The rise of Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe and other crowdfunding websites have made it extremely easy to attempt to raise funds for any cause — no matter how selfish, odd or bizarre. There have been campaigns for everything from funding dates to breast surgery to one gentleman asking for $2,500 on GoFundMe under the title "Tired of Being Broke." (Unfortunately for him, he is still broke.)
Here are just a few of the many interesting crowdfunding campaigns, ranging from the tasteless to the worthless to the just plain strange.
- Cancelled Wedding – Amber Roof, sister of Dylann Roof (the alleged Charleston church gunman), set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for her wedding, which was scheduled for June 21 but cancelled after the shooting. A pledge to donate 10% of the funds to the church where the shooting occurred was not enough to quiet the uproar, and the page was removed.
- The i+ Case – This Kickstarter fiasco raised $15,000 to create an iPhone case made mostly of aluminum, which accidently blocked some of the cellular/Wi-Fi signals of user’s phones. Whoops.
- Squirrel Tattoo – A forty-year-old woman addressed the two items on her "bucket list" in one fell swoop: funding an online project and getting a squirrel tattoo. Her GoFundMe campaign hit $615 of her requested $2,000. Perhaps she will fund her own, slightly less ambitious, squirrel tattoo.
- Drank Tank – This request was for $25,650 to develop an alcohol vaporizer to allow you to get alcohol into your system more quickly (after all, isn’t that the goal...?). So far they have raised $2,100. Good luck seeing a return on that investment after the FDA and the ATF are through with them.
- Million Dollar Homepage – One enterprising young man dealt with college expenses by selling ad space on his "Million Dollar Homepage" for $1 per pixel. His page completely sold out.
- Million Dollar Boat – An IndieGoGo campaign aimed to raise $1 million for a boat by selling advertising space in a fashion similar to the Million Dollar Homepage. He raised $3. Nice try, but it pays to be first with the idea (and direct it toward something less ostentatious).
- The Firecase – How convenient is it to be able to light your cigarette with your iPhone case? How smart is it to embed a heated metal coil next to your valuable electronics? At least a few people thought it was a good idea, as the requesters received $734. Unfortunately, $20,000 was the goal.
- TARC – Billed as "the first free energy thought magnifier" on IndieGoGo, the TARC raised $1,166 of its $15,000 goal. The TARC is non-electronic, working completely on "crystalline science." Hold it between your fingers and your thoughts will be amplified, especially the ones that ask why you paid for what is in essence a smooth black rock.
- Greek Crowdfunding – Who needs the IMF? One gentleman decide to do his part to help Greece out of their debt problem by crowdfunding Greek debt relief on IndieGoGo. His humorous effort to raise 1.6 billion Euros to save Greece from default actually raised almost 2 million Euros, presumably from people knowing he would never reach his goal. A more serious follow-up effort for 1 million Euros fell short by only raising 289,000 Euros.
- Orbiting Tardis – 3,231 fans of Doctor Who ponied up for $88,880 to send a Tardis — the Doctor's time traveling phone booth — up into real space. Presumably they plan to send it up on one of the scheduled space flights instead of building their own functional Tardis.
Are you inspired yet to set up your own crowdfunding project? Give it a try. Surely you can beat some of these entries.