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Extracurricular activities remain an important part of every college student’s life. Whether it’s sports, activism or another hobby you have a passion for, it’s important to regularly engage in your favorite pastimes to fill the downtime in between classes and let a little loose. Better yet, why not combine one of your hobbies with charity fundraising to get your fill of altruism and benefit a good cause while taking part in your activity of choice? Today, we’re taking a look at three original ways to raise money for charity.
Gaming is a hobby enjoyed by a majority of college students; 67% of all 18-to-29-year-olds in the US responded to a survey confirming they played video games. With the rise of online streaming services such as Twitch and Ustream, along with social media and built-in gameplay sharing tools, the video game marathon has become one of the more popular methods of fundraising in recent years. What better way to raise money for charity than by taking part in your favorite hobby?
Over in the UK, cancer support charity Macmillan has embraced the concept, allowing would-be fundraisers to join its Game Heroes campaign and print off sponsorship forms, ranking tables and more –as well as providing additional fundraising and health and safety tips. For instance, it’s important to stay hydrated, take plenty of screen breaks and avoid caffeine throughout the duration of your event.
Poker is a game popular not only in dorm rooms up and down the country, but on an online and global scale, too. The card game is the perfect fundraising activity for several reasons. Crucially, it is relatively simple to set up and participate in a tournament, while it is also a game that lends itself to both competitiveness and sociability. With players buying in as they would in a normal home game, all – or a proportion – of the winnings then go to the charity of the winner’s choice.
The pastime is one that has lent itself to charity fundraising extremely well in the past: the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital holds an annual celebrity poker tournament with proceeds going to its good causes, while Maria Ho hosted and won the 2015 TJ Martell Foundation’s Chad Brown Memorial Tournament. The event was held in honor of pro poker player Chad Brown, who lost his battle with cancer in 2014.
American Enterprise Day is observed on November 15 each year in the US, with numerous community groups and schools taking part in a number of entrepreneurial projects related to celebrating the country’s free enterprise and its contributions to the economy. Why not follow in the footsteps of dozens of contestants on NBC’s The Apprentice and group up with your friends to create, market and sell an original product within the timeframe of a single day or week, with all proceeds going to good causes?
Throughout the course of this year’s Charity Apprentice, hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman and pop star Boy George raised over $1 million for their respective charities, en route to the final, where Iseman eventually triumphed. While $1 million might be out of reach for most college students’ enterprise days, it remains an innovative and engaging method of raising valuable funds.
Of course, the three options we’ve listed today are but few of hundreds of possible fundraising opportunities. If you’re struggling to think of an idea that works for you, try to research what other people have done in the past and see if you can find one that fits the bill.
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