Putting the fun back in fundraiser

When you run a large community, you invariably get some members rising to the top in terms of participation and reaction from others. It’s a natural part of any community and as fast as you can dream up ways to temper their contributions or wait for them to leave out of boredom, someone quickly fills their place and the cycle starts again. Eventually their personalities grow large and everywhere they move in a community they are treated with equal parts love and hate from the rest of the group.

Over the past few months, a couple members have kind of been in the spotlight due to their strong viewpoints and strong ways of expressing it and today Jessamyn had a brilliant idea.

“You should do a fundraiser. ‘how much would you pay for a week without user x/user y‘”

Then it hit me that yeah, it would be pretty easy to do thanks to dropcash and the money could go to a non-profit charity, like Creative Commons. I emailed two members that seem to polarize the community and much to their credit they were both in. Not every member of a community — especially the strong personalities — has a sense of humor about themselves and their online persona so I commend the guys that participated in this.

A few keystrokes later and the fundraiser was launched. It’s essentially a charity dunk tank, with the people you love to hate raising $5 for every softball lobbed at their perch. What’s great is that after just a couple hours one side is over 30% towards the goal and the rest of the community is congratulating them for being good sports about the whole thing. With any luck, when this is all over both members will likely be seen in a different light for having gone through this.