Genius, Pure Genius

July 20, 2008

So, I ran across something the other day that is really quit ingenious. I found it while reading Techpresident. Sean Tavis, a candidate for state house in Kansas’s district 15, came up with a great idea. He needed $26,000 by July 26 to compete against Republican incumbent Arlen Siegfreid. How to raise that much money? It’s simple, a cartoon and a dare.

He challenged readers to help him raise the funds that he needed. An “impossible” task was proposed. If donors chose to take him up on it they’d be a part of history. No more than 644 people have ever donated to a state representative in Kansas and if 3000 people were to give just $8.34 each they’d break a record. It’s really genius. Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. By donating to his campaign they could. Being picked up by BoingBoing didn’t hurt any either. So far 5,112 donors have come forward.

But wait, there’s more. If you choose to donate more than the $8 and change you can get special gifts. For $60 you get a card signed by all of the volunteers. For $120 you get a limited edition campaign t-shirt. For $250 you get the shirt plus a mug. The ultimate gift though is for $500. You get the shirt, the mug, and a “DVD movie from Tevis’ mom telling you how wonderful you are, because you are.” It sounds kind of like a public television telethon but it’s kitschy and you have to be charmed. I know I am.

You just get the feeling of David taking on Goliath and it makes you want to chip in the help the little guy. Would he have gotten the money going door to door? Maybe or maybe not but on the internet anything is possible. Oh, did I mention that you can use paypal when you chip in? Pure genius.