When the economy gets tight, things have to get cut. It’s a part of economics unfortunately. People just have to find some way to make ends meet, and often times, that means that they aren’t able to donate as much to their favorite charities. However, this doesn’t mean that all charities are resigning themselves to getting less money than before. On the contrary, a number of charities have developed certain strategies to make sure that they get as much if not more.
The most common technique is finding a charity event that will raise awareness and cash. The easiest way to do that is by doing something bizarre, newsworthy, or just plain weird. These people figured out how to do just that with their efforts. And in addition to raising money for their favorite charities, they gained some notoriety as well.
1. The Breast Squeeze
One of the strangest charity events involved Paradise TV. A Japanese porn channel, they hosted the August 2012 Erotica Will Save the World Event. Through this live streamed event, they raised money to help stop aids for the Stop! Aids Foundation. The charity promotes AIDS awareness as well as prevention methods and treatment research.
According to the Tokyo Reporter, this was exceptionally disturbing but at least in better taste than the initial idea. The initial idea was to allow charity donors to come and take a woman’s virginity in the tradition of their TV show “I Will Lose My Virginity.” This would not be the first time that such an event happened, although it would have been the first time it would have been publicized to the general public via satellite. Outrage erupted, and so a less controversial charity event was organized. This involved the top 10 Japanese adult video actresses coming out and standing in front of the crowd. They then exposed their breasts and donors could come up and squeeze their breasts. A single feel was one donation. Second dipping required an additional donation, according to the Huffington Post. Despite the scandal, it was still wildly successful and filled with spots for the entire 24 hours.
2. Venom for the Children
Nick Le Souef has participated in a number of eyebrow raising events throughout his career. Many of them have been designed to raise money for children’s charities. According to their official website, Variety is his favorite children’s charity to support. The twist though is that he does it by locking himself into with something dangerous. According to Yahoo News, his latest stung involves his locking himself into a small glass room filled with 300 venomous spiders. The spiders included redbacks, black house spiders, tarantulas, and more. The one thing that they all had in common was that they are all venomous.
The goal of the stunt was to succeed in raising over $ 50,000 for the children. Variety assists children with disabilities so that they can live fuller and richer lives. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the famed stunt man holds the record for stings in snake pits, spider cages, and shark tanks. He frequently does this three weeks at a time, using his famed zen method. This, of course, is done with a live feed so that people can watch and donate. Apparently, people will pay big money to watch a man trapped in a 12 x 4 x 4 enclosure for three weeks. The most exciting part for most people apparently was the point of spider cannibalism. Since the structure is sealed with only air getting in and out, the spiders have nothing to eat but one another. About halfway through the three weeks in the tiny room, the spiders begin to turn on one another. This is also when they become most dangerous to people as well since they would be glad to take a bit out of someone like Nick Le Souef. However, in his statements to the press, he said that the hardest thing to deal with wasn’t the spiders but the cabin fever and claustrophobia.
This was a similar though more intense stunt to one performed by James Jablon. According to MSN, he spent the full month of January in the lion’s cage at the Wildlife Rehab Center of Hernando, Florida. He received a few bites and scratches from the lions. However, he emerged in fairly good condition while making his charity $ 160,000 richer.
3. Stop Bieber
There are two types of people in this world: those who love Justin Bieber and those who can’t stand him. However, even those who love Justin Bieber sometimes tire of listening to his music non-stop. And even hardcore fans sometimes have certain songs that they absolutely hate. According to Oddee.com, one of those songs is Baby.
The Evanston Township High School of Illinois decided that they wanted to raise cash to redecorate a cafe and art center. When they ran into walls at other fundraisers, they decided that the best solution was to play the Justin Bieber song “Baby” over the loud speakers. Over the top of this, the students would urge their fellow students to contribute. They needed to raise $ 1,000 to achieve the goal. Reaching the goal was the only way to make the song stop. The school actually gave them one week to raise this money to qualify for various matching commitments and the like. However, they reached and exceeded the goal within three days, according to Sun Times. The song played approximately 20 times before just about everyone in the school caved. Even the teachers and the workers donated to stop the Baby song, according to CBS.
