Money for something
The Timbit eating contest in the University Community Centre yesterday represented more than a passion for delightful balls of dough and the ability to eat quickly without utensils it was a creative tactic to raise money for a charity.
In fact, the contest was one small drive in a new type of fundraising that seems to be taking off at Western and within the larger community. Charities are realizing that they have to compete with many other organizations for donations and the way to come out on top is by being as creative in their fundraising efforts as possible.
Western has seen its share of creative and sometimes outrageous acts in the name of charity. Sorority hop-scotchs, hot dog stands, juggling marathons, sub-eating contests, rowing regattas and Salsa dancing have all been held over the past two years for various beneficiaries. The events have been eye-catching and generate interest among students.
Another important part of charity fundraising nowadays is corporate sponsorship. Whether it is Tim Horton's supplying donuts or another company throwing in free refreshments at the end of a race, corporations play a huge part in the success of events. And their generosity does not go unnoticed. Not only do companies benefit from advertising when they donate to charitable events, other people may associate a company's name with giving.
Door-to-door canvasing is not the best way to raise money in the '90s. People are more willing to give if they can get something in return. This is something veterans have known for years as they continue to sell poppies for Remembrance Day. Charities holding draws, providing entertainment, giving ribbons or donating small tokens may achieve greater results.
One only has to look at the success of charities in this community which hold super-draws, giving purchasers a chance to win homes, trips and cars with the purchase of one $100 ticket. There have been five such lotteries in London over the past two years, putting thousands and thousands of dollars into the community. People are more willing to donate their money but if they win nothing they still feel good they were able to contribute to a cause of their choice.
It's unfortunate that charities have to pander in this manner. It's too bad people do not open their pockets without the lure of boats and Club Med vacations. But with so many worthy organizations competing for people's dollars, they want more bang for their buck. Even if that buck is tax deductible.