Thursday, April 01, 2004

Logic, defied. And I just don't get why no one else gets it.

Please consider the following scenario:

The board of directors for "Charity A" meets to discuss the woeful results of their latest fund drive. Someone poses the question, "can we think of anything creative that will encourage the public to donate?" Everyone is scratching their heads... "a pancake breakfast?" someone offers. No, too boring. Someone else chimes in, "how about a car wash?" No, we tried that last year. Hmmm... everyone is thinking, when finally, someone pipes up with, "I've got it! We can WALK! Surely anyone would be willing to pay for THAT!"


So, the walk-athon was born.

One thing that I have never understood was the whole "________athon" concept. You can fill in the blank with "run," "walk," "swim," bike," whatever (I have even seen a teeter-totter-athon... seriously.) They don't make any logical sense to me. They work fabulously to raise money, but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out WHY!

At this point, you might be getting ready to e-mail me and tell me what I have heard a million times already: the point isn't that they are walking, the point is that they are DOING something? I would disagree. I have yet to meet a person who is willing to pay someone to do JUST something. (If that were the case, we would have no problem with pick-your-nose-athons or eat-your-breakfast-athons.) People give money, not when someone does SOMETHING, but when someone does something VALUABLE! ... Consider another scenario and see if you don't agree.

Someone knocks on your door and asks if you would like to donate to "Charity A." After considering the request, you politely decline. Then, just as you are about to close the door, the man says, "Wait! Would you change your mind if I told you that I would be willing to WALK?"

Wouldn't that seem odd? Regardless, how would you answer that question?

*Do you mean walk downtown to mail some packages and deposit something in the bank for me? Yes, I might give you money for that.
*Do you mean walk my children around the block a few times so I can get some laundry done? Yes, I might give you money for that.
*Do you mean walk along the nearest highway and pick up trash? (A pick-up-trash-on-the-side-of-the-road-ATHON, now THERE is a novel idea.) Yes, I might give you money for that.

These are all valuable things that someone might pay for. But, walk around a track 20 times? If someone was standing at my door offering that as a means of motivating me to give money, then NO, I would not be any more inclined to give money than I was in the first place.

And if you have ever given money in one of these things, you have probably given a flat donation... not a per lap or per mile donation. WHY? Because you don't give a rat's behind if this person walks three steps or three miles. You just wanted to give, the walking was not what convinced you to do it.

So, WHY oh, WHY are these stupid ____________athons so popular?

Just wondering.

(And don't even get me started on the way they name these things... if walk-athon means "walking a long way" and swim-athon means "swimming a long way," then what on earth is an actual MARathon.... MARRING a long way?)

Ridiculous, absolutely RIDICULOUS.



Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

I totally agree with you. This post is one of the reasons I got so excited about finding your blog in the first place.

I also hate fundraising events like the Scouts' Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction we have every year. It's a HUGE amount of work. Why not just tell everyone that the Scouts need some money for camp, and would everyone please give what they can? Then we can all get together for a fun, stress-free pot luck dinner instead. Don't get me started on the big celebrity fundraising galas. I could go on and on...

Wed Mar 07, 02:01:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home