4. Lap Dances for Children’s Toys
In another bizarre vein, the Admiral Theater in Chicago, Illinois decided to find a way to give back while getting toys. The Admiral Theater is a strip club. They hold an annual Lap Dances for the Needy promotion. To qualify, you must receive a new and unwrapped toy. No matter how many toys are brought though, each individual only gets one lap dance. The lap dance is from the dancer of the giver’s choice. The charity does not accept monetary donations. Instead, it only takes toys. According to Gather.com, they collected five cars full of toys.
Certain restrictions still qualify. The lap dancers are not permitted skin on skin contact. Additionally, the lap dance is as long as the lap dancer chooses to make it. They are also required to wear certain amounts of clothing to ensure that they are somewhat child friendly, according to the Chicago Tribune. However, this does not mean that the event is without its detractors, although the charitable organizations do accept the toys and distribute them to needy children. So far, they have been quite successful, and they plan to continue with it in years to come.
5. Marijuana Policy Project Foundation
According to Fundraisers.com, one of the strangest illegal charity events involved the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation. While they are technically an illegal organization in some states because of their promotion and assistance with cultivating an illegal substance, they have received a great deal of support from numerous celebrities. According to Sun Times, these celebrities include Montel Williams, Michelle Phillips, John Stossel, Kurt Loder, and others.
Their charity events include marijuana smoke offs. These are hard to find. However, the basic jist of these events, according to Akorra.com and Cannibis.org are that donors gather together to pay extra for the marijuana. The proceeds then go to lobbying efforts and getting marijuana made legal. The parties are still highly hush hush.
6. Naked Clowns Dance
Starting in 2008, the Naked Clowns have been trying to raise $ 1,000,000 to cure multiple sclerosis. The Naked Clowns donate 100% of their proceeds to the research. They were inspired by the struggle of their instructor Judy Finelli of the San Francisco Clown Conservatory. Despite the fact that she continues teaching, multiple sclerosis puts her in tremendous pain without any long term relief. Trying to draw attention to their charity, the Naked Clowns decided to remove their clothes and do performances and calendars.
The shows and calendars themselves are bizarre. However, Weird News reports that at the same time, they are careful not to show anything more than a tasteful faux nude calendar would. In other words, no genitals or breasts are revealed. This is so that young children can come to watch without being traumatized or horrified. Throughout the scenes and performances, the clowns hide behind different objects and scenery. Of course, according to the San Francisco Clown Conservatory, this is a great way to raise awareness about clowns and let them know that clowns can be sexy and athletic too. While they have not yet reached their goal, they have done exceptionally well. They have recently expanded their goals to creating the Naked Dream Program. Once a month, they award a cash prize to a child with multiple sclerosis. The purpose of the grant is to let the child pursue any dream he has. Their performances and calendars regularly sell out, and they have hopes of succeeding in their ultimate fundraising goal within the next couple years.
7. Fiery Charity
An impressive stunt in Death Wish 3 almost killed Rocky Taylor. The stunt involved his leaping 40 feet from a burning building, and the stunt nearly cost him his life. According to World of Difference.com, experts are still not sure what went wrong. However, the results were unquestionable. He received horrific burns and he also fractured his spine and pelvis in multiple places. Everyone assumed that he would avoid the stunt as well as fire, and for good reason. However, about 25 years later, Rocky Taylor decided to do the stunt again, but this time he would do it for Remember a Charity.
According to Remember a Charity, they did not ask him to perform this stunt. They were actually very concerned about his doing this. However, Rocky Taylor was intent upon completing his mission. Setting himself on fire, he then leaped from a burning platform at Battlesea Power Station. People who watched could donate in person or online. It was wildly popular, and everyone applauded wildly when he emerged safe. According to World of Difference.com, he may do it again in the future, though as before, the charity is not putting any pressure on him. In fact, according to an interview they gave to the Times, they were even considering not accepting the money so that they would not put him at further risk. However, upon second thought, they decided not to dishonor his generous sacrifice and so they used the money to benefit the charity.
