Tuesday, November 21

Fundraising, flamingo style

Some of you may have heard that Union Products, the Massachusetts company that produced kitschy pink plastic yard flamingos, closed this month. If only their marketing department had heard of Shannon Mammen earlier.

Shannon is a Sunday school teacher at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in New Richmond, Wisconsin. According to the Pioneer Press, this past fall she had the idea to raise money for Hurricane Katrina. She ordered a flock of flamingos from eBay and then she notified her congregation the birds would randomly appear in their yards unless they paid "flamingo insurance" for $10. After that - the real fun started.

Flamingos were placed in the yards of congregation members and were removed only when the members donated money to the fundraising event. The members were not required to donate a set sum, and Mammen said donations ranged from $5 to $50.

The fun of the event, Mammen said, was that once members were "flamingoed," they could choose whose house would be next.

The event raised $2,000. But if you ask me... that sounds more like extortion than fundraising. And you thought telemarketing was invasive?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let me offer another viewpoint: this is a very public way to hit up someone for a donation. I was extremely embarrassed by it as I am not in a position to donate... and had to call to have them removed.
Please be considerate of the people you turn to to ask money from. We are all feeling the pinch now.
There was no option to gracefully donate less. I do donate to certain causes because they are personal, and I have to save up for those donations. And when I do, I do it anonymously.
This has created hard feelings on both sides