What if I told you an online humor website raised $20,000 in 64 minutes? And then proceeded to do it multiple times to amass a whopping $80,000 and counting. I know this sounds ludicrous, but I promise you that this is not a joke or some ill-conceived hoax.
Instead, Matthew Inman, creator of popular webcomic, The Oatmeal, was recently notified that he would have to pay $20,000 in damages or face possible lawsuit from disgruntled competitor, FunnyJunk. In protest of the frivolous demand, he’s running the BearLove Good. Cancer Bad fundraiser. And to date, it has already raised $103,748 with 15 days left in the campaign. This excerpt from his comic (see below), contains details of the fundraiser. But the entire comic, can be found here.
Upon first glance, Inman, might seem to be over-reacting. But, how would you feel if your intellectual property was constantly stolen and then the thief sent you an invoice for said theft? Exactly. I bet you would be upset, too. Logically, you might even think of counter-suing. Not surprisingly, Inman did what he knows best and turned the situation into a humorous and philanthropic moment. In a time when many organization are clamoring to get donations, The Oatmeal has proven otherwise. Heck, even I’m having bit of trouble fundraising for own my Crowdrise StrartingBloc campaign. However, I do not have a loyal readership of millions of readers to galvanize around a special cause. And some people are still convinced social media is not useful.
What do you think about Inman’s creative use of fundraising?
[UPDATE]: As of 6/20/2012 the fundraiser surpassed their goal by raising $204, 305.