survey last year we’re likely to get at least two unwanted gifts this Christmas worth as much as £48 each.

So, applying a terribly complicated algorithm (dividing the sum of the problem by a bakers dozen, taking away the square root of X-box and adding a pinch of salt) we worked out that if you took just 3 of these unwanted gifts, and put their value together as a group gift you’d have £144 and could buy yourself an iPod instead.

As an addendum to this brilliant idea, we had a whip-round the office this afternoon to check out some of our worst unwanted Christmas gifts, and here are the top 5:

Shareagift Team’s worst ever Christmas gifts:

  • Black and Decker drill bit
  • Grow your own boyfriend
  • Fetus cookie cutter (no joke, receiver was pregnant at the time)
  • Twat mug (this is contentious – I love this gift)
  • A home-made shoe

So there you have it. If you want to avoid unwrapping a novelty baking instrument come December 25th, we suggest you get onto Shareagift immediately and ask your friends and family to chip in for what you really want!

The Shareagift Worst Christmas Gift Gallery:

This stunning X53242 tile and glass drill bit could be yours for just £2.99
If you don't have a handsome man to snuggle up with to this Christmas, this novelty boyfriend is sure to make you feel much more secure and emotionally stable during the holiday period
If you don’t have a handsome man to snuggle up with to this Christmas, this novelty boyfriend is sure to make you feel much more secure and emotionally stable during the holiday period
Apparently this is acceptable...
Apparently this is acceptable…
Classic
Classic
Or, yes, if you're really lucky, and you've been immaculately behaved all year long, it's just possible Santa might leave a pair of these designer footwear items in your stocking this year ;)
Or, yes, if you’re really lucky, and you’ve been immaculately behaved all year long, it’s just possible Santa might leave a pair of these designer footwear items in your stocking this year 😉

Friends already using Shareagift for Christmas!

I know, I know, it’s not even Halloween yet, but we’re already excited as we’re just starting to see the first few Shareagift Pages created by some of you super-organised peeps planning ahead for Christmas!

Company Shareagift Pages for Christmas

The Actors Touring Company have already started a Shareagift Page for their company Christmas Stocking! They need to buy an expensive piece of filming equipment so they can filem their tours in 2013 and decided Shareagift would be the perfect way to do it. Good luck guys, we hope you get all the funds you need :).

Friends & Family Sharegift Pages for Christmas

The lovely Tara, just created her Shareagift Page for a brand new Macbook Pro laptop computer from her family as a way for her family and friends to afford the gift she really wants – and she’s already collected $200 towards it!

School & Teachers Shareagift Pages for Christmas

Last year we had an amazing response from people setting up Shareagift Pages to collect from parents towards class gifts for teachers. The most popular items we noticed were gift vouchers – for major stores or spas, so the teachers could choose for themselves. We haven’t seen any pop up for this Christmas yet, but we’re keeping an eye out 😉

The beauty about Shareagift is that you can use it collect money for absolutely anything – from that perfect gift, to charity fundraising, to sharing the cost of a group trip – so what are we waiting for – Christmas is only 61 days away!

Shareagift for your online retail business

We know it’s the end of August. We know the Olympics just hit us all hard. We know sales are slow. What’s the great thing about September though? It’s only a few months till Christmas!

What’s the good thing about Christmas? Besides all the food, friends, family and gifts, online sales are at their annual peak. The Telegraph.co.uk had to say this:

“British shoppers spent a total of £7.9bn online in

December, a 16.5pc increase compared with the 2010

Christmas period.”

What percentage of annual sales do the holidays represent for retailers? For some online shops, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 25-40% of annual sales.

As an online retailer, you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this. Well, I’m going to let you know. Shareagift offers a plugin widget that allows you to offer your customers the option to purchase your products, services, experience days, travel arrangements and whatever else you offer, as group purchased gifts.


Customers simply click “start group gift” and then can create a gift page through the Shareagift service that allows them to share your products and your brand with their friends and families across their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) as well as email contacts. When they raise the money for your product, they simply collect it and purchase it from you. Sounds simple right? Well that’s because it is.

Here’s a link to a gift page that has successfully raised the full amount.

What our group gifting widget can offer to your online business is several major advantages:

1.  It helps to drive sales of your higher ticket price items

2.  It spreads your brand and products across your customer’s social networks (Gift Pages are shared with an average of 10 friends)

3.  Allows you to convert abandoned baskets into group sales

4.  Monetize your customer’s wish lists

So what are you waiting for? Email business@shareagift.com for more details, and to get started. Visit www.shareagift.com to see how it works for yourself as well. Let us help you get your sales back on track, and while you’re at it, help your customers get what they really want for the holiday season this year.