8. Same Old Dress
Most people didn’t know how Sheena Matheiken was. However, her passion is in getting children in the slums into the school in India. To help raise awareness and money for the Akansha Foundation, she pledged to wear the same dress every day for a full year.
At first, the project did not gain much traction. However, each day, Sheena Matheiken photographed herself each day in the outfit. Through the clever use of accessories and folding, she prepared a different look each day. The creative combinations and blog posts soon thrust her into the public eye and raised a media storm. The one outfit that she wore each day was none other than the little black dress. In fact, she originally called her project Little Black Dress for 365 Days, according to the Uniform Project.com. However, it soon became known as the Uniform Project when she exceeded her goal of $ 100,000 and then opened it up to other women who wanted to join her. Joining is simple. All you have to do is pledge to wear one little black dress for 365 days and donate the savings to under privileged children in the slums, according to Uniform Project. Sheena’s efforts landed her spots on a number of prominent news sites and led to her being named Elle Magazine’s Women of the Year for 2009.
9. Win the Date
In movies, the win a date theme is a surefire way to ensure that there’s conflict and romance brewing. However, CharityFolks.com gathered together various bids from celebrities that would allow them to pair the highest bidder and a friend with a celebrity for lunch. The bids started at $ 5,000. The catch though is that the celebrity gets to choose what charity the funds go to. According to Star Pulse, the last two stars to participate in this were Morgan Freeman and Billy Baldwin.
There were concerns over their safety. As such, it was made clear that the encounter would be in a public place and that it is not to be construed as a romantic encounter at all. The bids far exceeded the initial $ 5,000 goal. Fortunately, nothing bad happened later, and Charity Folks.com says that they will likely host a win the date auction again.
10. Shaving Away the Eyebrows
Si Burgher had some of the longest eyebrows in Indiana. They were so long that he had to brush them every day so that they did not obscure his vision or look like a wild hair do. They measured more than three inches in length. However, according to NBC News, the one thing that was even more important to him was the Bloomfield Rotary Club’s campaign for the polio eradication. According to MSN.com, it started out as a light hearted joke in which his fellow club members said that people would probably pay to trim his eyebrows. After thinking about it, Burgher agreed, although at one point he admitted that he wanted to back out. However, he recalled the reason that he was doing this charity event in the first place and decided to stick with it.
Tickets for trimming Burgher’s eyebrows started at $ 100 for a swipe with the razor. The first person in line, according to NBC News, was his wife. With each eyebrow taking eight swipes to finish it off, Burgher managed to raise $ 1600 for the polio cure. His wife told reporters that she was delighted with the new look and that it made him look kind and handsome. Apparently, Burgher had never trimmed his eyebrows in his life. It was considered to be a wildly successful campaign, and the jokes continue about whether they can do it again the next year.
11. Stunt Driving Librarian
According to World of Difference.com, Sue Harding was not born with a thirst for adventure. However, she hated the stereotype that librarians were boring just as much as she cared for the Warwickshire and Northampton Air Ambulance Service. She frequently thought about ways to combat the image of the boring library. She then came up with the idea to destroy the stereotype by involving herself in a stung driving course. In the process she raised funds. According to the Times, people could come out and watch. All proceeds were to be donated to the Warwickshire and Northampton Air Ambulance Service.
When the big day came, she had far exceeded her initial goals, although she did not reveal the amount to CNN. However, her stung driving skills turned out to be quite impressive for a librarian. She put the stunt car through the paces, throwing handbreak turns and following the speed and shoot chase formation. Not only did it smash the stereotypes but it also raised money for the ambulance services. It is still considered one of the more unusual ways for raising money for an ambulance, but according to their official website, they were just glad that Sue Harding didn’t have to use their services.
12. The Ron Swanson Mustache
Few mustaches have become quite so iconic as the Ron Swanson mustache. Famous for his character, Ron Swanson, in Parks and Recreation, actor Nick Offerman came up with an idea to support pediatric cancer efforts. He offered to shave off his mustache, put it back together, mount it, and present it to the winning bidder. The proceeds would then go entirely to the charity Because of Ezra.com. According to the Huffington Post, Nick Offerman felt that it was somewhat sacrilegious. However, he placated this by ensuring that it was only sold at a private auction in Beverly Hills to ensure that it received the minimum purchase price.
