You’ve got Edward Norton, an actor best known for his dark roles in Fight Club and American History X, and then we have his volunteer/charity organization Crowdrise, with the slogan, “If You Don’t Give Back No One Will Like You”. So, what exactly is their goal? I think I’ve figured it out: making fundraising and volunteering fun.
It’s a simple idea, and based off of the website (with phrasings like, “Please only read all this if you’re super bored or you’re writing a paper on ways to give back and you’re looking for something to plagiarize”), and their newest campaign,the Crowdrise Holiday Fundraiser Thing (CHFT), their target audience is young people. It should come as no surprise then that in order to motivate the social media oriented youth culture that Crowdrise so relies on, they’ve recruited an all-star celeb roster of participants for the CHFT; Ashton Kutcher, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Sophia Bush, Jason Bateman, Patricia Arquette, Russell Brand, John Legend, to name a few.
Just how are they going to do that? Well, they’re making it simple, accessible, and tempting users with the promise that you can actually help a celebrity, side-by-side, to raise donations for their chosen charity. In a way, it’s genius because our culture drools at the opportunity to be closer to celebrities, so perhaps their idea just might work.
The press release stated that, “Crowdrise is encouraging, and really peer pressuring, the rest of the world to get involved in a few different ways”. Which includes joining a celebrity’s fundraising team to help them raise money for their cause (i.e. you can join Paul Rudd and the American Cancer Society by reaching out to friends and family and asking everyone to donate). Or you can start your own personal fundraising team, and for extra incentive Judd Apatow is donating $3k to the top three non-celebrity fundraising campaigns. And lastly you can donate to any charity and send a holiday e-card to the person you’re donating on behalf of.
Edward Norton recently said, “People like to do nice things for each other and have fun around the holidays so we put this together in that spirit. And, hey, if you can get a guy with a 3rd degree black belt and a reputation for fierce, dark action films like Judd Apatow to bring out his funnier, goofy and generous side, you’ve got to be doing something right.”
In addition to celeb partnerships, Crowdrise is offering amazing prizes and contests for those “slightly self-interested” folks who donate and fundraise. Included in these is a cowbell signed by Will Ferrell, a signed Ashton Kutcher poster for the movie No Strings Attached (which isn’t even out yet), and a Live Chat with Paul Rudd.
Crowdrise said that they’re hoping their campaign will “result in the whole world embracing and French-kissing each other like mad come New Year’s Eve.” Hey, we’re all for it.