Recently, a group of 84 women in Peachland, British Columbia decided to raise money for breast cancer by dropping their clothes and attaching themselves to a zip line. Each of the naked fundraisers went careening off over the landscape leaving behind any inhibitions they may have had. How much did they raise? $15000. Is stripping down to the bare essentials the best way to raise funds?
Is there any evidence that nudity raises more money for charities than other means of soliciting donations? The one thing it does do is attract the media but even their coverage doesn't guarantee that this will translate into more dollars. The event was said to be closed to non-participants this year but many events are open to the public. Most of those attendees are curious gawkers. Do you think they really care about the charity?
Once the news story is gone and the onlookers have shuffled back home with their cameras in tow I’m not sure how much was gained. Take the 84 women raising $15000, if I break that down, isn’t that under $180 per person? I could raise $180 by calling one person in my jeans and a turtleneck. Yes, every little bit helps but I’m just saying that seems like a lot to bare to raise that kind of money.
Are we getting over exposed to this naked compassion? Over time, could this type of fundraising become a big yawn? Certainly, it has a negative impact with some potential donors getting turned off by the exploits. For exhibitionist it is an open invitation to engage in public nudity without the fear of arrest. What will people come up with next if eventually nude cyclists, bungee jumpers, zip liners and calendars fail to move us to donate en masse?
There seems to be a little less creativity when it comes to bringing attention to a cause. Even the campaigns to have women athletes raise money through nude calendars, is a sad commentary on our inability to support others. We are trying to use nudity because we all know we can make more money with our clothes off; especially if you are a woman. Whether it is a woman’s sport team trying to raise funds due to lack of proper recognition or a national charity competing for dollars, this need to bare all doesn’t feel right to me. It isn’t the charity that ends up getting the bulk of the limelight or that our focus is shifted to becoming advocates for a team who is still trying to legitimize their sport. Instead, it is the spectacle created that stays front and center in our minds. Is nude fundraising really working?
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