The sale itself was private. However, the mustache was successfully removed, reassembled, glued, and then mounted behind glass. To ensure that it had the proper shape, the mustache was reassembled against a mold of Nick Offerman’s face.
13. Skydiving for the Blind
Most men in their 70s look for tamer ways to raise money for their favorite charities. However, Larry Ekstrom decided that the best way to celebrate his 70th birthday and raise money for Leader Dogs for the Blind was to sky dive 70 times on his birthday. According to the Huffington Post, this is not the first time he has done a feat like this. On his 60th birthday, he jumped 60 times to raise money for multiple sclerosis research as his wife suffers from it.
CBS came out to film it along with other news organizations. He succeeded in raising a significant amount of money, although he did not say how much. According to CBS.com, Ekstrom is not doing this for the notoriety or the fame. Australia’s Team Ookoonono already has the record for 150 complete sky dives within twelve hours. Ekstrom was not trying to break that record. He told reporters that all he wanted was to help people. He told New York Daily News separately that he also felt that reaching 70 was record enough for him and that the best way to celebrate is by doing something that gives thrills in a worthy cause. In addition to completing all 70 skydives within ten hours, Ekstrom also completed it without injuries or whiplash.
14. Human Hamster Wheel
According to Fox News, Chris Todd is no stranger to dangerous and grueling physical challenges when it comes to raising money for charity. In the past, he has done a number of things including trekking across the Arctic Circle and running six marathons in six days through Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. He has raised thousands of dollars in his exploits. However, his latest one got all of his native Wiltshire talking.
This latest charity challenge involves one of his inventions, a device that he calls the Tredalo. It looks like a giant hamster wheel, but it is intended to float across the water. The hamster wheel itself propels the tredalo forward, according to the Huffington Post. Taking it across a narrow river is one thing. However, the charity drive that Chris Todd has in mind involves taking it out across the Irish Sea. This non stop 66 mile trudge will take about 2 days. He will have to go without stopping, and carry enough water and food to keep going. In his interview with the Huffington Post, he estimated that this would take about 30 liters of water and 60 chocolate bars. His target charities were the Wiltshire Blind Association and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The Sun and the Daily Beast have dubbed him the hamster man. He succeeded in raising more than 3500 pounds, although he was only able to make it 23 miles. However, he has made it clear at the official Irish Sea Crossing.co.uk site that he will do it in the future. In fact, he’s already making plans. Fortunately, he had made emergency plans in advance to ensure that if anything went wrong, he would not be stranded. His device, however, worked quite well.
15. Chilean Charity Prostitute
One of the most controversial charity fundraisers is what has become known as the Chilean Charity Prostitute. According to the Sun, Maria Carolina is considered a high class Chilean escort. She decided that she wanted to do something to help disabled and handicapped children. She decided to use what she felt she was best at: sex. She thus promised 27 hours worth of sex to the highest bidders and promised that she would donate all of the proceeds.
Scandal erupted shortly after this announcer. According to Reuters, the campaign manager of the charity that Maria Carolina selected refused to encourage it. He ultimately said that while the organization disagreed with her activities and her selling herself in this way, the Teleton Charity would accept her funds. Other charges came up that this was nothing more than a media hoax to obtain free publicity. Maria Carolina spent a significant amount of time advertising the sale and making promises. She focused in particular on promoting it on her own official website as well as in a number of media outlet. The winning bidder paid $ 4,000, and she donated it to the charity. The charity thanked her. However, rumors of the scandal continue to persist since the free advertising continues. However, as Reuters points out, the important thing is that the children are benefited and they now have a better chance at living a handicapped free life. Sex trafficking organizations still oppose these efforts, particularly in light of other rumored events in which girls’ virginities are auctioned off, according to the Journal of Human Trafficking and the National Institute of Justice.